A New Vision for Immigrant Justice? More reflections on DWN conference
This post was written by Alisa Wellek and participants in the 2nd social media workshop:
The theme of the second day of the conference focused on strategic communications. Ricardo Levins Morales, the plenary speaker, energized participants after a delicious lunch. He discussed how “looking at the political landscape with new eyes can reveal strengths in our movement and weaknesses of our opponents that have been hidden in plain sight and provided insight about how to plant the seeds for systematic transformation.” The momentum that Ricardo gave the audience, through 12 keys to justice and group vocal exercises was transformed in the afternoon’s communications workshops.
Following a discussion on issues particular to visits to immigrant detention centers, Dr. BJ Lee, an attendee from Austin, Texas, said, “I heard something that really floored me.” She was speaking of how a volunteer visitation is forbidden to tell any detainees about their legal rights. Dr. Lee wondered, “Is the detention center breaking the law?” Now she intends to pursue more information about the legality and limitations of distributing Know Your Rights materials to detained immigrants at the facilities she visits.
Breakout sessions taught us how to discuss this new vision to supporters. “I have new insights from this conference. I found more tools to communicate both with detainees and advocates across the country,” said Chitra Aiyar.