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Iván Ceja  

Co-Founder of Undocumedia

There is a fearlessness and resolve in the Undocumedia co-founders that is emblematic of their movement. In telling their own stories as organizers fighting for their right to live, work, and stay in America, Ivan and Justino have built a massive social media following of DREAMers and allies. Here the real narrative of undocumented youth is crafted, distributed, and weaponized. Through their platform, the bravery and beating hearts of America’s best is on full display.

Ivan Ceja is an undocumented immigrant from Michoacán, Mexico. Just a few months old, his parents brought him to the United States in 1992. They settled in Compton, California, where Ivan still lives today. Ivan demonstrated creative ability at an early age through drawing. Thanks to the unconditional support of his parents, he was determined to someday become a comic book artist. It was not until high school that Ivan changed his focus towards engineering, having attended a math and science academy. He joined the robotics team and was fascinated by the art of invention and problem solving. Upon graduating high school, Ivan enrolled in Fullerton College to explore communities beyond his immediate surroundings.

In 2009, he helped to establish the Fullerton Dream Team, a campus club, and would engage in advocacy for undocumented students. Through his involvement he found out about the CA Dream Network and became a part of the statewide steering committee in 2010. During his term, Ivan met Justino Mora and several other undocumented student leaders throughout the state. In 2011, Justino and Ivan would work closely with other statewide representatives to lead and organize community efforts to ensure the successful passage of the CA Dream Act. In addition, Ivan collaborated with Justino and friends to stop the deportation of a close friend, Ricardo Muniz. The campaign to halt the deportation was a success with 14,604 signatures, a feat that was not common at the time among undocumented youth or even national networks. That same year, Ivan was selected to be among the first undocumented students to participate in Dream Summer 2011. He was assigned to the UCLA Labor Center and helped to see the development of the Dream Resource Center with a focus on their social media presence. Ivan was able to combine his passion for art and informing others through social media.

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