UndocuQueer began with a week long look at undocumented and queer students that culminated in the first UndocuQueer Conference in April 2016. UndocuQueer is the brainchild of Marcela Pattinson from Multicultural Student Services; the Crimson Group, a student organization focused on undocumented students; and Heidi Stanton Schnebly from the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center. The conference team were assisted by NASPA Region V through their ability to provide seed money to get started!
Since its inception, UndocuQueer has moved to the fall and it has been hosted in Pullman (2016, 2017), Tri-Cities (2018), and Seattle (2019). The conference organizers hope to continue to move it around the state of Washington to continue to meet the needs of the students, staff, and faculty of Washington state.
UndocuQueer is now a day long drive-in mini conference to bring together students, professionals, and community to discuss the challenges and successes in higher education regarding undocumented/queer students. This event is geared toward providing knowledge, resources, tools, and networking opportunities for students and student affairs professionals who care about these issues. Some functional areas targeted in this event include considerations for working with undocumented/queer students in the following areas: legal resources, academic advising, financial aid, study abroad, access to food stamps and emergency resources, and ally training.
Often when undocumented individuals' needs are discussed, there is an obscuring of those who are undocumented and queer. Vice versa, when talking about queer individuals, there is a lack of understanding in the intersections between immigration status and queer identities. This annual conference aims to illuminate these intersections.