Lily Diego-Alvarez

Lily Diego-Alvarez

I support the undocumented community”

My story begins in Mexico: my birthplace. It was in Mexico where I became blind in a car accident. It was in Mexico where my father was killed for political reasons before I was born. My mother made plans to move to Chicago with her three kids. One of the reasons she moved to Chicago was so I could get an education, as she knew it would have been harder for a child who is disabled to get an equal opportunity to learn. Once in Chicago, our new family and new life began with a younger brother and a stepfather; yet our life was far from a happy ending. We struggled through poverty, violence, discrimination, language barriers, and inaccessibility to resources.

I graduated in May of 2014 from UIC having majored in English and Psychology; and of course, I consider this a great achievement. I was able to obtain my U.S. citizenship while in college. However, I know what it feels like to be denied vital services for not having “proper” documentation. I also know that much work needs to be done here for others to obtain many needed services. I have fought and continue to fight for equal access to education and resources here in the United States, but I also know that I have transformed from a silent disabled child afraid of rejection to a woman who can advocate for herself and her communities. I use my personal narratives and poetry performances to share my own experiences and those of my family so I can raise awareness and start conversations towards action.

The Butterfly postcard campaign was developed by the UIC Latino Cultural Center in collaboration with student organizations Fearless Undocumented Alliance and Heritage Garden Student Group that highlights the parallels between the migration of people and Monarch butterflies across national borders.

  • Postcard Image for Jocelyn Munguía Chávez

    Jocelyn Munguía

  • Postcard Image for Eduardo Muñoz Colunga

    Eduardo Muñoz Colunga

  • Postcard Image for Sharanitha Sampath

    Sharanitha Sampath

  • Postcard Image for Ruben Bautista

    Ruben Bautista

  • Postcard Image for Jessica Zhang

    Jessica Zhang

  • Postcard Image for Tammy Lee

    Tammy Lee

  • Postcard Image for Lily Diego-Alvarez

    Lily Diego-Alvarez

  • Postcard Image for Martha Aguila

    Martha Aguila

  • Postcard Image for Rosemarie Dominguez

    Rosemarie Dominguez

  • Postcard Image for Natalie Cruz

    Natalie Cruz

  • Postcard Image for Xavier Burgos

    Xavier Burgos

  • Postcard Image for Julieta Saldana

    Julieta Saldana

  • Postcard Image for Karl Novak

    Karl Novak

  • Postcard Image for Zainab Shirazi

    Zainab Shirazi

  • Postcard Image for Roxana Delgado

    Roxana Delgado

  • Postcard Image for Albert Murphy

    Albert Murphy

  • Postcard Image for Sarah Hernandez

    Sarah Hernandez

  • Postcard Image for Christian Alfaro

    Christian Alfaro

  • Postcard Image for Lulú Martínez

    Lulú Martínez

  • Postcard Image for Yaxal Nabil Sobrevilla

    Yaxal Nabil Sobrevilla

  • Postcard Image for Ricky Martinez

    Ricky Martinez

  • Postcard Image for Kim Navoa

    Kim Navoa

  • Postcard Image for Victoria McClain

    Victoria McClain

  • Postcard Image for Esha Kher

    Esha Kher

  • Postcard Image for Uriel Sanchez

    Uriel Sanchez

Share a story about Migration & Transformation...

How does it feel when you’ve moved from the neighborhood that was familiar to you or the country where you grew up? What were some of the challenges that you confronted in this new place? What or who helped you adapt to this new place?
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You can also pick up a postcard at the UIC Latino Cultural Center and mail it to someone that can help improve the lives of immigrants.