The Coalition for Immigration, Race & Social Justice wants the University of New Mexico to start the semester right at the Back2School Summit on Saturday, Sept. 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Summit organizers aim to encourage dialogue around immigration issues and help students and families develop tools they can bring back to schools and communities.

Events take place at the Student Union Building and Mesa Vista Hall courtyard. Workshops for middle school, high school and college students and their families include college success, youth organizing, parent leadership, scholarship opportunities, media literacy, corporations without borders, youth radio, gay-straight alliances, black student unions, and New Mexico Senate Bill 582 and education benefits for immigrants. Some workshops will be available in Spanish and English. An information fair is scheduled during lunch.

UNM students initiated the Coalition for Immigration, Race & Social Justice this summer in response to Arizona Senate Bill 1070. S.B. 1070 requires immigrants to carry U.S. registration documents at all times and requires police to stop and determine the status of anyone they have a reasonable suspicion is an undocumented immigrant.

The coalition grew to encompass community organizations as well as UNM programs and groups. Its goal is to defend human rights beyond borders and to "educate, organize, mobilize and heighten community awareness about immigration, racial equity and social justice."

UNM participants in the Back2School Summit include El Centro de la Raza, ENLACE, KUNM Youth Radio, Lambda Theta Phi, Mexican Student Association, Office of Community Learning & Public Service, Raza Graduate Student Association and Service Corps. Community participants include El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, Enlace Comunitario, Julian Samora Legacy Project, Media Literacy Project, New Mexico Civic Engagement Project, New Mexico Youth Alliance, Somos un Pueblo Unido and Young Women United.

Free parking will available in lot A, near Central Avenue and Stanford Drive.

Contact the Raza Graduate Student Association at razagsa@unm.edu or visit Back2School for more information.