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DREAMERS: Overcoming anti-immigrant sentiments; reflecting on the journey of those who rise from the shadows

By Juliana Alvarez

Note: This blog derives from the program note for The Soraya’s May 13, 2023 “Dreamers” concert, with Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider.


“Sing till the song throws out root, trunk, branches, birds, stars.” – Octavio Paz 

Mexican Poet Octavio Paz and Jazz vocalist Magos Herrera seem to agree that “beauty can come out of terrible situations.” The Soraya’s May 13, 2023 performance is dedicated to overcoming anti-immigrant sentiments, reflecting on the journey of those, who against all odds, forge a future (sing a song), rise from the shadows and see light in a tunnel of closed doors.   

As a former DACA recipient, I am honored to be part of a community of amazing individuals who, despite immense challenges, keep on dreaming. We keep forging a life; a place of belonging, that is fueled by love, strength, and the dualities of this country and the nations we come from. This performance is a celebration of the families and cultures that gave us birth but also of the love we have for our American communities. I love the Valley and Northridge immeasurably, as places where I created childhood memories and have been given opportunities that I could only dream of as a child.

Reflecting on our current Dreamers, I think of those resilient and beautiful individuals who forge a dream and keep on singing. They keep on believing, standing up for themselves and their communities.  

Leading Campus Engagement at The Soraya, I now have the privilege to make a difference for faculty, alumni, and students like me. I delight in showing them that The Soraya isn’t just a venue; it is a fountain of opportunity. More so than that, this is a place where they belong; surrounded by caring people who celebrate and see them for who they are. The collective voices of Dreamers and artists together, all searching for beauty out of difficult situations, will elevate this to an unforgettable experience.  

Hope to see you there!

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