The Immigrant Solidarity Committee of Charlotte (ISC-C) brings to light injustice impacting immigrants and works for just and humane immigration policies in our city, state and nation as a whole to make our community a more welcoming place for all. Our group consists of representatives of organizations and faith communities as well as committed individuals.
What We Believe:
(heavily borrowed from Coloradans For Immigrant Rights)
We all deserve to live in a community in which immigrants are treated with respect.
Immigrants enrich our communities and should have a voice in the decisions that affect them.
Together, we can change the climate for immigrants in our communities through education and outreach.
Working for justice for immigrants helps us build an inclusive and loving society for all of us.
To participate in fellowship and work closely with immigrant-led groups so that our activities mirror the immigrant community’s self-identified desires.
To work with non-Latino immigrant groups as well as Latino groups, and groups of different immigration statuses.
To educate and inform ourselves at meetings and other events.
To reach new audiences about the contributions of immigrants through educational forums and public actions.
To inspire, empower and mobilize more people in our communities to work with immigrants for justice.
To act as advocates and impact legislation at the local, state and national levels, through meetings with decision-makers, supporting pro-immigrant policies and protesting anti-immigrant policies.
To work to change the anti-immigrant climate by distributing pro-immigrant messages through messaging campaigns, letters to editors, and other methods.
To address direct needs of immigrant communities as requested by local immigrant groups or individuals.
Who We Are:
The American Friends Service Committee, Area Office of the Carolinas is the organizational sponsor of this group.
The group comprises individuals and representatives of Charlotte organizations and faith groups and others who share our commitment to working together for the benefit of immigrants and our community.
Our Goals (2015)
Internal goal #1:Grow and strengthen the ISC by growing our numbers, diversity and organizations, and by increasing our communications capacity and visibility.
Internal Goal #2: Strengthen partnerships with immigrant organizations and faith communities, including jointly sponsoring activities.
Internal Goal #3: Develop local capacity of our group through sharing leadership roles, forming work teams, enhancing our skills, and continuing to educate ourselves.
External Goal #1: Increase involvement of non-immigrants (especially in faith-based communities) toward embracing immigrants and mobilizing in support of pro-immigrant policies. Increase awareness, change attitudes, make immigrants more visible and lift up immigrant voices. Change the narrative/ the way immigrant stories are told in the media.
External Goal #3: Support small grassroots immigrant-led organizations, and join with those organizations to host community projects, volunteer activities, and interactive learning experiences
How We Work Together:
Our ISC is guided by principles of integrity, simplicity, peace, community and equality, and the belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, regardless of legal status.
Meeting facilitators and note takers will rotate. Facilitators will work with AFSC staff to develop the agenda and the AFSC staff will be available as a resource person.
Actions and communications are respectful and non-violent.
Differences of opinion are openly shared and accepted as creative opportunities to explore and grow.
Decisions are made by consensus.
When a decision must be made in between meetings, such as writing or signing letters on behalf of the ISC-C, issuing press releases or statements, or co-sponsoring actions, we will defer to the Rapid Response Team (RRT). The RRT is made up of 3-5 members of the ISC-C chosen by consensus at ISC-C meetings, and including some agency staff and some volunteers who are not staff of any organization. Actions and communications consistent with our committee’s values will be sent out to the entire group over the listserve, so that the group can stay abreast of what is happening. The initiator will then individually contact all members of the RRT. The initiator must make contact with the majority of the RRT members and get their approval before the action can move forward.
As of December 2015:
Our regular meeting days will now be the third Thursday of each month at the Charlotte Friends Meeting, still 6pm-8pm. Our first meeting of 2016 will be on January 21.
Following the potluck, each meeting will begin with a short educational presentation (often by a guest speaker), short discussion, then meeting business. We already have ideas for the first six months of meetings.
Dan Neuspiel will continue to serve as convener/facilitator until June, when we will have a mid-year retreat. Leslie Gutierrez will coordinate the educational presentations during our meetings, following up with individuals who agreed to be the point person for each one. Atenas Burrola will coordinate our Voting Rights project and the naturalization workshops.
December 2015 Rapid Response Team: Dan Neuspiel, Lori Khamala, Atenas Burrola, Leslie Gutierrez, Joyce Deaton, Jim Bazan (3-4 must respond)
Past: March 2012 RRT: Roxana Bendezu, Darla Davis, Joyce Deaton, Lori Fernald Khamala, Hector Vaca. November 2013 RRT: Darla Davis, Joyce Deaton, Lori Khamala, Jim Bazan, Leslie Gutierrez
August 2014 RRT: Darla Davis, Lori Khamala, Jim Bazan, Leslie Gutierrez, Anne Laukaitis
For more information, contact:
American Friends Service Committee NC Immigrant Rights Program
529-D College Rd. Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 854-0633 / LKhamala@afsc.org www.afsc.org/greensboro www.facebook.com/afscnc www.youtube.com/afscnc