A Letter from the Creators of The Dream is Now
Thank you for hosting this screening of The Dream is Now. You are part of a growing movement of individuals determined to fix our broken immigration system. All across America, people are raising their voices and urging our leaders to reform our laws. Immigration reform isn’t just about policies and politics. It’s about real people, their families and the kind of America we want to be. We can’t lose sight of that.
The Dream is Now highlights the human stories behind the legislation, focusing on the compelling voices of young people who have so much to offer our country but are unable to pursue an education, emplyment, or military service because of their immigration status. By watching this film and sharing these stories with your friends, neighbors and colleagues, we hope more Americans will understand the lives at stake and the economic consequences of denying hardworking immigrants a chance to succeed.
This is a historic moment, with Democrats and Republicans coming together to fix what’s broken. A bipartisan group of eight Senators has already introduced a compromise proposal, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744). We are making progress, but there is a long way to go.
We need your help. In this guide you’ll find a number of simple steps to help maximize your screening’s impact. Please take a few moments to read through the materials.
We appreciate your willingness to join us on the journey and to share this film with your friends and neighbors. Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
The time is right for reform. The Dream is Now.
The Dream is Now
About This Guide
The Dream is Now is a 30-minute documentary that represents the debate over immigration reform as it unfolds. Through this documentary, Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for ‘Superman’, An Inconvenient Truth) gives a voice and human face to the undocumented children of immigrants desperate to earn their citizenship and contribute to the country they call home.
The film goes beyond the personal by placing the stories of five extraordinary dreamers in a larger context by exploring the consequences of our current immigration policies – not just for the young people of today but for our country’s future.
Both moving and thought-provoking, The Dream is Now brings this pressing issue to America’s attention where we can all listen, discuss, and decide for ourselves what is right, what is fair, and what is best for our nation. We encourage you to use the film as a tool to facilitate meaningful discussion of the American immigration system.
Find a space for your screening. Whether at home on your computer or utilizing a projector at a school, church or community center, be sure the screen size and speaker volume is adequate for your audience. Then, promote attendance.
Make sure you have everything you need to show the movie and to conduct an organized conversation or panel discussion if you so choose. See “How to Host” section below.
How To Host
1Download The Dream is Now free of charge on iTunes or Netflix.
2Discuss the film using this discussion guide to facilitate conversation about the themes and stories uncovered in this movie.
3Action is needed for change. After your discussion, encourage the group to participate in calls to action (suggested actions are listed below).
4Share your experience with us by uploading your story and/or pictures of the event here.
Questions About Hosting
How much time should we allow?
The film is 30 minutes. Build in an additional 30 minutes for the discussion.
Who should be invited?
Reach out to family, friends, colleagues, neighbors—anyone you think should see the film. If you want to expand your reach, consider inviting representatives from the following groups: elected officials, members of the faith community, community organization leaders, activists for immigration reform, professors or others involved in immigration.
How do we lead the discussion?
Choosing one person to moderate or facilitate the discussion will help focus the group. You may also want to designate one person to take notes and collect all attendees’ contact information for future communications.
And remember, all opinions are valid. There are no right or wrong answers. Participants should draw on their own experiences and respect everyone’s views.
Starting The Discussion
Was there a character whose story you found particularly moving? How so?
Are you or is someone you know undocumented? What struggles do you or this person face as a result?
What did you learn from the film that you didn’t know already? Has it changed your perspective in any way? If so, how?
Questions to Expand The Discussion
The American Dream has always been about the ability to improve your life through hard work. In the film, Joaquin is the first in his family to graduate from high school; Ola’s mother started her own bakery that now employs Americans. Are these examples of the American Dream? If so, why? If not, what disqualifies them? How would you define the American Dream and is anyone entitled to its promises?
In the movie, we are introduced to Jose, an ASU graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. Although Jose graduates at the top of his class during a time when there is a shortage of engineers in his state, Jose is not eligible to work as an engineer and instead takes a job in construction. He is in “limbo.” What does this state of limbo cost Jose? What does it cost the United States? Is the United States getting the best return on its years of investment having Jose work in construction? Is the United States’ current policy in our best interest? What do we stand to lose or gain over time if current policies are not changed?
In the movie we meet Joaquin, a first-generation high school graduate with aspirations to be a civil engineer. Joaquin takes his life two days before he receives his letter of college acceptance. Why do you think the filmmakers chose to include Joaquin’s story in the film? What does Joaquin’s story reveal about the internal struggle facing undocumented youth?
The movie portrays a movement of young people coming out of the shadows, declaring their immigration status and stating their names in public. What do they have to gain? What do they stand to lose? Why is this important in pushing the movement forward?
Alejandro is an ideal candidate for the marines and wants to put his life on the line for our country. Do you think allowing willing undocumented Americans to join the military would be good for our country?
Erika arranges a sit-in spurring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put the DREAM Act up for vote. Ola organizes her community, gathering thousands of petition signatures to keep her mother and herself from being deported. Towards the end of the documentary, we see a montage of individuals and communities that have taken a stand against injustice and brought change. What do these stories and images say about the power of the individual and the strength of a community united? What can we do to honor that legacy going forward?
How To Take Action
1Sign the petition on our website. Tell Congress to pass common sense immigration reform that includes the principles of the Dream Act.
2Share the film with your friends, family and community.
3Share your story. Upload your photo, video, art, poem and essay to show your support.
4Write members of Congress. Send a letter to your Elected Official directly through the website. Tell them you support common sense immigration reform and that you are counting on them to fix the broken system this year.
5Find your member of Congress’ Official Twitter handle and tweet at them.
6Reach out to the Regional Field Director in your area to volunteer and get involved on the ground.
7Stay informed by following us on social media. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
8Connect with our partner organizations for up to date information and other ways to get involved.
9Encourage others to host their own screenings and discussions.
Visit here for additional information about our partner organizations.
Thank you again for your willingness to organize a community screening and discussion. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.