Ricardo Aca, Make the Road New York
by Benjamin Fang
Nov 12, 2019 | 5905 views | 0 0 comments | 710 710 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While working for the photography department at LaGuardia Community College, Ricardo Aca created a photo series called “Not A...”

The project was in response to then-candidate Donald Trump’s comments that labeled Mexicans as criminals, rapists and drug dealers.

“I really wanted to show our faces, because we don’t look any different than anybody else,” Aca said.

While working as a waiter at a restaurant inside a Trump building, Aca then made a short video coming out as undocumented. His video went viral, grabbing headlines and resulting in interviews with major national publications.

“I could have decided to end my advocacy there and say this is the end of my journey,” he said. “I could go back to live my normal life.”

But Aca decided to get involved, joining the immigrant rights group Make the Road New York as a digital organizer.

His job is to use his digital skills to “change the narrative” about immigrants, whether it’s through social media or videos.

“For me, that’s something that’s really exciting,” he said. “It’s very uplifting to see my community be able to share their stories.”

Aca recently helped launch “Home is Here,” a national campaign by Make the Road New York, CHIRLA in California, and NAKASEC in Virginia.

The advocacy groups hosted an 18-day, 230-mile march from New York City to Washington D.C. ahead of a Supreme Court case on DACA.

The website homeishere.us is where DACA recipients share their stories and resources on how to renew. The site also provides updates on the case.

“It’s a beautiful way to change the narrative across the country,” Aca said, “and show the world we’re making this sacrifice for our lives.”
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