Background: May 1st is International Worker’s Day: a historic day to respect the contributions of workers, organize in support of workers’ rights, and demonstrate solidarity with immigrants. This May 1st, immigrant leaders of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) will Rise Up! to demonstrate the power, resilience and strength of immigrant communities in America. Many groups are organizing marches, rallies, protests and town hall meetings to resist President Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim policies and call on Congress and local policy makers to support a vibrant and diverse future for our country. Learn more at www.riseupmay1.org.
Here are five ways that faith communities can take part in May 1st actions:
- Be a “Torch Bearer” & show up in solidarity to May 1st actions and rallies!
- Faith communities can mobilize people to show up to rallies and marches across the country, making signs and wearing religious attire as appropriate, and to volunteer to help immigrants apply for citizenship and register to vote if they are eligible. Find events near you here.
- Connect with local immigrants’ rights groups and ask how you can help lift up the faith voice and moral message. State-by-state lists: informedimmigrant.com/organizations and ndlon.org.
- If your city isn’t already planning a May 1st action, work with congregations, immigrants’ rights groups, and community partners to organize an action. Add your event to the list here.
- Call for Economic Justice through strike solidarity & support!
- Don’t go to work or school, and don’t buy anything. Encourage your community members to do the same, and urge employers to shut down for a day and give their employees the day off. This will help demonstrate the economic power of the immigrants’ rights movement.
- Consider how you can support people who could lose their job for taking part in this action by helping them find another job or providing financial support while they’re out of work. Information on strikes and solidarity can be found at www.nlrb.gov/strikes and powerful examples of faith solidarity with workers can be found here and here.
- Some corporations profit from the anti-immigrant machine of the Trump administration, that is tearing families apart, and targeting minority groups. We should let these corporations know that we oppose their actions by boycotting them. Resources about how we can be involved in this solidarity action can be found at grabyourwallet.org and www.enlaceintl.org/resources.
- Forge new relationships between immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and faith communities!
- The foundation of effective organizing efforts is based on building relationships. The current political climate creates new opportunities for immigrants, refugees, Muslims and faith communities to join efforts.
- Connect with a local interfaith groups, islamic centers, CAIR chapters or refugee agencies and see how you can work together on May 1st and beyond.
- Educate your congregation with resources for Lent and Passover found here.
- Tell Congress: Thou shalt not steal from the poor to pay for the deportation machine!
- Call your Senators and Representatives at (866) 961-4293 and urge them to reject funding for Trump’s wall, deportation force, and detention centers and do everything they can to rescind his executive orders. Full action alert at interfaithimmigration.org/fundingexecutiveorders/.
- Encourage everyone to sign this petition urging Congress to refuse to fund Trump’s deportation plans. You can also send postcards to Congress at riseupmay1.org.
- Meet with your Members of Congress in person when they are home during April’s “in district” time (April 10-21)! Resources at interfaithimmigration.org/neighbor.
- Let the prophetic voice ring loud!
- Share why you are standing in solidarity with immigrant and refugees on May 1st with a faith-rooted message during a worship service, event, press release, or an opinion editorial. Make sure the voices, experiences and stories of impacted populations are central to your message. Draft talking points can be found here. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Consider partnering with Sanctuary Movement coalitions to lift up message of prophetic hospitality.
- Promote the May 1st actions through social media and share photos, videos during and after the event with #RiseUP and #GreaterAs1.
- Encourage faith leaders to sign this letter against enforcement and this letter supporting refugees.
For more information, contact Rev. Noel Andersen via e-mail at email@example.com.