From Hate to (S)heroism: Jose Mancilla ’15

From Hate to (S)heroism – this week, the Illuminated Cities Project (ICP) 2015 youth fellows have been investigating the answer to our essential question, “How do communities of faith that are affected by hate crimes respond?” In order to better understand this concept as it pertains to their lives, we asked our team members to tell us what their roles are with ICP and how they would like to be remembered as a part of their legacy. This blog is meant to be a space that holds their voices. Below is an introduction to one of our 2015 Chicago Youth-Fellows.

JoseWhat is Your Illuminated Identity?

My name is Jose Mancilla. I am from the southwest side of Chicago, and will be a senior in high school this fall. I am currently a 2015 fellow with the Illuminated Cities Project (ICP) I became a part of ICP because I heard about them last year when they traveled to Chicago, and I was one of the students who facilitated a training for them. The training I did was titled, “The world as it is, and the world as it should be” and, as a facilitator representing VOYCE (Voices of Youth in Chicago Education), I asked them to give me examples of current issues/problems in their communities. After that, I asked them to give me examples of the perfect community that they wanted. After our discussion, I told them they can’t expect a big change in their community because nothing is perfect in this world and they should fight for what they believe in, but they should try to live in that fine line between the world as it is and the world as it should be.

I was truly amazed in the work that the Illuminated Cities Project does, and I decided to become a member. So, this year, I applied with my partner Jafet to be an Illuminated fellow for this summer, and was accepted. This is my first time in New York and next week, it will be my first time in Oakland – I am really excited!

I am a part of the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP). My role for SWOP is working on immigration, and for this, I need to know DAPA and DACA like the back of my hand. I need to lead the Citizen and DACA workshops in my school, and organize the group that I founded “Dreamers In Action.” With the Illuminated Cities Project, I know that I will grow as a leader and apply my new skills to my community.

How do you want to be remembered?

In a hundred years, I want to be remembered as the Latino who fought for immigration reform and actually got it! I want to be labeled as “Jose Mancilla” – I don’t want to be called the “Mexican MLK” because I want to be my own person.

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