The Mesa undocumented students thriving (M.U.S.T.) club at Mesa Community College hosted a screening of the acclaimed documentary “Don’t Tell Anyone” or “No Le Digas a Nadie” in September.
Students gathered in the MCC Theater and were treated to snacks, desserts, and waters before the free movie.
The documentary was released at 2015 film festivals and won a Peabody Award in Documentary and Education in 2016.
The documentary was written and directed by Mikaela Shwer, an editor turned director on this project, that follows Angy Rivera on her undocumented immigrant journey.
“Don’t Tell Anyone” follows Rivera’s story as an undocumented college student and activist in a mixed status family.
The first half of the documentary focuses on the importance of securing education for children of undocumented immigrants.
Rivera is ineligible for most federal scholarships and grants because of her citizenship status. She is forced to take classes sporadically, as she can afford them, until she receives a donation from an anonymous donor.
“Don’t Tell Anyone” also follows Rivera’s work as an activist with the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC).
The NYSYLC was established in 2007 and according to their website, they aim to, “empower immigrant youth through leadership development, grassroots organizing, education advancement, and self-expression.”
The film goes on to document Rivera’s media attention and craze surrounding her blog “ask Angy”.
The blog is a reflection of Rivera’s life and touched on topics like sex positivity, feminism, immigration policy and sexual assault.
In November 2013, Rivera received her citizenship, followed by her mother in February 2014, thanks to the U visa program.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the U visa is, “set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.”
Following the documentary, M.U.S.T. hosted a Q&A with Angy Rivera where students were invited to ask her about the documentary and herself.
Rivera talked about what she gained working with the movement. “I have gained a voice and a sense of community; growing up undocumented, I didn’t think I could advocate for myself, or demand things, or have rights.”
Another student asked about Rivera’s sisters understanding of their mixed status family.
Rivera responded, “In the documentary, she’s about 8 years old, I think and now she’s thirteen so she… has a better understanding of an undocumented family.”
Rivera also touched on how she deals with negative comments and racism, “I started trying to put my energy into creating things that I felt were uplifting me or things that make me feel good.”
Lastly, Rivera also talked about her current work at the New York Youth Leadership Council and the demand for her work from 2015, even today.
Angy Rivera’s blog can still be found at nysylc.org/askangy.
The M.U.S.T. club meets on Wednesday at the Southern & Dobson campus in AF121 at 4PM.