Pierre R. Berastaín, an openly gay, undocumented Peruvian student who was recently featured in a front page article in The Dallas Morning News, will be the featured guest at tonight’s Rainbow LULAC holiday party.
Berastaín came to this country from Peru in 1998 to escape President Alberto Fujimori’s military dictatorship and the family overstayed their visa. Despite college degrees, his father has worked odd jobs and is homeless and his mother returned to Peru this summer. Meanwhile, Berastaín, who graduated from R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, is working on a second degree from Harvard and is applying for a two-year visa under President Obama’s recent order.
Although he received scholarships and was able to obtain a driver’s license in Maryland and a bank account in Massachusetts, Berastain has been assaulted twice and didn’t report the incidents because of fear of disclosure of his immigration status and deportation.
Berastaín is working on his master of divinity degree, concentrating on Christianity and the practices of restorative and transformative justice. He is the restorative justice advocate at Renewal House, a gender-inclusive domestic violence shelter in Roxbury, Mass., and serves as the co-chair of the Massachusetts GLBT Domestic Violence Coalition. Additionally, he acts as the director of media relations for the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, and is a founding member of the MA Restorative Justice Task Force.
Havana Lounge, 4006 Cedar Springs Road. Dec. 18 at 6:30–9 p.m. Info at 469-867-0613 or lulac4871@gma