Watch: Young activists fight for undocumented students’ safety in school

Brave New Films is spotlighting youth-led and intergenerational organizations across the U.S. through its #YouthinAction series.

SOURCEBrave New Films

Life is full of fear and uncertainty for Hugo, as it is for many undocumented students.

When ICE ambushed a classmate’s parent in front of his school, Hugo missed classes for a week out of fear that he’d be picked up too.

In the latest short video in Brave New Films’ #YouthinAction series, Hugo and the other young leaders of Padres y Jóvenes Unidos fight fear and rise up to demand that all students regardless of immigration status have access to a high-quality education.

Colorado-based Padres y Jóvenes Unidos is an intergenerational organization led by people of color working on the issues of school discipline reform and immigrant justice by addressing the underlying causes of discrimination, racism, and inequity. In 2012, they scored a major legislative win with the passage of the Smart School Discipline Law to reduce suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to law enforcement and to require school districts to implement prevention strategies such as counseling and restorative justice. The victory has meant statewide progress, but there is still a long way to go to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

Brave New Films is spotlighting youth-led and intergenerational organizations across the U.S. through its #YouthinAction series. Young people are experts on the issues that impact them, and they belong at the decision-making table. It’s time we listen. For more incredible organizations, go to


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Brave New Films is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that carries out the Brave New Films mission by creating and distributing educational films. Brave New Films Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that conducts legislative activity necessary to carry out the mission of the Brave New Films family. Neither of the Brave New Films organizations makes contributions to or expressly advocates for the election or defeat of candidates for public office.