When I am asked who I am I always start with what I am: I am Omar Salinas-Chacón, a Salvadorian-born American, Latino, Immigrant, Dreamer, Southerner, Kentuckian, and a gay man. I am one of the estimated 800,000 DACA recipients so I have understood from a young age the importance of advocacy. I have supported immigrants, like myself, at my university by serving in advisory boards and on student government. I’ve presented on immigrants in higher education at national conferences focusing on best practices to recruit and retain said students. I have been awarded the 2017 National Honors Student of the Year award by the National Collegiate Honors Conference for my research and advocacy in those fields. Because of my efforts in immigration, I was asked to speak at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Round-Table in 2015 and was invited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House that same year.
I have learned through advocacy that the one problem when it comes to political discussions is that we forget behind every number, statistic, and graph thee are people. Whether it is talking about poverty, crime, or any other issue we speak of numbers as if behind each number there is not a life. I have especially seen this when I speak about LGBTQ+ and immigrant issues. I want to bring those experiences and my passion to the ACLU. I passionately believe in the ACLU of Kentucky’s mission: to preserve liberty. I want to protect the liberty of not just individuals as myself but for all those in the Commonwealth and the across America. Our destinies are intertwined in this American family. As long as that is true in America, if one of us cannot pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, no one can