Saturday, May 22, 2010

Giving Tam Tran Posthumous Citizenship

From Dr. Matt Garcia, Brown University
Dear colleagues:

It is with great sadness that I regret to inform everyone of the passing of Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix.  These women were nationally active in the
undocumented students Civil Rights Movement through their fight for the DREAM Act.  These women were amazing activists and put themselves at great risk to fight for this just cause. Cinthya was a working class student from East Los Angeles, California and Tam's family had been displaced as a result of the Vietnam War and was from Garden Grove, CA.

As some of you know Tam Tran worked with me at Brown University in the American Civilization program.  I met Cinthya a couple times when she was here in RI to do advocacy on behalf of undocumented students.  I am deeply saddened by their passing.  Tam was like a daughter to me.  She bridged cultural differences through her activism, films, and scholarship, and embraced an identity that accounted as much for the Latina-influences in her life as her Vietnamese background.

I am working with two colleagues in Providence--Alexandra Filindra of Brown and Kara Cebulko of Providence College--to appeal to the Rhode Island Congressional delegation for posthumous citizenship for Tam and citizenship for her surviving family in Southern California.  I believe similar moves should happen on behalf of Cinthya.  We knew Tam very well and feel that we can make the strongest appeal on her behalf at the moment.  Will you join me in this effort by signing the attached petition?

Please read the attached. If you feel you can support it, please sign and have colleagues, friends, and students sign as well.  We hope to have an overwhelming show of support by Monday, May 24, the day after Tam is laid to rest in Southern California.  We pray that you will joining us in honoring her life.

You may fax your lists to my office: 401-863-7589, or you can email your name and address to Alexandra Filindra at

Thank you, Matt

Matt Garcia
Associate Professor
American Civilization, Ethnic Studies, and History
 Brown University

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