"Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed.” –Sophie Cruz
Sophie Cruz, an amazing young activist from Los Angeles, California, celebrates her 7th birthday this September. That’s right, she’s just 7 years old but has made a name for herself!
Sophie Cruz is the daughter of two undocumented immigrants from Tuxtepec, Oaxaca in Mexico. She attended a parade in Washington in 2015 where Pope Francis was the guest of honor. In a demonstration of courage, Sophie approached the pope in the middle of the parade procession in hopes of delivering a message via letter. She was momentarily stopped by security, but the pope waved her on and she was able to deliver her letter and give the pope a hug. It was an incredibly touching moment for parade attendees and people across the world. As hearts melted, news of the letter’s content hit the media. At just 5 years old, Sophie was able to not only gain the attention of the masses, but she began opening minds with her honest and simple message.
In her letter, Sophie advocated for reform and asked for the protection of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). This is an issue that hits very close to home for the young Los Angeles resident. She has seen many families in her community be torn apart by deportation and lives in fear that her own parents may face the same fate.
In early 2017, Cruz attended the Women's March on Washington and took the stage with her family. She had another simple yet brilliant message to deliver: continue fighting with love, faith and courage. The crowd erupted in a chant of "Si se puede!" marking another monumental moment for this pint-sized activist.
Sophie is a great example that activism can start at any age. A great way for you to get involved is to join your school’s debate team. You can take your passion for a specific subject matter and learn the skills necessary for becoming an advocate and sparking change.