1,000 signatures reached
To: Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
End University Segregation In Georgia!
Strike down discriminatory policies that ban undocumented students from attending the top five universities in our state. End university segregation in our state and do everything in your power to ensure equal access to higher education for all Georgians.
Why is this important?
My name is Diana Umana and I am 16 years old. This fall I will be a senior at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga-- just down the street from my dream school, the University of Georgia.
Ever since I was young, I have had a passion for learning. One of my earliest memories dates back to my first day of pre-K. I remember being surrounded by new friends and teachers, and learning to recite the pledge of allegiance- the same pledge I have made every day in school ever since. This same passion for knowledge has led me to excel in school. At Cedar Shoals, I am enrolled in AP and Honors courses, belong to many clubs, and fill my days with extra-curricular activities. Thanks to my hard work and the support of my friends and family, I finished my junior year with a 4.5 GPA.
Despite all this, my future remains uncertain. You see, I was born in El Salvador and I am undocumented. When I was 4 years old, my parents brought me to the United States in search of a better life for me and my siblings. I’ve grown up here in Georgia, and attended school here since those pre-k days I remember so fondly. I am an American just like the rest of my classmates at school, but I don't have a social security number.
In 2010, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia passed policy 4.1.6, which bans people like me-- who were brought here at a young age but lack proper documentation-- from attending the top five universities in our state. This includes Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Georgia Medical, Georgia College and State, and my dream school, the University of Georgia. I grew up in the college town of Athens, just down the road from the UGA admissions office, but unless this policy is struck down, my application won’t even be considered in the fall.
These policies have turned my dreams of attending college into a nightmare, but I'm not giving up. There are thousands of us who are affected by these policies, hardworking students who just want the same access to higher education as everyone else so we can build for our futures. Thankfully we are coming together to fight against the ban and other discriminatory policies in our state. I've joined the GA Dreamers Alliance, and back in May, I was arrested outside of the Board of Regents meeting in an act of civil disobedience. Not even throwing us in jail can stop us from raising awareness and working to overturn this harmful ban.
Policy 4.1.6 turns the clock in Georgia back 50 years, to a time when segregation was commonplace and admission was based on the color of your skin. We must continue the legacy of the civil rights movement and fight against discriminatory policies like these. Please sign the petition and ensure that every student in Georgia has equal access to higher education.
How it will be delivered
Directly to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia