“Words like freedom, justice, and democracy are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what they are. It takes enormous…effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.”
– James Baldwin
Today and every day we stand with and support our immigrant brothers and sisters, children and families.
President Trump’s announcement two weeks ago to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is the latest blow in an unrelenting assault against communities of color forced to live in the margins of our society. We stand knowing that our country’s collective identity and all we espouse to value is hanging in the balance. Two weeks later, we can claim a small win for bearing witness to thousands of institutional, civic, organizational, community and even politicians standing on the right side of justice, demanding that we make manifest the rights we so readily invoke of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness especially for our nation’s young people.
Leaders stood together across many forms of difference – and asserted that there is no comprehensible justification for forcibly removing 800,000 hardworking people from their homes, our schools, our organizations, and our communities. Allies and advocates took to the streets, halls of congress, school board meetings, and city councils demanding protections against this unspeakable injustice.
We are living in unacceptable times. The vulnerability of DACA shows how even recent attempts at dismantling injustice can be reversed. We need to create systems that unalterably move us toward justice and equity. A daily glance at the front page can trigger fear, rage, anxiety, or even willful ignorance. We must create spaces to listen, heal divisions, think, talk, and the flood of emotions, individually and collectively, in order to transform negative energy into positive action.
There have been great efforts made by this administration at othering. Whether it’s Muslims, Mexicans, or now the 800,000 DREAMers, we must do what has always been done throughout this country’s painful and proud history – we must act, resist, demand, strategize, and persevere. Our ancestors have already paid the price of our freedoms.
We must remember who we are.
Maya Angelou reminds us that “History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” We will not allow the nation’s leaders to erase the contributions, beauty, service, gifts, and voices of black and brown immigrant children and families living in this country.
The National Equity Project supports, lifts up and celebrates leaders working to fight unjust policies and practices, and we will continue to create spaces of belonging that allow all of us to explore and sustain our undeniably linked fate and future.
“From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.”
– Cesar Chavez
Join us in demanding that Congress act quickly to integrate the protections of DACA into law. Meanwhile, we hope the resources below will be helpful to educators and families who are seeking to support and protect our children.
Educator & Advocate Resources
Congress.gov. | DREAM Act
Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teach for Tolerance Program | Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff
National Education Association | Legislative Action Center
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