Our Board

Meet our 2016-2017 Act on A Dream Board!

Everyone below is passionate about immigration reform making a significant difference in the way the current system treats undocumented individuals. Each board member was elected by a group of fellow peers as a capable leader of the struggle for immigration equity.

 

Daishi miguel tanaka
Co-Director, '19, he/him/his

I am a Japanese-Filipino junior in Quincy house concentrating in government.  In 2004, my parents and I immigrated from Japan due to racial discrimination.  I found home and grew up within Latinx communities in Los Angeles.  As we faced adversity as undocumented immigrants, I realized that immigrants are powerful. I believe that the undocu+ community will lead the way for both a national and global shift in reforming immigration policies. As Co Director, I strive to make sure that every undocu+ student that walks through Harvard’s gates will feel home here. Then we will use our voices to create history.

Faves: patterned shirts, carnitas, Toyota Prius

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Paulo pinto
Director of Operations, 18', he/him/his

I am a junior in Leverett House. I joined Act on a Dream my freshman fall, and have had multiple roles in the organization throughout my Harvard career. One of my most rewarding experiences has been watching Act on a Dream expand and change to serve the constantly evolving challenges faced by students who are undocumented, mixed-status, and allies. As a Newark, New Jersey native and economics student, I have been exposed to many of the cultural, financial, and sociological repercussions of immigration. My role as Director of Operations in Act on a Dream is to support the rest of the board and organization in their planning, programming, and fundraising of events so that all of these repercussions are adequately addressed.

Faves: rap music, soccer, movies

Ana Andrade
Co-Director, '19, She/Her/Hers

I’m a Junior in Mather House and a proud product of immigrants! I was born in Cambridge and have grown up in the greater Boston area. My family is from Brazil, and I lived there for some time when I was young.  My parents, grandparents and cousins are all undocumented and growing up I was always painfully aware of the stark differences between our realities.  When I got to college, I was so relieved and excited to find a community within AoD that not only understood the complexities of my life but that honestly were the funnest, most caring and wildly intelligent people I had ever met on campus.  As AoD grows I hope to work towards more direct involvement with the Boston Undocu+ community.

Faves: oversized sweaters, soup+salad, swingsets, new socks, coxinhas and real brazilian acai.  

Bruno Oswaldo Villegas McCubbiN
Advocacy Co-Chair, ‘19, he/him/his

I am a junior in Winthrop House! Originally from Chiclayo, Peru, my family and I immigrated to Garden Grove, California when I was only six. Being undocumented was always a tough thing to live with, but I found faith and empowerment through the perseverance of my parents, along with my friends and teachers that believed in me. Now, in Act on a Dream, I strive to advocate for my fellow undocu+ students, teaching the adults around us about our unique experiences and challenges. Furthermore, I hope to continue using the platform I have been blessed with to further advocate for the larger immigrant community, for our parents and other loved ones who have sacrificed so much. We are all in this together!

Faves: SOCAL!!, jazz, RnB, a cappella, all the Peruvian food, maps, social theory (Kant, Hegel, Marx), long hikes, movies that give me a good cry

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brenda esqueda 
Community Building Co-Chair, ‘20, she/her/hers

I am a Sophomore in Leverett House! I will be concentrating in either sociology or anthropology with the education extension. I was born in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, Mexico and I grew up in Nebraska. Fighting the expectation of failure coming from my community, background, and my status, has made me passionate about improving our communities, pushing limits and growing the beauty and strength in the undocu+ community. I am extremely excited to work in reestablishing our Undocu+ mentorship program to help undocu+ students feel that  they truly can surpass barriers with the close community having each other’s back and propelling each other forward. I am also super excited to see Act on a Dream morph and grow as we focus our efforts in intersectionality!!!

Faves: guitar riffs, converse, psychological thrillers, plants, Juno-esque humor, pan flute accompaniments, sunlight and dancing

Elizabeth D’Haiti
External Affairs Co-Chair, ‘20, she/her/hers

I’m a sophomore in Winthrop House!  I’m planning on concentrating in Integrative Biology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy.  I’m from right outside the Washington D.C. area, but my family has moved around all over the country.  AOD was my first real exposure to the Undocu+ movement and I’m so thankful for how welcoming and gracious this community has been to me!  As External Affairs Co-Chair I hope to see more allies on campus become comfortable engaging boldly in this movement and more involvement in AOD among high school students from the area. I’m also excited to aid in the spread of resources for the Undocu+ community on campus and across the country!

