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West Region News March 2022

Highlights of work from around the region

San Diego Free Them All protest at Otay Mesa Detention Center
San Diego Free Them All protest at Otay Mesa Detention Center Photo: / AFSC

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US-Mexico Border Program, San Diego
AFSC joins the call for Communities Not Cages

AFSC programs across the country joined with Detention Watch Network and partners to host actions calling for Communities Not Cages. In San Diego, 40 people with the Free Them All coalition rallied and marched outside the Otay Mesa Detention Center, operated by Core Civic. According to AFSC’s Investigate website, Core Civic is the world’s largest private prison corporation. “Migration is a natural human right,” said Benjamin Prado of AFSC at the San Diego rally. He gave a powerful address (in Spanish, at the 13:17 mark).

 

Roots for Peace (R4P) Program, Los Angeles
Friends volunteer at urban farm

Last fall, Whittier Friends Church reached out with interest in connecting with community members and supporting AFSC’s food justice projects. AFSC Roots for Peace then hosted a volunteer day with Whittier Friends at the farm. Pastor Lolleta and Barbara brought five volunteers who helped stain wood and prepare the soil for planting. For updates, follow R4P on Instagram.

 

Pan Valley Institute (PVI), Fresno
ArteVism Fellow to explore code-switching in one-person show March 17

“Code Switch” is a one-man show performed by Joshua Slack that explores the navigation of code-switching: adjusting one’s way of life in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities. But at what cost? Watch the livestream Thursday, March 17 at 6:30 pm PT.

 


Azani Creeks, left, and Gabriela Flora

Economic Activism Program, Oakland
Divesting for immigrant justice

Azani Creeks of the Economic Activism Program reports that AFSC is looking for local groups that would make a public statement in support of divestment for immigrant justice. Divestment is a simple and powerful tactic we can all use to take back some control from the government and large corporations. When our government is unresponsive to our demands, we can take action locally and WIN! You can support divestment even if you don’t have investments, and we can help, as AFSC has already divested. If you’re interested, please contact Azani at ACreeks@afsc.org. Gabriela Flora of Colorado adds that AFSC is looking to connect even more with student groups interested in campus divestment.

 

Immigrant Rights Program, Denver
Town Hall Meeting to address a path to citizenship

AFSC and allies are hosting a Town Hall with Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. John Hickenlooper to address budget priorities and a path to citizenship. Set for Monday, March 14 at 4:30 pm MT, this town hall will be led by immigrant speakers and their families. We invite you to join people from around Colorado live via Zoom. Will you be a part of making this a historic event? REGISTER to receive information on how to join us.

 


The 2022 AFSC New Mexico Farmer Gathering (photo: AFSC NM staff)

People of the Land Program, Albuquerque
Farmer Gathering builds connections, hope

On March 7, AFSC New Mexico convened farmers and partners for our 9th annual Farmer Gathering. Co-directors Patrick Jaramillo and Sayrah Namaste write that, for the first time in over two years, we met in person to reconnect, reaffirm our relationships with each other, and discuss our futures together. “The best part of the gathering is that it builds community connections, giving me hope," one farmer said. "Learning and listening to each other, I realize all of our challenges are so similar.”

 


A Day Without an Immigrant rally at the Oregon Capitol

Project Voice Immigrant Rights Program, Oregon-Washington
Good news from the Oregon Legislature

Pedro Sosa reports that the Oregon Legislature recently passed a universal representation bill to help immigrants with their legal processes. Lawmakers also approved legislation regarding overtime pay for farmworkers. Pedro and allies are planning to celebrate both wins on May Day in Salem. Follow AFSC OR-WA on Facebook.

 


Mujer Mariposa Libre Y Poderosa Mural

67 Sueños, Oakland
Honoring Womxn’s Hxstory Month

On Instagram, 67 Sueños has been lifting up powerful women in the movement. “The mural (above) highlights and honors all of the resilient migrant women who have struggled navigating and accessing the U.S. health care system. This mural is a testament to their powerful stories that shed light on the very corporate and privatized health care system that often excludes them from receiving care. Shoutout to the lead artists who guided us through this beautiful creation. The one & only poderosa @xochitl.cura & inspiring @amendtdk. Gracias por sus enseñansas.”

 

Healing Justice Program, Oakland
New tool to oppose police militarization

Ristad Fellow Jennifer Tu writes that, thanks to a new law, Californians have a unique opportunity to stop the use of militarized equipment by their local police and sheriff agencies. Under AB481, agencies that wish to continue to use militarized equipment must create policies defining how these weapons may be used, and city councils and county boards must decide on them in public meetings open to community comment. Take action with us - check out AFSC's advocacy toolkit for how you can oppose police militarization!

 

Short takes
AFSC shared this statement, blog and poster art (see above) on the Russian invasion of Ukraine….AFSC joined 85 other groups in calling for cuts in Pentagon spending….The application deadline for AFSC’s Emerging Leaders for Liberation hands-on learning program has been extended….Here’s the winter news about AFSC alumni…. Join us online April 3-7 for our Quaker Action for a Just World: 2022 AFSC Corporation Program. The program will include a panel of Quaker climate activists, workshops by AFSC staff on key peace and justice issues, and a keynote speech from Winona LaDuke.

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