[The Call & Response] Story #1: Liliana Campos Ramales and Dr. Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales

Liliana Campos Ramales and Dr. Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales

Recording: November 3, 2016

Liliana Campos Ramales and Dr. Genvieve Negrón-Gonzales


So you had to be separated from your mom in that process.

We had to be separated, right, which is a very familiar thing that I had done previously with my father in saying goodbye. So we said goodbye. And she just said, take care of your brother, no matter what. Scream if anything happens. And we’ll see each other again. That’s all she said.

You don’t worry, mi hija.

We will see each other again.


My name is Liliana Campos. I’m 29 years old. I was born in Mexico. Mexico City, to be exact. My memories as a child in Mexico are both pleasant and painful. They bring up a lot of vivid memories of our home life, and also the reasons why my family and I decided to cross the border and establish ourselves here in the US.

I can still remember the vivid smell of plastic that covered the children’s books that sat on our dining table. My mom used to sell children’s books. And I didn’t go to school very much as a child. Instead, her and I would go to work. We would walk the streets of Mexico City and go to affluent cities, neighborhoods, and try to sell these children’s books to families and kids.

My father decided to bring us here. He would tell my mom about the stories of just the way that life was so much better here and that he wanted that for us. With the clothes on our back, we left Mexico, got on a plane– the first time that I got on a plane– and went to Tijuana. And we went in waves. So myself and my brother, we were the first ones to leave.

We actually ended up getting trained to go through la linea which is to use someone else’s papers. I don’t think it was until maybe high school that I think I had a better sense of navigating the system and speaking up for myself and reaching out to professors and talking to them about my difficulties, that I started thinking about college. Aside from the fact that I at that point had not disclosed my status to any of my teachers.

I was in AP classes and really worked hard to make sure that I would get into competitive universities. I went to the career services, and the instructor said, well, you’re not going to be able to go to college. That’s just what she said. I disclosed my status to her. I said, I just don’t have a social. I used a fake social to enroll in community college.

And it wasn’t until I transferred to Long Beach State University that I learned about AB 540. But I was like, oh, I’m eligible for in-state tuition.

When I decided to go to college, I think it was life changing for my family. And I think I built a lot of autonomy through that process too.

I feel so empowered by my undocumented identity because it’s challenging, because it’s complex, because it’s provided me opportunities to connect with amazing people, amazing professors. And now that I’m a green card holder, a permanent resident, if you will, I don’t know how this is going to impact my undocumented identity.

My experiences as an undocumented person in this country have deeply shaped my professional interests. I would like to address the psychological experiences of undocumented students, of undocumented young people, the trauma that continues to be perpetuated in this country. I foresee taking on a role, an active role, in continuing to provide spaces where people can feel safe to share their stories, to heal from their stories.

Having to hide who I am has really, yeah, impacted how I see myself in this world, not feeling like I’m a human being, being told that I’m not a human being, having to hide so much in such a developmental– such a critical period in my development as a human being, in high school particularly.

The books that now sit on our dining table, read other words. And then I can open them and dive into stories of pain, of hope, of real stories. And then I can use those books to better the lives of other people as I continue in this work.



Recorded by StoryCorps in partnership with the Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach

Edited and produced by the Advanced Audio class (USF Media Studies), Julia Brekka, and Professor Beth Hoffman

Want to learn more about Liliana’s journey? Find a recent USF News story by Arvin Temkar here.