Faves: matchmaking, gardening, baking, religious existentialist philosophy, coffee, and music

Elijah Ezeji-Okoye
Media chair, ‘20, he/him/his

I am a sophomore in Lowell House. I am currently undecided on my concentration and secondary, but will likely, meaning surely, choose something from the social sciences.  I am from Watsonville, California, a small town south of San Francisco.  Joining Act on a Dream my freshman fall was my first introduction to immigration reform advocacy, a movement I had only limited exposure to before.  As media chair, I hope to help expand the reach of Act on a Dream, and further its presence on Harvard’s campus.  I am stoked to be part of an organization that seeks to engage with the current political climate, stand up in the face of xenophobia and racism, and offer a welcoming environment and valuable resources to students in the Undocu+ community.

Faves: Northern California, surfing, swimming, coffee, sugar, music, and puns

elmer Vivas portillo
CAIR Conference Director/ Liaisons to National CAIR Network, ‘20, he/him/his

I am a sophomore living in Mather House. I plan on studying sociology with a secondary in Latino/a Studies. My parents came to the United States as undocumented immigrants, and although they have now resolved most of their immigration worries, much of my extended family has not. I recognize the privilege I have from the simple fact that I was born in the U.S. and serve as an ally in the fight for immigration reform. Comprehensive immigration reform could drastically improve the experiences my extended family goes through. As a member of Act on a Dream, I want to help in the expansion and promotion of a safe space for members of our community, as well as help increase conversations and awareness on-campus surrounding immigration.

Faves: cookies, ice cream, water

laurA veira-ramirez
Advocacy Co-Chair, ‘20, she/her/hers

I am a Sophomore in Leverett House currently undecided on my concentration. I was born in Bogota, Colombia but grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut after my family immigrated to the United States when I was three years old. I grew up as one of five undocumented people in my home. I was taught to be ashamed of my immigration status and to keep it a secret. I didn’t like living in the shadows and instead found strength in activism in high school as I started sharing my story. Once in college, I looked for a way to continue my activism and continue motivating others to get involved and find strength in their own stories. Through Act on a Dream, I hope to continue inspiring others to join the movement fighting for the rights of all people affected by the unjust immigration system we live under.

Faves: music, movies, free things, chisme, Bernie, naps

maribeL Nava
Community Building Co-Chair, ‘20 she/her/hers

I’m a sophomore in Lowell House! I am still undecided on my concentration but am considering the social sciences and the ethnicity, migration and rights secondary. I was born in Houston Texas to two hard working Mexican immigrants. As a member of a mixed status family, immigration has always affected my life. I joined Act on a Dream to serve the immigrant community on and off campus and to help be a voice for immigrants like my parents. I am excited to serve as a community building director and help run the Undocu+ Mentorship program, a program that pairs undocumented,DACAmented, and mixed status families first year students with undocumented,DACAmented, and mixed status families  upperclassmen. When our community unites, amazing things can happen!

Faves: tacos, Jane the Virgin, horchata, colorful walls, french toast, cowboy boots

weimer macuri-espinoza
Communications Chair, ‘19-20, he/him/his

I’m a sophomore in Leverett House potentially concentrating in either Chemistry or Chemical and Physical Biology. My parents and I moved from Peru to the U.S. to find better educational opportunities for me that they knew didn’t exist back home. Although I was only five when I arrived in a small town in Tennessee, I soon learned the importance of community and the support it provides. As the Undocu+ community, we know that we are more than economic producers and statistics. Each one of us has a story and a purpose that drive us. As Communications Chair, I hope to direct our individual stories and experiences into a collective force that strengthens students and their families with resources and support.

Faves: Inca Kola, FC Barcelona, stuffed animals, wholesome friendships, walking and exploring new places

melisa