Established in 2012, Alianza is a collective of active college students, educators, and community activists from the Sacramento area personally committed to issues in immigration reform, especially those regarding DREAMers. We offer support to our community by creating awareness of issues and resources; delivering meaningful outreach to high school and college students, and educators; building systems of support for DREAMers; and providing our undocumented youth with resources and networking opportunities.
The Alianza Executive Board and members are aware of the fact that our immigrant youth are individuals in our community who have high academic and career potential. However, they fight an uphill battle in their endeavor to pursue a higher education, due to the lack of resources they experience.
We envision an environment in which DREAMers in our community can access the tools necessary to achieve their academic and professional goals, with the hopes of instilling in DREAMers the desire to give back to their community.
Dr. Rhonda Rios Kravitz
Chief Executive Officer
President of Education Outreach
President of Operations Coordination and Planning
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Social Media Specialist
High School Liaison
Chief Information Officer
Health Outreach Coordinator
Creating Awareness, Building Support, and Ensuring Success for Students
Alianza was created in early September, 2012, following a personal, unofficial assessment of the academic climate and bureaucratic barriers that undocumented students faced on an ongoing regular basis at Sacramento City College (SCC). This assessment was performed by three DREAMer students, Marisela Hernandez, Ernesto Gutiérrez, and Violeta Urizar, who decided to congregate and address the issue at hand. They discussed the different possibilities three students had in order to make an impact that would benefit other undocumented students also attending SCC. They all agreed that a strong, committed student club was the most effective technique they could offer, hence they reached out to Rhonda Rios Kravitz, now-retired dean of the Learning Resource Center at this same institution. She had been working with other clubs on campus, focusing on the undocumented youth attending SCC, and gladly accepted to collaborate with this group of students.
Subsequently, the Alianza Club was created. After a few months of activity, Oscar Sarabia approached the group, stating his interest in joining the club and assisting in the attainment of its goals. With the help and volunteerism of other members—undocumented students and allies—Alianza soon became very active on campus. But it did not take long to realize that the need for Alianza’s support extended well-beyond the campus premises. Thus, the Board members Marisela, Ernesto, Oscar and Violeta, in conjunction with Rhonda Rios Kravitz, opened up a dialogue about extending the club’s coverage to the surrounding community.
In this way—after organizational restructuring and networking techniques—these five Board members became co-founders of the Alianza organization as we know it today: an organization recognized by the State of California, with autonomy from any other institutions, based in Sacramento, and which aims at providing support and services to the undocumented immigrant community in Northern California. The time, work, and service that all members provide continue to be volunteered, but Alianza’s membership and impact keep increasing.
Alianza has provided support for undocumented high school and college students in the Sacramento area, and now it envisions becoming an influential advocate at the state and national level, creating an impact in education, health, and policy, in service of our immigrant communities.