Jul 17, 2018
We conclude our conversation with Sarah Jackson of Casa de Paz, an organization that supports immigrants who have been detained or whose family members have been detained. This discussion helped us connect with the topic of immigration less at an issue level and more at a human level; we hope it does the same for you.
Can we just say how fun it was journeying down memory lane and remembering our college advocacy days?! Wow. We were babies. Look at Nic's hair and the Invisible Children shirt she rocked to no end. (Also, there's Jeff, our trusty and talented sound guy- he's been an enthusiastic supporter of Nic & Mere's ventures for YEARS.)
[photos at www.roomforbothpodcast.com]
Above is the crew that got the art auction we talked about off the ground and below is a particularly special treat. See if you can spot Mere (it's like Where's Waldo?, Room For Both style, and friends, once you find her, we promise you're in for a treat.)
The above photo was taken at one of the events Mere and Nic discussed, in which we left our homes (campus) at sun down and walked to the town square to sleep, emulating what hundreds of thousands of Ugandan children had been doing to avoid being abducted from their homes to serve as child soldiers. Our walk was about 1.5 miles, theirs closer to 10 miles each way. These felt like some of the most important days of our lives.
OK. Now onto Resistbot. Resistbot is a texting tool you can use to craft a message to your members of Congress, and the app will send it along for you.
It’s so easy.
You text the number 50409 and Resistbot will find who represents you in Congress after you answer a couple of simple questions (it’s legit, don’t worry).
Then, you craft your message and Resistbot sends it to your Representatives. Simple as that!
If you’re interested in calling your members of Congress, find your Senators' phone number here and your Representatives' number here. If you’re not sure what name you’re looking for, use this website to find your Representative, and this website to find your Senator (no shame!)
You can often find a script online for specific issues that you can read on the phone to the staffer who answers (or rehearse ahead of time as Meredith has been known to do). Or you can simply take the question-asking route and say something like, “Hi there! I’m a concerned Idaho citizen wondering what Senator Crapo is doing to help unite families who have been separated at the border...” (Because, why not ask? You’re not being antagonistic- you’re genuinely curious!)
The key, as you of course already know, is to remain humble and kind. These folks field calls all day and by and large WANT to be of help. If they don’t have the answer to the question you asked, they are mandated to go find the answer and call you back- how great is that?!
Fun Fact: Meredith (back in her OVERLY brazen days as a young college activist) once went around to a room full of people all stuck in the basement of our dorm during a tornado and held a phone up to each of their ears. She proceeded to feed these poor souls a script of what to say to the staffer on the other line about a piece of legislation that would put the Lord’s Resistance Army on the terrorist watch list (Luke, if you’re reading this and can fact-check us, that’d be great. It has been a minute.) Guys. She literally went up to every single person in that cramped basement, held her cell phone up to their ear, and told them exactly what to say. No one has ever accused her of not feeling things with deep conviction (or being a little annoying about it!)
Speaking of activism, one of the organizations whose work we’ve been following is Together Rising, founded by Glennon Doyle. They’ve raised more than $1.5 million dollars to support people and organizations (lawyers, social workers, etc) who are working tirelessly to reunite families that have been separated at the border.
They remain on mission even when the headlines have petered out in the news. If you’re looking to give to an organization doing work on a national level, we recommend Together Rising. Check out this article to see the ways the funds they have received are at work. This goes without saying, but every little bit counts. Every. Little. Bit.
And lastly, if you’re in the Denver area and want to volunteer with Casa de Paz, or if you just want to learn more about what they do (because maybe you want to start your own apartamento/casa de paz?!) check them out here!
And friends, can we just share some good news?! Since recording this episode, the guest that was separated from her seven-year-old daughter has been reunited with her little girl. See the sweet outfit she gave her girl below (along with the Frozen backpack, of course.) It's THE BEST!
Thanks for journeying with us through this topic and these stories, friends. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts, input, and questions. Drop us a line on Instagram or via email. Until next time!
-Nic and Mere