We encourage you to save this link and check it early in the week. Action opportunities will be posted on the website each Monday.
In these especially challenging times it can be overwhelming to decide how to make a difference. The Racial Justice Action Committee wants to help FPB members increase our collective impact in the critical work of racial and immigration justice and, at the same time, build supportive community.
1. Support immigrants and immigration justice
Over the summer, we watched in horror as young children, torn from their parents at the U.S. border, were incarcerated for seeking refuge from violence, terror and extreme poverty in their home countries. We may be less aware that the pain and trauma of family separation happens right here, in Massachusetts. Every week ICE arrests and detains our neighbors, including many parents, separating them from families and children.
Beyond, the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network of faith communities, activist organizations and other volunteers, works to accompany our neighbors imprisoned in immigration detention as they advocate for themselves under increasingly aggressive policies and try to reunite with their families. Join others at First Parish in Brookline in our commitment to support Beyond's Bond and Legal Defense Fund and make it possible for families to stay together in our communities.
Checks can be made to First Parish in Brookline with "Beyond Bond Fund" in the memo.
You can also make a contribution online. IMPORTANT: please choose "Make a One-Time Donation" and enter "Beyond Bond Fund" under Special Instructions.
2. Demand the Baker Administration reinstate visit days to MCI Norfolk prisoners and their families
The Baker administration and staff at MCI-Norfolk have canceled 10 visit days between now and the end of December, just as many major holidays are coming up for folks of faith. We can fight this, and we need your help!
Organizers at the Emancipation Initiative have kicked off their #HowTheDOCStoleChristmas call-in campaign. To support this effort we ask that you make three calls at least once a week to Governor Baker, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett, and DOC Commisioner Thomas Turco. We all know how important family visitation is, especially around this time of year, and we’re hoping that we can put the pressure on to reinstate these visiting days so that people can see their loved ones.
3. #ICEOUTOFSUFFOLK Call-in Campaign to Sheriff Tompkins
As part of Suffolk County’s contract with ICE, there are about 190 immigrants jailed in the South Bay Detention Center. Yet Boston has a city ordinance for sanctuary protections of undocumented immigrants. Tell the sheriff’s office that they have the ability to cancel the contract and the responsibility to ensure that all detainees are promptly released.
On Tuesdays, call Sheriff Tompkins 617-704-6655 or Tweet @stevenwtompkins.
4. Demand a UN investigation into U.S. violations of human rights at the Mexican border
Presente is calling on members, supporters, and those who respect human rights to demand a UN investigation into US violations of human rights at the Mexican border.
Closing the U.S.-Mexico border, the use of lethal force, and subjecting asylum seekers to forcibly return to their countries where they risk persecution are gross violations of international law and the human rights of refugees. The US government must end its hostile treatment of refugees and uphold its international legal obligations.
5. Offer ongoing support to our friends at Boston Black Lives Matter
BLM BOSTON Giving Campaign: PayPal for donations is . For longer range, recurring support, consider joining Campaign21 which moves us from emergency, crises driven giving to solidarity sustained giving.
6. First 100 Days Court Watch
When: Monday, December 10, 7-9pm and Sunday, December 16, 5-7pm
Where: 100R Warren St, Roxbury
This past year volunteers have collected valuable information about how people are being treated in court – data that would not otherwise be publicly available. In December, we will release a report on the current status of MA courts based on what Court Watchers witnessed. On January 2, 2019 District Attorneys will begin a new term in office. We’re launching a First 100 Days Court Watch Project in Suffolk and Middlesex Counties to hold District Attorneys accountable for reducing pre-trial detention and addressing racial disparities. Volunteers will monitor how well prosecutors are living up to their campaign promises and complying with recently passed criminal justice reform. Come be trained and learn how to sign up for shifts in the new year.
7. Sign up for a Class: White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action
When: Saturdays, January 12, 19, 26, 9:30 am to 1 pm
Where: Brookline High School, 115 Greenough Street
People of all heritages/identities are welcome to join us as we focus on the role white people can play in dismantling racism and building a just society. We’ll examine the impact of white privilege and how being unaware of unearned advantages helps perpetuate racism. We'll discuss short readings and share everyday situations in which we did not speak up effectively against racial bias. Using role-playing, we’ll work out effective ways to respond. Participants will develop specific plans for challenging racism, in your school or workplace, organizations, community, and personal circles. You will be encouraged to find other people in your life who can support your efforts. $85.
Register by phone: 617-730-2700