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Daniel López – 2019 MLK Spirit Award

Daniel López is a senior Sociology major and completing a double minor in CASC and Latina/o Studies.

López studies undocumented immigrants with a focus on the experience of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, which ties into his passions as an activist.  “My work consists on better representation of Latinx students, transfer students, and undocumented students on campus.” López is part of the Student Community of Progressive Empowerment (SCOPE), a student organization for and by undocumented students that supports undocumented and DACAmented students at the university.

In the past year, SCOPE has worked with the university to strengthen and centralize resources for undocumented students. Their successes are measurable and meaningful: U-M has developed a new website for undocumented students, hired a contact person and strengthened training so that staff is able to speak knowledgeably on the issues facing undocumented students. There’s still work to be done.  López speaks to the “28-month rule” which caps the amount of time in which a student can keep their in-state status after graduating from a Michigan high school. “The 28-month policy stops undocumented transfer students from applying to U-M since it deters them from getting in-state tuition.”

He hopes his award serves as empowerment to other students within his community.  “No matter your background, you can stand up for what’s right. We are all activists in our own way.”

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