We hope that you are taking care of yourself and your community during these times. In the past few days, in the midst of so much uncertainty, we have seen how so many of you are creatively keeping community. We checked-in as St Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Portland live-streamed their services on Sunday and were inspired by faith communities in Bend, OR that began immediately coordinating community members to check-in on people that may need to stay home for their safety.
We sit in this uncertainty together. As staff at IMIrJ gain clarity about our work in the next weeks and months, we will need your accompaniment and we are committed to accompanying you. We are not the experts with all of the answers but we see you all as leaders that bring your communities together. Together we can move to action even as we don't have all the answers. Together we learn, reflect, act and make change.
We want to make sure you know our commitments to you and each other as we move through this time:
So, in the spirit of what we shared we wanted you to know about 3 things happening in the next few days:
- As we tend to this moment, we will keep the horizon in sight. We will adjust plans and be flexible but will make space for transformational work centered on a long-term strategy. We are seeing today the fragility of systems that do not uplift and grant human rights to all. Our health has always been tied to the health of every member of our community. We must make sure the evidence of that lesson is not lost in the months and years to come. Our systems must change. This means that we will provide opportunities to take action (virtual actions, to keep social distancing).
- We will take action and we will tend to our hearts. We are having conversations with members of our communities to remain clear on spaces for mutual support that we can create or help hold. Action is crucial and so is tending to our communities' hearts.
- We will give all of us permission to forgive ourselves, practice grace and graciousness. We do not ask for your perfection. We would love your presence as you feel you are able. Take actions as you are able (knowing this might change from moment to moment).
- We will listen, answer questions and be transparent. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and will do our best to be prompt in responding. We want to hear from you. We want to see you. We want to figure out how we are in community at this time.
1. We have joined a group of immigrant rights organizations demanding that ICE free people from detention, freeze operations, end deportation hearings, and parole remain in Mexico refugees. Oregonians should not be worried about being detained or deported at this moment. Please take a moment to share our demands on social media and read our open letter to ICE.
2. Don't forget to submit comments to the Uniform Court Trials Rules Committee (UTCR) before March 20th. We are asking for a permanent rule that prevents ICE from arresting people in and around courthouses or coming to and from a courthouse. Here is the toolkit for talking points and instructions.
3. If you signed up for the pilot Countering White Nationalism cohort, we are still planning on hosting the first virtual meeting tomorrow, Thursday, March 19th. You should have received information about how to join it but please reach out to email@example.com if you did not. At this moment, as we hear white nationalist talking points from our leaders in the midst of a pandemic we felt it was crucial to continue to work. We are looking forward to being together.
Thank you as always for accompanying us at this time,
Alaide, Ron, Sarah, Emma, Abby, and Raquel