United We Dream is a vibrant network of immigrant youth taking a courageous stand to organize and advocate for the immigrant community, for their right to an education and justice during these uncertain times. It’s just the kind of organization that Levi Strauss, a vocal proponent of education and an immigrant himself, would have been proud to support.
And so to mark the 188th birthday of our founder – who believed that investing in the community should be an unwavering commitment of operating a business – we are honored to support United We Dream with the annual Levi Strauss Legacy Grant. Each year, on the anniversary of Levi’s birth, we select an organization that we think would have been near and dear to his heart. This year we are pleased to champion a group that is empowering young people to raise their voices and advocate for change.
United We Dream’s mission – to achieve dignity and humanity for all immigrants and people of color in the U.S. – has become an even more critical resource to thousands of young people across the country, with immigration policy making daily headlines. The organization has been working tirelessly to provide resources and support to immigrants who are living in fear.
United We Dream is working fast to share information in community meetings, webinars and Facebook Live events, as well as strengthening their deportation defense networks across the country – all in an effort to help people understand their rights and how to protect themselves. There’s a hotline for people to report immigration raids in their area. There’s a toolkit for educators with strategies for supporting their undocumented students. United We Dream is also pushing for the creation of more sanctuary spaces, places where people from all backgrounds feel welcomed and included.
“It’s about letting them know they’re not alone,” said Communications Coordinator Sheridan Aguirre. “There are many immigrant youth across the country who are tapping into the resilience that brought them into this country, and they’re finding ways to thrive under the stress and fear of this moment.”
Founded in 2008, the network has grown into the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country, connected to more than 130,000 youth and allies, reaching more than 2 million people online, and with affiliates in 26 states.
This is the fourth annual Levi Strauss Legacy Grant, a birthday tradition that we hope will continue to highlight the values that Levi instilled in the company from the beginning. Previous grants have gone to the Edgewood Center for Children and Families, The Pollination Project, and Upwardly Global.