yousef FOR SENATE
Hello and Salams my Dear Cal Family,
My name is Yousef Moneer, and I am a Yemeni Refugee. I am just a guy who dreamed of coming to the United States but, once there, got banned from returning home to see his dying grandmother.
My journey with political and social activism started in 2011 when I was one of the first Yemeni youth to spark a revolution that took down the dictator who ruled the country for 33 years. College students and high-schoolers including myself protested and occupied public places. We set up tents in Change Square and occupied public spaces. I lived the revolution; I was exposed to violence, inhaled tear gas, and watched bullets taking the lives of unarmed people around me. I witnessed the dreams of my people being shattered and I muttered to myself, “I need to create better lives for my people.” I was moved and inspired. The revolution broadened my perspective, shaped my personality, and made me change the direction of my life to fully dedicate it to uplifting and empowering my community that has been oppressed for years.
I carried my ambitions and dreams into the United States, taking upon myself the responsibility to uplift my community and represent their voices. I saw first hand how my communities were not represented in vital political spaces. Muslims like myself were not at the table when decisions like the Muslim Ban were being made and this issue is what took me to the streets. Right after the announcement of the Muslim Ban, I went down to SFO airport to join thousands in protest against this unjust and racist policy. As a Yemeni Muslim, I have been directly and personally impacted by this decision. Issues like the Muslim Ban are what inspired me to run for this campaign, but it doesn’t stop there.
As your future Senator, I will recenter the issues of underrepresented communities. First, I plan to address the ignored Muslim Ban through the creation of a policy advocacy team and resource provision for folks directly and indirectly impacted. Second, I will work to provide sanctuary spaces for the refugee community on and off-campus through mental health accommodations and mentorship programs. Third, I will facilitate a smoother transition for nontraditional and transfer students by prioritizing their needs on campus and centralizing access to resources. Finally, I will focus on empowering the international community and its cultural diversity through professional development and supporting cross-cultural programming on campus clubs.
This is an opportunity to ensure that our voice will be represented in the Senate and that our stories remain powerful.
Addressing the “Muslim Ban”
Creating a Policy Advocacy Team that would lobby for Muslim students’ and bring their issues and experiences to the forefront
Coordinating with the Disabled Students Program to accommodate for those directly and indirectly impacted by the Muslim Ban
Collaborate with departments to stand in solidarity through pledging to accommodate and provide resources to students coming from banned diasporas
Resources for Refugees / Sanctuary Spaces for Refugees
Establishing mental health resources that are culturally competent
Promoting the recruitment of refugees by creating a mentorship program between UC Berkeley students and local refugee community
Promoting retention of refugees through establishing academic resources by:
Establishing scholarship opportunities,
Coordinating with DSP to provide support of refugees through note-taking accommodations
Addressing housing insecurity of refugees
Promoting online housing groups and networks
Delegating a housing representative in office.
Empowering the International Student Community
Support in the professional development of international students through
Hosting workshops to assist in work visa applications
Resume building and cover letters
Creating a grant to provide funding to Registered Student Organizations that serve international students to promote cross-cultural programming
Partner with MENARC to provide resources targeted towards international students
Embracing the cultural diversity of the International student community through hosting social mixers
Smoother Transitions for Non-Traditional and Transfer Students
Centralizing resources for non-traditional and transfer students on UC Berkeley through a website or an app
Destigmatizing utilization of resources through creating a resource fair specifically for these communities
Promoting Financial literacy for first-generation students
Creating a mentorship/buddy system for first-generation students
Founder of National Yemeni Student Union-Yemen (2011-2013)
Treasurer of Yemeni Student Association-UC Berkeley