To protect and advocate for human rights and social justices through civic engagement by organizing community members at the local, state, national, and international levels.
OMEL will provide services and resources to help our communities achieve common goals. In addition, we will work with other organizations, individuals, and members of the community to promote the different cultures within the Latino community by creating safe spaces and events to inform and express our heritage.
As OMEL, we believe that the strongest impact we can make is on people as individuals. Whether you are volunteering individually or collectively, for relief or for a movement, it all begins with that initial choice to take action. Within the next 12 months we hope to facilitate learning opportunities for the communities of Oaxaca, Mexico (see Libros Para Pueblos), educate surrounding communities about social injustices, and create a larger network of resources for our fellow students and communities. We have definitive goals to not only help others, but to inspire and empower. A common phrase we like to tell others is, “…give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” Our initial plans for any project is to help as many people as we can whether it is a group of 20 or hundreds of people.
However, we also want to empower those people and create an environment where they may pay it forward and help or educate others- creating an ongoing chain of change. The ongoing improvement and empowerment of our communities depend on the people we will impact, which we are confident we can impact with the right resources and team.
In the Fall of 2014, 43 student activists from Ayotzinapa in Guerrero, Mexico, disappeared in mid protest. This was the catalyst from which the idea of OMEL was born; a group of university students suddenly became determined to free themselves of the bystander phenomenon when it came to social and human rights problems. In the Spring of 2015, OMEL slowly began to come together because we were not only ready to provoke change, we were determined to awaken the same sense of responsibility among our peers and surrounding communities. We created a network of communication through social networks, which allows an exchange of resources and ideas we use to generate projects for the benefit of the organization and society as a whole.
We aim to create opportunities to gain leadership/career-building experience, social awareness, and social sensitivity that enables a codependent relationship with our respective communities. With comrades from different countries, we have created small organizations to support the organization financially and to generate diverse activities as forums for debate and meetings for human rights. It is important for us to stress that OMEL is not affiliated with any type of political organization and we emphasize that we are a social group made up of students. The social problems that have continually arisen in the Americas, such as the Ayotzinapa case, the massacre of Honduran students, the death of our people at the hands of policemen, are indignant, painful and they motivate us to work and create a variety of projects. We want to make these projects successful and keep coming up with more as we keep fighting for human rights.