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Never be afraid to use your voice to speak up on behalf of another. When we speak up for others we chip away at injustice, and hardship, bringing empathy and light to the forefront and the world. Following the recent news of the children held in deplorable conditions at the border many still want to further argue their political position and many are already looking away. It’s terrifying, sickening and simply too much. I get it. With all the news swirling it’s easy to feel helpless. But it’s in the overwhelm and disgust that we must seek out our individual call to action. Instead of looking away while our lives march on may we allow such harsh realities of the world to push us to engagement and action. Trust that the feeling of helplessness is your best catalyst. Take the first step. Allow action to squelch your rage giving room to move toward the issue with an openness and a trust that engagement will disrupt fear to reveal advocacy, love and light.

Here are a few actions to consider:

1) Contact your Representatives/Senators:
White House switchboard: 201.456.1414
US House of Representatives: 202.225.3121
US Senators: 202. 224.3121
Legislators need to hear our voices. As constituents we should speak up asking for swift solutions for the most vulnerable in society. Demand that action be taken to keep families together, protect children and find compassion for the immigrant.
If you call the switchboard ask to be connected to your specific representative.
Here is what you might say when a staffer answers the phone.:
Hello I am calling to ask that <insert name> stand up for the basic humanity of all children at the border. I am specifically calling about families and children being detained. Please advocate for sanitary and safe conditions and please support the reunification with their families while they await their asylum case. Please stand up for asylum laws and fight for those fleeing dangerous persecution or violence who are being forced to return to danger or wait in unsafe conditions in Mexico.

2) Use your social media platform to create awareness and discussion:
It is possible to spread information in a non partisan way. Doing so rises above the noise allowing us to connect and think through the abundance of information bombarding us daily. Place yourself in compassionate, open minded research mode as you comb through social media. Allow yourself room to unpack facts on all sides. Instead of playing the antagonist waiting for a standoff, reel in your ego and further open your mind. Break open the space for a message of connection and love of our enemies. Pushing harder leaves you spinning your wheels, blaming and judging. Raise awareness and generate discussion not discord and disdain.

3) Find those already in the trenches:
No matter the issue there is likely already someone and or some organization already involved in finding solutions. As this border crisis has grown so has my interest in seeking out those who know far more than myself. I’m in awe what a bit of research has uncovered and hopeful that organizations listed below are worthy of my attention, monetary support and shares.

Neta

Bethany Transitional Foster Care 

Texas Civil Rights Project

RAICES

The Young Center

Las Americas

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project

Women’s Refugee Commission

We Welcome Refugees

4) Educate yourself:
Instead of trusting every headline dig deeper to unpack the why. Send messages those who are working in the various arenas you wish to understand. Investigate the importance of immigration reform and what is currently being considered. Look for non partisan groups such as Immigration Policy Center to better understand asylum, illegal immigrant numbers and the historical effects on the economy of our country. From there you can currate educated discussions or responses instead of fueling the fire of agenda, power and control.

5) Become an ally to an immigrant or refugee:
Like many topics polarizing our society we speak up and out often without having any personal connection. We judge those different than ourselves; those struggling with mental illness or homelessness, a practicing Muslim, a teen newly outed, an immigrant or asylum seeker. Without firsthand knowledge it should be our duty to enter in without exaggeration, fear or an energy of resistance but so often confusion leads. We must first seek relational connection before we can form educated ideas or solutions. It is in those relationships that our heart is changed and our privilege boxed and stowed away. Become an ally to a person or people you long to understand and perhaps even fear. Entering into their story changes everything.