The New American Dreamers (2017)
Francisco, 23 Photo by Kerry Sherck
The New American Dreamers is a series of 20 photo stories highlighting some of the incredible Dreamers in our community. Created by photographers Sylvia Johnson and Kerry Sherck, and produced in partnership with the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, The New American Dreamers is a snapshot of who many of the immigrants living in our midst are. We believe deeply in the potential of immigrants as positive contributors to our society. Each of the Dreamers profiled in this series was brought to the US as a young child and most of them have grown up almost exclusively here. Their stories reflect the dreams, hopes, challenges, and ambitions that are inherent to all of us as human beings. In the context of such a toxic narrative currently being perpetuated about immigrants in this country, our goal with this project is to flip the perspective through stories of incredible Dreamers who are our friends, clients, and neighbors.
Who are the Dreamers?
Dreamers are young people who came into the US prior to June 15, 2012 and before their sixteenth birthday. They have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which is a kind of administrative relief from deportation that gives them the right to work and go to school in the US. It is renewable every two years. The policy was created after acknowledgment that these undocumented students had been largely raised in the United States, and was seen as a way to remove immigration enforcement attention from low priority individuals with good behavior.
Santa Fe Dreamers Project
Santa Fe Dreamers Project is a non-profit legal services organization serving New Mexico’s immigrant community. Since our beginning in 2014, the Dreamers Project has served primarily immigrant youth and families, focusing on economic and community development. Santa Fe Dreamers Project is committed to representing every qualified immigrant who walks through our doors. At the core of their philosophy is an effort to understand the barriers that normally prevent immigrant families from accessing legal representation and to design our services with those barriers in mind.
To learn more and support our work, please visit: www.santafedreamersproject.org
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About the Artists:
Sylvia Johnson, Photographer/Creative Director
Sylvia Johnson is a photographer, filmmaker, and impact strategist. Sylvia works with organization to craft compelling visual stories that increase our understanding of our shared humanity, drive positive change, and foster human connection. Her films have been official selections at film festivals worldwide including Aspen Shortsfest, International Documentary Association Awards, Raindance, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival, Telluride Mountainfilm, and more. She has taught film and photography at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Kerry Sherck, Photographer
Kerry Sherck is an editorial photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico who has worked as a photojournalist for over 10 years. During that time she’s had the opportunity to photograph a wide variety of assignments and people, from presidential visits to the everyday lives of immigrant laborers. Kerry studied photography at ETPA (École Technique Privée de Photographie et de Multimédia), in Toulouse, France. She has lived in France and Mexico and is fluent in French and Spanish.