Rising to "La Causa"

City College High School Students Push for Change

On a cold and sunny Saturday in early February, a group of young people gathered in the basement community room at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Patterson Park branch. They were busily arranging construction paper table tents with words drawn in colorful markers and adorned with stars, exclamation points, blocky hand-written fonts. They read: “Know Your Rights,” “CASA Hotline & Safe Spaces,” “Being Proactive & Recognizing ICE,” and “Real vs. Fake Warrants.”

The teenagers greeted each person enthusiastically as they arrived, giving them an agenda for the two-hour event. This meeting, “Youth Empowering the Community,” was convened by a group of students from Baltimore City College High School called Students Organizing a Multicultural Open Society (SOMOS). The majority of the SOMOS students were Latino—representing most of the Latino population at City College as a whole, in fact—and thus were all affected by a recent uptick in immigration enforcement in their community as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted a slew of raids across the country. That national crackdown, beginning in January, was SOMOS’ catalyst to activism.

Read the rest of this article online at Baltimore City Paper.

This is a part of a three-part series and multimedia package that can also be found online at Baltimore City Paper.