Last week, I spent 5 days in the Chicago Teacher’s Union building learning about direct action organizing from true veterans in this work. The experience was packed with new information, relationship building, and detailed reflection on best practices in organizing.
"When we do the hard work of community organizing, we build the world we need. That’s Trump’s worst nightmare. That's why he's tweeting so hard to divide us from our neighbors. But we’re not falling for it. We have each other’s backs, and together we will create a just world."
Photo by Asha NoorRead more
Rally to End Dearborn Police Cooperation with ICE 8 13 19
Last night I attended the rally to end Dearborn police cooperation with ICE. It was diverse racially, ethnically, religiously. Muslim leaders spoke prayers in Arabic, Rabbis spoke some in Hebrew. Some women wore hijabs, some men and women wore tallit and kepas. But the vast majority wore some black garment, responded to speakers’ invitations to chant or shout in response, and shouted “Shame” when the speaker explained inhumane practices.
The program featured about a dozen speakers who explained, exhorted, chanted, lamented and called for responses from the crowd of about 200. Among them were about 15 DJJniks. The assembled opposed deportations, lock-ups, cages, arrests, and incarceration of immigrants. Some told heart-wrenching stories about those they knew who were so unjustly treated by our government’s agents, usually ending in deportation. One African-American daughter told of her father who immigrated from Africa only to be deported. Congressman Levin bemoaned the story of a constituent who was sent to Iraq, where he’d never lived, only to die.
On Tuesday, we came together as a community in an incredible display of solidarity and power.
Outside of the Dearborn Police Department, we gathered over 200 people to declare that cooperation with ICE is not in the interest of the people, and that we will not accept DPD's complacency while immigration policies become increasingly oppressive.
Together, we expressed our grief and disbelief in the shameful practices of those in power. We gathered faith leaders, activists, congresspeople, and people directly impacted by deportation and detention to demand that DPD stop doing ICE's dirty work.
And we got attention. Thank you for being a part of of that. Let's use the energy and momentum from yesterday to take further action.
This Fall, shortly after the Wolfgang Awards, my time on staff will come to a close.Read more
Shavua Tov! Here's a quick note from Rabbi Alana:
I was recently quoted in an article about local Jewish leaders’ alleged united opposition to our 13th District Rep. Rashida Tlaib. While a white supremacist sits in the White House, our fellow Jews are tearing down a beloved progressive leader and one of the first Muslim-American Congresswomen. I was shocked.Read more
And boy, are my arms tired! But seriously, in addition to the usual learning and orienting that happens at the start of any job, I have already been asked to put my passions and skills to work. What a dream!
On my first day, I was asked to put together a crash course in activism for a group of students and staff from Camp Tavor who were visiting Detroit for the Climate Rally. For the first time in my career, I was explicitly asked to stack my love for social movements and activism on top of my love for facilitation and teaching. The results were really amazing. I got to engage in group learning and discussion about youth-led movements for social change, Judaism and its connection to activism, and a little bit about conduct and behavior in the setting of political actions. To say that the campers from Tavor were articulate and thoughtful would be a total understatement. What a cool group of kids.
In addition to the workshop, I’ve spent time getting comfortable with the systems of communication within the DJJ staff, preparing for our 8/13 #CloseTheCamps action, and strategizing on the best ways to support DJJ’s membership as I move forward in my new role.
I am filled with joy and gratitude as I look toward the horizon at all of the work yet to be done!
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote
On Thursday, August 1st, Rabbi Alana joined a host of Rabbis from across metro Detroit to discuss the Torah of "The Stranger" and its connection to the crisis at our southern border. Heed her call to action by attending our #CloseTheCamps protest on Tuesday 8/13 at the Dearborn Police Department. Click here for more details and to RSVP.