Top 10 Ways to Support Undocumented Students


  1. Engage with an Open Mind
  • When supporting undocumented students, it’s important to know that there won’t be a single answer or path for all students. Support requires ongoing investigation and collaboration with other service providers and community leaders. When you don’t know something, work WITH students to find out answers so that you can share them with other students and colleagues.
  1. Create a Safe Space
  • Don’t ask undocumented students to self-identify
  • Make resources easily available for all students
  • Understand that trust takes time
  • Be mindful of your language; say “undocumented” rather than “illegal” and avoid terms like “alien” or “illegal immigration”
  • Do all you can to identify YOURSELF as an ally/supporter; use posters, bookmarks, and stickers to make your support visible
  • Get trained by a trusted community organization. In Northern California, you can request an outreach presentation from E4FC: http://e4fc.org/ communityeducation/requestapresentation.html
  1. Learn about Relevant Institutional Policies & Legislation
  • Understand admissions and enrollment policies for undocumented students
  • Understand in-state tuition and state-based aid requirements for undocumented students (if applicable) uleadnet.org
  • Understand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), eligibility requirements and application procedures and encourage eligible youth to contact a legal service provider prior to applying http://e4fc.org/ html
  • Research local and statewide immigration-related policies that affect your students and their families
  • Keep informed about proposed legislation related to immigration policies
  1. Find & Advocate for Scholarships and Financial Support
  1. Build Your Own Educator Network
  • Build relationships and collaborate with other educators at your school or district
  • Reach out to educators at local colleges who are supportive of undocumented students
  • Add your name to E4FC’s mailing list to learn about new resources, webinars and educator gatherings: http://e4fc.org/ html
  • Connect to DEEP’s National Educator Network and Campaigns: unitedwedream.org/about/projects/education-deep/
  1. Connect Students to Undocumented Community Leaders and Role Models 
  1. Involve Parents
  • Educate parents about why undocumented students should pursue college
  • Encourage and support good communication between students and parents Invite parents into the college application and enrollment process
  • Share E4FC’s Guide for Parents of Undocumented Students (in English and Spanish): e4fc.org/resources/parentguides.html
  1. Access Reputable Legal Information & Assistance
  • Identify reputable, affordable legal service providers in your area. Visit https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/
  • Encourage students to use E4FC’s free, anonymous, and online DREAMer Intake Service to get information about their eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other long-term immigration remedies. Visit e4fc.org
  • Refer students to E4FC’s “Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies DREAMers Should Know About” guide: http://e4fc.org/beyonddeferredaction.html
  • Encourage students to pursue potential immigration remedies (if available to them)
  1. Build Agency and Power
  • Help students start a group/club to raise awareness about immigration issues
  • Inform students about their rights: ilrc and www.nilc.org
  • Connect students to culturally competent and responsive mental/ emotional health services
  • Educate students about how other marginalized groups have organized against their marginalization
  • Build faith — a sense of agency and a belief that things will change for the better
  1. Create Spaces for Storytelling and Creative Expression
  • Encourage students to share their stories (when safe) 
  • Share E4FC’s creative work website: www.thingsillneversay.org
  • Support undocumented artists: www.tiny.cc/buzzfeedundocuart
  • Encourage students to build their own meaning and identity that is different from the negative stigma and stereotypes about undocumented immigrants

About Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)

Founded in 2006, Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation. We envision an America where all young people can pursue and complete an education with confidence and without constraint. Our programming is designed by and for undocumented young people with support from committed allies.

For more information, visit www.e4fc.org

Campus Climate Survey Party!

Please join us in a survey taking party this Thursday October, 12th from 11:30am-1:00pm in McLaren 252! You’ll have the opportunity to win some awesome prizes for yourself and win $200 for your student organization!

You won’t want to miss out on this!! 

If you have any questions please email diversity@usfca.edu 

Black Disabled Art History 101

Black Disabled Art History 101
Thursday, September 28
Lone Mountain 100, University of San Francisco

Leroy Moore will be reading a selection from Black Disabled Art History 101. He will be joined by India Harville, a disabled dancer from Oakland, who is featured in the book. India will be both performing and discussing art and performance as integral to disability justice.

Black Disabled Art History 101: Disability representation in children’s literature typically fulfills common stereotypes of disability as deficit, something to overcome, or something to fear. Rarely is disability, as it intersects with other identity markers, positioned as a natural part of human variation or within frameworks of diversity and culture. We believe that this ground-breaking book is the first of its kind, focusing on disability identity, art, and culture; and, as such, creates the space for conversations that can move the dominant narrative of disability from overcoming to pride.

Ayotzinapa Speaker at USF

Join the USF community in welcoming Omar Garcia on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Omar is one of the students from the school for rural teachers, “Raúl Isidro Burgos,” who was present at the events of September 26th, 2014 and survived the attack of the army and police. He has been one of the most visible spokespersons of the group of parents and students who in spite of the lack of advances in the case, or precisely because of this, continue to demand truth and justice. Please see attached flyer for more information.

Ayotzinapa 2017-1rmi4ko