YVC’s Diversity Series Continues on October 23, 2019

Yakima, WA – YVC’s 2019-2020 Diversity Series in partnership with the Yakima Immigrant Response Network hosts a panel discussion on Yakima’s Role in the Detention and Deportation Pipeline. Panelists include Attorney Alfredo Gonzalez Benitez, Eastern Washington Network Coordinator of Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network Brenda Rodriguez, and Project Coordinator of University of Washington Center for Human Rights Phil Neff. Please join in this discussion on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Deccio Higher Education Center, Building #8, Parker Room. Free and open to the public.

Alfredo Gonzalez Benitez









Alfredo Gonzalez Benitez: After graduating from undergrad at Texas State, Gonzalez Benitez began working with his community by helping immigrant youth and families apply for immigration status. While he loved working in direct services, he grew frustrated by the lack of resources available to help his clients solve other legal issues that were made more complicated by their status. This frustration led him to law school. In 2018, he graduated with my J.D. from the University of Washington where he was a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar. In law school he worked with immigrant communities on issues including wages, employment, immigration, and civil rights. Today, he considers himself fortunate to continue serving his community through his work at Columbia Legal Services.

Brenda Rodriguez

Brenda Rodriguez: Brenda Rodríguez’s role in Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) is to build and support communities fighting to defend immigrant rights in Central and Eastern WA. Brenda earned a bachelor’s degree at Washington State University (WSU), double majored in Spanish and Women’s Studies. She was born in Mexico City and arrived in the United States at the age of nine. During her first semester at WSU, the Republican club in her campus put up a wall in support of Trump’s campaign. She vividly remembers feeling “infuriated and disappointed by the institution for allowing such an offensive demonstration to be displayed.” At that moment, she decided to take action and joined Crimson Group the following semester. Since then, she has been fiercely fighting for her community to create an environment where immigrants are treated with dignity and respect, and ensure they have the resources needed to stay with their families.

Phil Neff

Phil Neff: Phil Neff is Project Coordinator for the University of Washington (UW) Center for Human Rights. A UW alumnus (English & Human Rights, ’07), Phil served as an international accompanier of human rights defenders with the Guatemala Accompaniment Project of the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala in 2008, later coordinating the project from 2010-2012, including during legal proceedings for the Dos Erres massacre and the Maya-Ixil genocide case. He has served on the volunteer board of NISGUA since 2016. At UWCHR, Phil has managed research and communications for Unfinished Sentences, the Center’s project supporting survivors of war crimes in El Salvador; and the Human Rights at Home initiative, which works alongside local immigrant rights organizations to monitor impacts of immigration enforcement in Washington State. Phil has taken the lead on expanding the Center’s data science capacity through a partnership with the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.

For more information contact Vicente Lopez at vlopez@yvcc.edu.

Press Release Contacts:
Jay Frank / 509.574.6870 / jfrank@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu