Today, Conexión Américas’ INDIVISIBLE campaign welcomed Representative Jim Cooper at Casa Azafrán to hand deliver the over 300 postcards written by Nashvillians at INDIVISIBLE events since the November election.
At the event, Rep. Cooper graciously accepted the postcards and spoke to a group of about 40 Nashvillians who showcase the diversity this city has to offer. Rep. Cooper listened to the unique stories of immigrant high school students from John Overton and Antioch High Schools as well as local college students and DACA recipients. Also in attendance were Rashed Fakhruddin, president of the Islamic Center of Nashville, Lisa Howe, CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Michael Spalding, President of Equal Chance for Education and Zulfat Suara of the American Muslim Advisory Council.
Trevecca Nazarene freshman, DACA recipient and Equal Chance for Education scholar Guadalupe Gamino presented her postcard to Congressman Cooper. Equal Chance for Education provides scholarships for students who are not eligible for student loans and financial aid because of their legal status. With the help of a scholarship from ECE, Gamino is studying international business at Trevecca and pursuing her American dream.
“I have lived in the United States since I was seven months old. Nashville is my home and I hope that you stand and support my dream of finishing my college education and being able to put my degree to use.” Gamino said.
In response, Rep. Cooper stated that these personal stories mattered. He pointed out that Nashville’s thriving economy relies on the talented and capable young people like Gamino. During his remarks to the audience, Cooper emphasized the importance of maintaining a welcoming community here in Nashville.
“One of Nashville’s greatest strengths is that we’re hospitable, we’re nice, we get along with each other,” said Cooper.
At the end, Karla Ruiz, of Karla’s Catering, presented Rep. Cooper with a box of heart shaped chocolates. Ruiz, an immigrant entrepreneur who works out of Conexión Américas’ Mesa Komal Kitchen shared her story and her love of this country.
“America is great because its people are great,” Ruiz said as she handed the chocolates to Cooper.
Conexión Américas’ INDIVISIBLE campaign is still planning to deliver postcards to Senators Alexander and Corker personally as well, whether that means traveling to Chattanooga or Washington, D.C.
If you’d like to write your own, stop by our offices at Casa Azafrán on Friday, February 10 from 8:30am – 7:00pm for our Valentine open house. Buy Karla’s delicious chocolates, take your picture for our Raise Your Heart mural and Raise Your Voice by writing a postcard to our elected officials.