More than a DREAMer: Esther Jeon on the Problem of Citizenship

 

Esther Jeon fits into the DREAMer narrative—a college grad, a good student, and a person who speaks English without an accent. But in Esther’s experience, this combination is not enough; in fact, she asserts that it’s dangerous. She warns that dividing people into “deserving” and “undeserving” denies people their basic humanity. She advocates that all of us deserve access to food, health care, a living wage, dignity, and respect.

Learning Lab: More Than a DREAMer and the History of Worthiness

Minnijean Brown's graduation dress, 1959
Minnijean Brown's graduation dress, 1959

Connect past and present through the Learning Lab to discover how issues impacting undocumented communities have deep roots in the nation’s history. In More than a DREAMer, we explore the Smithsonian’s collections to understand how organizers have challenged concepts of worthiness over time. From a graduation dress, to a lunch counter, to a protest sign, the objects provide an opportunity to reflect on worthiness as it relates to a democracy.