Friday, June 22, 2018

Everyone can be an activist.

One of the beautiful things about living in 2018 is that everyone can be an activist with relatively little effort. 

A couple days ago, my journal was an outpouring of my heavy heart. Today, I woke up and felt more hopeful, because I have been trying to focus on how in the midst of what is happening with family separation at the border, we can each actually do something to try make a difference.

Instead of feeling helpless or paralyzed in the face of what is taking place, if this is an injustice that weighs on your heart, I encourage you spend five minutes to just do something, anything you can.

Learn. I feel like I have been inundated with news stories about the situation at the border that has led to families being separated, but if you are still unsure of what is taking place, I found this to be a good summary, and a couple of days later, a follow up.

Do something. 

1) Speak up. It might feel like everyone has said everything that can be said, and yet, there is only one you and the world needs your voice.
  • Post something on social media sharing that you care about the situation. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, see next step.
  • Speak up to your government. It took me less than five minutes to contact my senators, representative, and President Trump. Simply let them know you care about the children being separated from their families at the border, encourage them to take action toward family reunification and preventing future separation.
  • Encourage your church to speak up. Churches should be leaders when it comes to speaking up and advocating for the marginalized. Our church, Sojourn Grace Collective, put out a statement, and here is an excerpt: “We know, deep in our very bones, that to rip a child from her mother's breast and put her in a cage is pure evil. There is no justice there. Our church opposes the separating of families at the border. The leadership team will speak out, march, donate, rally, make calls, do what we can until this abhorrent act comes to an end and children are with their parents again. There is absolutely no justifying these horrific actions. Not with the Bible. Certainly not with Jesus. This is not Christian. It is not love. It is not just. It is not mercy.”

2) Donate. Even if you can only afford to donate five dollars, it still matters. 
Some of the organizations that are doing important work: KindThe Florence Project, RAICES, and Together Rising (this is the one we chose to donate to).

3) Donate supplies or money to a shelter. We learned from a church friend that "San Diego has one non-governmental migrant shelter, and they need supplies. Christ Ministry Center, 3295 Meade Ave. San Diego, CA 92116. They are hosting several family units, including mothers with small children and pregnant women. They need the following items: diapers in all sizes (newborn to toddler), socks, soap, shampoo, toiletries, deodorant, wash cloths, and toys/games for the kids. They have 3 newborns and one more due any minute! Please help and feel free to spread the word."

We sent diapers via Amazon since we are out of town.

Check out their website and if you feel compelled, donate supplies, money, or volunteer. 

4) Write letters, make artwork, and buy a teddy bear to send to kids in youth immigrant centers. We have seen this flyer about a Comfort Campaign making its way around, since we are currently staying in Los Angeles. I am not sure if we will make it to the event tomorrow or instead send something to the address given, but this is our next project we plan to work on to try to make a difference, and the bonus about this one is that our kids can be a part of it. 

5) Attend a protest. I have loved seeing how many of my friends are attending the protest in San Diego tomorrow, and if we weren't on vacation, we would be there, too. 

There are also many protests planned for June 30, so there is another opportunity to attend one.

Here's a quick list of what we as a family have been working on this week: contacting our senators, contacting our representative, contacting President Trump, donating money, buying supplies for a shelter, and our next project will be creating art work and letters to send to kids in immigrant youth centers. If we were going to be in San Diego tomorrow, we would be attending the protest there, too.


If you made it this far, I want to leave you with two things I have shared with my students in the past, both of which most people have heard before, and yet, each time I read them they speak to me:

1) A quote from Margaret Mead, which is overused, but true:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

2) A poem titled "Home," by Warsan Shire (British-Somali poet). Here is an excerpt:

"no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark…

no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly…

you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land."

Read the full poem here.

No comments:

Post a Comment