Amidst the clatter and ever-present level of noise at the intimate Cal State Long Beach venue The Nugget, undocumented students stand at the forefront of the stage to deliver self-written songs, raps and poems.
The fourth annual open mic event entitled “Love is Not Illegal” was put on by the Cal State Long Beach organization Future Educated Undocumented Leaders. The event offered undocumented students in the CSULB community to step out of the shadows for a night of sung and spoken words.
Tailored toward undocumented students at CSULB, the event is intended to reach out to the expansive population of undocumented students on campus. However, membership officer of FUEL Jose Urias said that the event was open to any student who wished to tell their stories through any artistic means.
“FUEL is all about being able to express your feelings, for the open mic night you can share your stories,” Urias said. “If you’re an undocumented student, you can share your story about how you came to the U.S. or if you had any issues you might have dealt with, with being undocumented. But it’s not limited just to that.”
The event lasted for two hours, and despite the noisy atmosphere of the late-night Nugget crowd, students participating in the open mic entered and left the stage in a boom of communal applause from the audience.