The first event of the series, focused on immigration, showcased Jims Porter, Policy and Communications Coordinator for RefugeeOne, Claudia Lucero, Executive Director of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), and immigration activist Fr. Brendan A. Curran O.P. from Dominican University. Each partner presented their organization’s unique contribution to immigration efforts.
Porter detailed the ongoing disinvestment in and tightening of policies regarding refugee resettlement, and urged participants to take action. Lucero illustrated the challenges facing refugees with stories of women fleeing violence, only to be separated from their families at the border. Curran described the barriers to immigrant students who cannot receive support they need to attend school.
Following the presentations, everyone in the room reflected together on how they might take local action after learning from the partner organizations. Before leaving, each participant wrote down one thing they planned to do after the event on a butterfly-shaped note to contribute to a collage of intended actions. The butterfly, whose migration is not bounded by man-made political borders, is a symbol of hope for immigration advocates. The resulting collage of butterflies symbolizes the growing intention and support for local engagement with immigration work. ICA will build on the momentum of this ICA’s mission of building “a just and equitable society in harmony with planet Earth” begins here at home with the ICA GreenRise, our national landmark building.