Migrant Solidarity

The Migrant Solidarity team is engaged in diverse efforts, including providing direct support, and connecting All Souls Congregants with volunteer opportunities with local organizations serving migrants, and advocating for immigration and refugee policies that are consistent with our UU principles.

If you have a question, or an opportunity you would like to share, or would like to join our mailing list, please send an email to asc.migrant.solidarity@gmail.com

Keep track of our actions and events

Join our email list to receive updates (usually about twice a month) on upcoming opportunities to stand with migrants from all over the world. Send a request to asc.migrant.solidarity@gmail.com.

Check out our calendar of upcoming events.

Like our FaceBook page.

Find us at coffee hour after Sunday services. Look for the “Sanctuary for All” banner. At least twice a month, we will have information available on new actions that people can take to support the immigrant sanctuary movement (including signing up for specific volunteering opportunities, writing to local and Congressional representatives, and providing direct supports to individuals and families in need). We also collaborate with local immigration rights organizations to highlight their work and educate our congregation on additional opportunities to engage.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Migrant Solidarity Team works with several local organizations to serve migrants in the DC area. The following are current volunteer opportunities.

CAIR Capital Area Immigrations’ Rights Coalition Opportunities

Volunteer on CAIR Coalition’s hotline

Stop deportations one phone call at a time! The Migrant Solidarity Team, in partnership with the CAIR Coalition, seeks volunteers to answer CAIR Coalition’s detention center hotline. CAIR Coalition provides legal services to more than 1,000 immigrant men, women, and children held in local detention centers. Volunteers connect detainees with in-house legal support or pro bono attorneys and otherwise help them navigate the labyrinth of immigration law. Volunteers needed for two-hour shifts, Mondays through Fridays. Spanish is helpful but not required.

How long? 2-hour shifts
When? Anytime 9 AM-5 PM weekdays
Email Arielle Kafker (arielle@caircoalition.org) to sign up for a shift.
More info at www.caircoalition.org/how-to-help/volunteering.

Attend a CAIR Coalition jail visit

The Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition conducts regular visits to ICE detention facilities in Virginia and Maryland. The purpose of these visits is to offer information about immigration detention, legal rights, and defenses to deportation. Volunteers read legal information aloud, hand out helpful documents, and write down questions that we can then answer.

We require that all new volunteers attend a volunteer training session before going on a jail visit. Spanish speakers highly desired.

How long? Full day, often starting at 5:30 AM
When? Wednesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays
Check the Migrant Solidarity Calendar for monthly jail training dates.
Email Julia Trencher (julia.trencher@caircoalition.org) to sign up for a training session and visit.
More info at www.caircoalition.org/how-to-help/volunteering.

LAYC Latin American Youth Center Opportunities

Tutor or mentor youth through LAYC

Volunteer with LAYC by tutoring/mentoring young people (age 12-21) with homework, college essays, college applications, scholarship applications, job applications, and more. Facilitate dynamic workshops or provide one-on-one academic/life mentorship. The DC Teen Center is a drug and alcohol free environment. For current college students only.

How long? 3:30 - 5 PM
When? Tuesdays and Thursdays
Contact Juan Pacheco (juanpacheco@layc-dc.org) for more information.
More info at www.layc-dc.org/.

Host young folks through LAYC

Change a young person’s life by providing them with a caring, stable, long-term or short-term place to call home. LAYC is looking for compassionate families and individuals to open their homes and their hearts to a child or youth in need. We provide support, training, licensing, and financial assistance to our foster parents and host families.

How long? 1-3 weeks
When? Once someone is licensed, anytime
More info at www.layc-dc.org/get-involved/become-a-foster-parent/.

Strategic Activities

The Migrant Solidarity Team leadership engages in the larger metropolitan area dialogue with the DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network, a coalition of 70 congregations across a spectrum of spiritual faiths coming together to focus on providing support to local immigrants in our region.

Strategic activities include:

  1. Offer and provide direct supports to individuals and families that may be negatively impacted by immigration policies and enforcement systems, especially within the local neighborhoods and communities near All Souls Church.
  2. Provide education and training opportunities for immigrants residing in our local communities, ASC congregants, and other members of the public in the areas of by-standard awareness, immigrant rights, accompanying immigrants on required visits to local Immigration Customs & Enforcement (ICE) offices, and providing volunteer support to legal teams assisting individuals seeking asylum and/or at risk of deportation.
  3. Advocate for changes in policies and practices that currently degrade and harm immigrants and all those who are affected by discriminatory practices that unfairly target and diminish the human dignity and worth of immigrants in our communities.

AZ/Mexico Borderlinks Witnessing Trip

This past fall, a delegation of eight ministers and members of All Souls went to Tucson, Arizona to gain first-hand experience of what’s happening at the US-Mexico border. The participants were Brian Barger, Megan Calvert, Carmen Carrera, Rev. Rob Hardies, Rev. Rob Keithan, Serena Lowe, Marleise Pastore, and Carl Proper. Led by the Tucson-based organization BorderLinks in partnership with the UU College of Social Justice, the group witnessed Operation Streamline (the US government’s no-tolerance program for rapid deportation), walked through the desert to see exactly where people are crossing—and dying, and met with local organizations and activists. Each day ended with theological reflection on the experience and what can be learned from it.

The group engaged in a process of education and self-reflection before the trip. They invite everyone in the All Souls community to join in the education process. Below are some of the recommended resources. Rev. Rob Keithan reflected on the journey in his November 18 sermon, “The Empire Has No Clothes.”

Educational Information

Videos

This video provides background about the action Faith Floods the Desert, which took place in Ajo, AZ, this summer, in conjunction with the organization No More Deaths.

Peter Getzels and Eduardo Lopez’s hour-and-a-half-long film, Harvest of Empire, is a crash-course on the impact, both here and there, of the US government’s interventions in Latin American nations. Not surprisingly, people from the countries we harmed the most—including Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador—still represent the largest groups coming to the United States.

Articles/Reports

The Complexity of Identity: “Who Am I?”, by Beverly Daniel Tatum, is a concise and powerful overview of how dominant and nondominant identities are shaped differently.

Last May, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) partnered with SHARE-El Salvador and Sisters of Mercy to send a faith solidarity delegation to Honduras to accompany and hear directly from Hondurans facing political repression and violence. They share their findings in The Struggle for Human Rights and Transformation in Honduras. Other resources from the UUSC include a blog post, Four Facts You Should Know about the Central American Migrant Caravan, and a two-minute video, Testimonies of Human Rights Violations in Honduras.

Books (both published by the UUA’s Beacon Press)

Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, by Aviva Chomsky, explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, a New York Times bestseller by Robin Diangelo, explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged that serve to maintain racial inequality.