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Dear IMIrJ leaders and friends in Benton and Linn Counties,

How energizing to be together with so many of you earlier this month for our Fall Quarterly Gathering, and especially to welcome many new leaders to the circle!

For those who were there and for those who wanted to be but couldn't, here is a mini report-back:
  • We used a diagram from Daniel Hunter's book Building a Movement to End The New Jim Crow: An Organizing Guide to talk about the difference between "endless actions" (or endless educational events) and campaigns, which "channel group power by focusing on a concrete goal." From our standpoint as people rooted in faith communities, we considered the role of theological reflection and meaning-making in campaign work. We also talked about how the practices, relationships, stories, and rituals of our diverse traditions can help sustain us and locate our action within a broader vision. 
  • Then, we took a look at one of IMIrJ's current campaigns, ICE Out of Our Courthouses. The campaign aims to: a. ensure our county courthouses are safe and accessible for all residents, regardless of immigration status, and b. make it harder for ICE to detain and deport our immigrant family members, friends, and neighbors. Together we reviewed our working strategy map and campaign timeline.
  • We sketched out a simple 30-60-90 day plan (see below) with concrete actions we can take as leaders and faith communities as part of this campaign. 
  • Finally, we took a moment to celebrate victories and (drawing on the Latin American practice of sistematización) to identify lessons learned from three campaigns IMIrJ communities participated in this past year: #LetOurPeopleGo / ICE Out of Sheridan (resulting in the release of over 100 people seeking asylum who were unjustly detained at the Sheridan federal prison last summer), the successful defeat of anti-immigrant Ballot Measure 105 in November, and the passage of all of IMIrJ's legislative priorities in the Oregon 2019 Legislative Session. 

As always, it's so encouraging to be in a room of such committed and inspiring leaders. Thank you for all you do and for all the heart you bring to this shared work!

Take care,

PS. I received some great feedback after our time together that it was a little challenging for new leaders to track all of the information-- too any acronyms and too much "insider" language along with a lack of understanding about who the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ-- pronounced "emerge") is. My apologies. I look forward to slowing down and helping "on-ramp" new leaders more effectively in the future.  

ICE Out of Our Courthouses & Communities
a simple 30-60-90 day plan

30 DAYS (September)
  • Continue collecting signatures on our Petition for a Safe & Inclusive Oregon
  • Conduct additional research meetings with local officials to learn more about relationship and communication with ICE (contact to join the team)
  • Mobilize fellow community members to take a group photo as part of statewide effort at courthouses across the state
60 DAYS (October)
  • Participate in a strategy call with IMIrJ leaders statewide to assess current opportunities for campaign and next steps. (Details forthcoming.)
  • Monitor plans for the UTCR Committee's hearing of a proposed rule to prohibit ICE arrests in Oregon Courthouses.  
90 DAYS (November)
  • Pull together a team of 4-5 leaders from your congregation who commit to a 90-day (Dec - Feb) effort to educate and engage your faith community for the duration of the Oregon legislature's 2020 short session. (IMIrJ is coordinating with partner orgs. to explore possibilities for legislation to strengthen statewide sanctuary statute and/or prohibit ICE arrests in courthouses.) Ideally, all team members will attend IMIrJ's Winter Quarterly Gathering together in early December (exact date TBD). 
Help Steward and Sustain our growing IMIrJ community!

Has your congregation filled out our IMIrJ 2019 Congregational Accompaniment form? Have you considered becoming an individual sustainer of IMIrJ by making an ongoing monthly financial contribution?  Learn more about IMIrJ Stewards and Sustainers here

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice - IMIrJ / (503) 550-3510
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Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice · 1704 NE 43rd Ave. · Portland, OR 97213 · USA