January 27 - February 3, 2018 Week of Action Toolkit
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Why take action the week of January 27th?
On January 27, 2017 the Trump Administration released Executive Orders banning individuals from seven (then six) Muslim-majority countries and all refugees from entering the country. Thousands took to the streets and flooded airports where people from Muslim-majority countries and refugees were being detained and, in many cases, sent back. Since that time, the administration has issued multiple additional bans on people from Muslim-majority countries and has taken steps to dismantle the U.S. refugee program. Anti-Muslim and nationalistic rhetoric have had real consequences, leading to increased hate crimes and local and state policies targeting these communities.
Now, a year later, we’re in a critical moment. After the courts repeatedly blocked various versions of these bans, parts of both the most recent Muslim ban and refugee ban are being implemented. We must keep up the public pressure and media coverage to stop the Muslim and refugee bans now. January 27th is a critical date, as people and policy makers across the country remember the actions they took that day and can be challenged to recommit to solidarity with Muslims, refugee, and all people targeted by this administration. Learn more about the impact of the Muslim bans at www.nomuslimbanever.com, and about the impact of the refugee bans, including a tracker and report card on refugee arrivals, at www.rcusa.org.
Ideas & Resources for Taking Action
Right now is a key time to reach out to partners, get January 27th on everyone’s calendar, and start planning. These events will build off the the constant action, educating, mobilizing and organizing over the last year, especially the powerful No Muslim Ban Ever effort led by Muslim organizations on October 18th. Together we are building a list of creative activities and important public witness events for a week of action January 27 - February 3, 2018. There is already an action being planned in front of the White House in Washington DC - spread the word and click here to sponsor the rally. Below are some ideas for actions, although the best events will be contextual, creative, and locally led.
Connect with the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign. You can register events, find events, sign up for updates, and endorse the campaign. You can also download their toolkit, which includes helpful talking points, campaign principles, and messages.
Join the We Are All America Campaign. We Are All America is a coalition of immigrants’ and refugee rights groups working to uphold and strengthen our nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety, and refuge in the United States. We organize people across religious and cultural differences to build inclusive communities where we all belong. The We Are All America campaign officially launches January 27, 2018. Find out more at www.weareallusa.org. Sign the Pledge to Support Refugees, Asylum Seekers, TPS Recipients and Welcome All Newcomers: www.weareallusa.org/coalition. Organize with We Are All America: www.weareallusa.org/volunteer
Learn more about the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign: Shoulder to Shoulder is an interfaith coalition of faith leaders working to address anti-Muslim bigotry and build inclusive communities. You can sign up to receive periodic updates about our work. In Seattle, Shoulder to Shoulder is partnering with a number of national and local organizations and experts to host a training, Faith Over Fear: Empowering Faith Leaders to Combat Islamophobia from January 28th - 30th, 2018 to educate, network, and equip faith leaders to better advocate against the narrative of fear and decisiveness in our country. The training will open with a public pledge launch and close with a faith leader signing of the pledge, committing to continue staying engaged a year after the first announcement of the Muslim Ban. If you cannot join us in Seattle, please sign and share the online pledge.
Hold a public event like this #WhereRtheRefugees Interfaith Vigil in Texas to lift up impacted community members and push back against the latest Muslim and refugee bans. Invite people from impacted countries, refugees, refugee service providers, faith leaders, veterans and local elected officials to speak during the event. Even small events, multiplied across the country, will send a powerful message to the Trump administration and Congress that welcoming immigrants and refugees, and standing alongside Muslim community members, are part of our values as a country. Find resources on how to host an interfaith vigil at bit.ly/InterfaithVigilToolkit.
Meet with your Members of Congress when they’re in their state and district offices from January 22nd to January 28th. Request to meet with them or their staff. Let them know your opposition to the continual Muslim and refugee bans. Click here for a toolkit on setting up a meeting with your Members of Congress and building an advocacy team.
Call Congress & ask others to do the same: click actnow.io/ZUYLi6E to receive a call and be patched through to your one Representative and two Senators. Or call 1-866-961-4293 three times and use this script to express that as a constituent, you oppose the latest refugee ban and to share how it impacts your community. Ask community members and allies to call local and national legislators and demand that they denounce the Muslim and refugee bans. Find your elected official here and sample action alerts at greateras1.org/act, rcusa.org/advocate-now and interfaithimmigration.org/recent-legislation.
