After the March: Advocating for Your Cause
On June 30th, hundreds of protests erupted across the United States to “Keep Families Together.” Thousands of Americans took to the streets to demand the Trump administration reunite families that had been separated at the USA-Mexico border.
In a callous “zero tolerance” policy, President Trump dictated that illegal immigrants could be prosecuted and detained, apart from their children. As a result, more than 2300 children were separated from their parents, and shuttled around the country. During the day the children were kept in centers, and at night, they stayed in hastily organized foster care homes. After much backlash, Trump ended the practice of separating families, but the psychological damage was already done.
For most, the administration’s insensitive behavior sparked outrage. Images of children crying, huddled together in cage-like facilities, were plastered across television screens. Many people took to the streets to express their frustrations with the administration, but personally, I did not.
I thoroughly agreed with all of the protesters; separating small children from their mothers, with little to no records of where they were going, was a huge miscarriage of justice. But after the women’s march, the Muslim ban protest, March for Our Lives, and more, I’ll admit it, I was tired of marching. I am advocate for change and more humanitarian policies, but it’s difficult to physically show up for every single cause. That said, I still care and had to find a way to make a tiny difference. After a bit of research, I found several ways that to advocate for a cause, without marching and I’ve shared them below.
By Christianna Wiggins
Behind every injustice, there are people tirelessly working to fight against it and get money and resources to those affected. When it comes to the Keeping Families Together initiative, organizations like the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is making strides in protecting immigrant rights. RAICES raises money to offer free legal services to the immigrants separated from their children. Donating money to organizations like RAICES helps to make a small but meaningful difference. Border Angels, ACLU, The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), and more.
If you don’t have the money to give to a cause, you can also volunteer your time. If you have a special skill, whether it’s a law degree or construction, you can be helpful to organizations in times of civil unrest. Find an organization that you trust, call the headquarters and ask for opportunities to volunteer. People often forget that you can go out and physically help, outside of simply protesting.
Another easy way to protest without leaving your home is to call up your congressperson, sign petitions, and to go out and vote. During the border separation crisis, you could make a difference by calling up your senator and voicing support for the Keeping Family Together Act. To find the number for your congressperson, visit this site. (https://callyourrep.co/) To make an even bigger difference in the long run, make sure to vote in the midterm elections on Nov 6, 2018.
Create Content or a Company
Whether it’s writing an article or creating an organization, you can also advocate for a cause by educating others about it through new content or fostering a space where people can openly discuss ways to make a difference. Creating is also a healthy and therapeutic way to express yourself and connect to others.