Systemic racial prejudice and other oppressions have always motivated, informed, and fueled U.S. immigration laws, policies and enforcement, as well as public sentiment. Disrupting and dismantling systems of oppression is part of the work that we consider ours to do as an agency.
For UURISE, this means we engage in outward advocacy and internal action.
Our outward advocacy includes showing up with and for impacted communities in the public sphere, leveraging our privilege to amplify their voices, and taking action to impact public policy that benefits and protects immigrants and refugees.
With faith communities, we begin with a discernment process that invites reflection, learning, and growth. We help congregations bring their passion and commitment to their immigration work effectively and appropriately by helping them develop a collective liberation analysis that addresses white supremacy culture and privilege directly.
We begin our work with faith communities with a discernment process that invites reflection, learning, and growth. A central purpose is to address white supremacy culture and privilege directly. We want congregations to bring their passion and commitment to their immigration work, and we help them to do that effectively and appropriately by helping them develop a collective liberation analysis.
This means moving away from a savior mindset and toward a relationship mindset where we cultivate humility; it means moving away from assuming we are experts and toward listening and trusting impacted communities; it means moving away from reinventing the wheel and toward partnering with the people in their communities already doing the work.
This process is intended to do more than train a group of people in how to help clients fill out legal paperwork; it is intended to create radically welcoming, resilient, relational spaces that serve our congregations and their wider communities far beyond the immigration work that might be their initial goal.
The internal action piece includes team members reflecting honestly about their own privilege, as well as the biases they experience in the work that we do. We engage in conversations and learning that are intended to prevent further harm, and we strive for nimbleness as an organization that allows us to adjust our language and practices as we learn and grow.