Top 5 Ways That Refugee Communities Can Rise Up on May 1st National Day of Action

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

Why May 1st is important for refugee communities: Building a coalition of allies is how we can build power and fight back against these anti-immigrant policies. When we rise up together, our voice is strongest.

Refugees are workers, business owners, neighbors, community leaders and proud residents of this country. Refugees are immigrants who believe in equal rights and deserve respect for their contributions to their communities. Recent anti-refugees policies impact many refugees who are desperately waiting to be reunited with their family members overseas. Already, many refugees have encountered hate and discrimination at work and in their community.

Refugees, immigrants and allies came together to powerfully push back against the refugee and Muslim ban. Immigrants, American citizens and allies went to airports to show solidarity with Muslims and refugees. We need to stand together again on May 1st to support each other and claim our rights as people who deserve equal treatment. May 1st is not specific to a particular group, but for all those who have been unjustly targeted.

Here are five ways that refugee communities can take part in May 1st actions:

  1. Be a “Torch Bearer” and show up to May 1st actions and rallies!
  • Refugee leaders can mobilize people to show up to rallies and events across the country.
  • Make signs and wear cultural attire as appropriate. You can attend marches, prayer vigils, rallies and legislative visits in your area. Find events near you here.
  • Bring many members from your community out to events happening for May 1st. Provide transportation and encourage carpooling for those who need it in order to be there.
  • Connect with local immigrants’ rights groups and ask how you can help lift up refugees’ voices and welcoming messages. State-by-state lists: and
  • If a May 1st event is not already being planned in your city, you can work with resettlement offices, immigrants’ rights groups, and community partners to organize an action. Add your event here.
  1. Call for Economic Justice through strike solidarity and support!
  • Refugees comprise one of the groups that is paid a minimum wage that is less than a living wage. We deserve better.
  • Refugees should stand in solidarity with other communities, and we encourage you to take the day off and not buy anything. Encourage your community members to do the same, and urge refugee business owners to shut down for a day and give their employees the day off to participate in events that are happening in the community. This will help demonstrate the economic power of the immigrants’ rights movement.
  • 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 and
  1. Forge new relationships with 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 other local groups by attending their planning meetings, and take an active role in the event. Serve as a bridge between your community and other groups involved.
  • Invite your faith leaders to attend planning meetings about May 1st and ask them to make announcements during your congregation’s services.
  • Work with resettlement offices to host Know Your Rights Workshops for refugees. Find an office at and resources at
  1. Tell Congress: Do not pay for Trump’s immigration executive orders!
  1. Let your voice be heard!
  • Any attack on immigrants is an attack on all of us.
  • On May 1st, refugee voices are more important than ever in the struggle for equal rights for all immigrants–regardless of where they are from, how they worship, or how they look.
  • Share why you are standing in solidarity with immigrant and refugees on May 1st with a value-rooted message during an 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.
  • Promote the May 1st actions through social media and share photos, videos during and after the event with #RiseUP and #GreaterAs1 hashtags.
  • Encourage faith leaders from your faith to sign this letter against enforcement and this letter supporting refugees.