Meet the Activists in We Too Sing America

Meet the Activists in We Too Sing America

Drost Kokoye in Nashville. Ahmad Abuznaid in Miami. Faiza Ali in New York City. Mustafa Abdullah in St. Louis. Rahul Dubey in Milwaukee. These are some of the young South Asian, Muslim, Arab and Sikh activists profiled in We Too Sing America.

Here, you’ll find short profiles on them. But read the book for an in-depth look at how they are transforming our communities.

Yves Gomes (profile by Ylan Nguyen, University of Maryland)

Yves with DRUM members and organizers. "This rally will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first time that I had to translate for my Latino peers. I translated the testimony of a fierce, undocumented, Bengali mother who fears for her family everyday."
Yves with DRUM members and organizers. “This rally will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first time that I had to translate for my Latino peers. I translated the testimony of a fierce, undocumented, Bengali mother who fears for her family everyday.”  Photo Credit: Jassiel Perez, United We Dream

Yves Gomes is a student, an activist, a friend, and undocumented. His world changed the summer of 2008 with the deportation of his father, followed by his mother in 2009, to the threat of his own deportation in 2010 – all profiled in We Too Sing America.

Yves bravely announced his immigration status to the public in order to raise awareness of his forthcoming deportation during the summer of 2010. As a result of the support of family, friends, and the community, the government deferred Yves’ deportation. Since then, immigration activism has become a way of life for Yves.

Yves’ story has resonated with countless undocumented youth in Maryland – he inspired many to feel more comfortable about “coming out” as undocumented.  He hopes that his story as well as We Too Sing America will inspire people to have conversations that aren’t commonly discussed. He also hopes that more undocumented South Asian youth “come out” and become a part of the “beautiful movement for social change.”

Reflecting on the past year, Yves firmly believes in listening to the movement for Black Lives, the voices of the Muslim community and other communities that have been victims of racist violence.

Today, Yves is committed to challenging himself to grow as person through multiple realms, to find younger Asian and Pacific Islander (API) undocumented youth to take on leadership, to see his friends succeed, to succeed in pharmacy school.

In August, Yves became the first undocumented and youngest person to be elected to the national executive board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Association (APALA).

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