Send a postcard to your member of Congress: Sign this electronic postcard, or print off hard copies and have people sign them at an event. If you’d like to modify the postcard (add a logo, etc.) please click here. (Note: You will have to create a free Canva account to do so). After you sign the postcard, encourage your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks to do the same. While you only need to sign one electronic card, we encourage those signing printed cards to sign three - one for each of their two Senators and one Representative. You can collect them after an event and hand deliver them to your Senators' and Representatives' local offices, or mail them in a group. Find addresses of local congressional offices at www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.
Tell your story through ACLU’s storytelling project and share how the Muslim ban or refugee ban has changed your life in the past year. If you know people in your circles who have a story to tell, retweet the ACLU storytelling project opportunity on social media.
Spread awareness through social media: Post on Facebook and Twitter using #NoMuslimBanEver #RefugeesWelcome #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #NoMuslimBan #NoRefugeeBan #WeAreAllAmerica #WhereRTheRefugees #GreaterAs1. See this No Muslim Ban Messaging Guide, information on refugee admissions, and resources on engaging local media outlets.
Sample tweets include:
-Today marks one year since President Trump ordered a travel ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees. Let us be clear: Americans continue to oppose the ban and all its iterations. #NoMuslimBanEver #RefugeesWelcome #WeAreAllAmerica
-America is richer because of our diversity. Today, and everyday, we say #NoMuslimBanEver #RefugeesWelcome
-On the one year anniversary of the Muslim and refugee ban, tell your representatives in Congress to proclaim: #NoMuslimBanEver #RefugeesWelcome #WeAreaAllAmerica
-Despite new changes to the ban, Trump’s original intent remains the same: he wants to ban Muslims & refugees from entering the US. It remains discriminatory and immoral. #NoMuslimBanEver #RefugeesWelcome
-Discriminating against people or closing our doors on those seeking refuge or in need is not what we stand for. #Yemen #Syria #NoMuslimBanEver #RefugeesWelcome
Make and keep a New Year’s Resolution. Ask your friends to post their 2018 New Year resolution in support of refugees; e.g.: “My New Year Resolution is to... Call/Meet my Member of Congress on behalf of refugees/Invite a refugee to my home/... For inspiration and resources, check out the Know Your Neighbor New Year’s Resolution Campaign.
Urge local officials to pass a Welcoming Resolution affirming its support for refugees and Muslims at the one year anniversary. Challenge your local leaders to go further in 2018, making your community a “Certified Welcoming” city through Welcoming America’s new certification process.
Host a multicultural dinner in your community and invite impacted community members to share their stories. Sitting down together to share a meal is a timeless tradition that unites across all cultures and religions. This is a great way to show hospitality and to urge policy makers to stand against the Muslim and refugees bans. Many civic groups and congregations have hosted dinners that double as a fundraising event to collect donations and funds to help refugees rebuild their lives and impacted family members make ends meet. Check out the Refugees Welcome toolkit to help you prepare a dinner that will build relationships and understanding.
Hold an educational forum about the impact of the refugee and Muslim bans on community members, inviting individuals from the targeted countries to share their experiences in the camps, the security process they went through and how resettlement to the US changed their lives, highlighting positive contributions.
Host a Know Your Rights workshop. Impacted individuals, lawyers, and supportive community members have a lot of questions about how policy changes are impacting people’s lives. Hosting a community forum / Know Your Rights workshop can help inform and empower community members.
Highlight a local refugee-owned business. Ask a local refugee-owned restaurant or coffee/tea shop to hold a public #RefugeesWelcome event and offer an opportunity to both support the business and facilitate intercultural dialogue around refugee issues.
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or an opinion editorial. Describe how the bans negatively impact your communities, the many contributions that Muslims and refugees make to your communities and how the bans foster misunderstanding and hate. Click here to view sample letters you can send and here for more resources.
Use the UNHCR’s Passages game to guide your friends through a simulation about the refugee experience.
Hold a religious service on refugee issues and educate your congregation about Islam. Find resources for Christian congregations online at GreaterAs1.org and resources for Jewish communities at HIAS. Lead a study group using the “My Neighbor is a Muslim” study guide developed by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Be Creative! Flash mobs, theater, music, art, postcards to local resettlement offices, flowers and messages of peace in front of mosques. Create your own event.
Reach out to the Media: See this Draft Media Advisory that can help you develop your own for your local event. A media advisory should be sent to press contacts and partners 1-2 days before the event, and a Press Release can be sent immediately following the event, with key quotes from speakers and highlighting key actions.