As part of their History studies, a group of twenty 11th grade students at the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies visited Families for Freedom. We helped break down the “Crimmigation system” which is the crossroads of the Criminal and Immigration system and explain the work we do. Our conversations focused on these questions:
How do people maintain their dignity within an oppressive society? What are the most effective and humane ways to make positive change in our communities, society and world at large?
As part of their class investigation the students had to explore these essential questions:
What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to belong t a nation?
How do ideas about who may or may not “belong” in a nation, impact immigration policy?
How does a society integrate Immigrants, and how do immigrants transform societies?
How have Immigrants and their allies acted as upstanders or resisters for more just societies?
After the visit, Molly the teacher wrote “We all found the experience to be inspirational and empowering. We had a great discussion on the train headed back to Brooklyn about the injustices that exist in our world and the importance of seeing all people as members of the human race instead of as members of a specific group or nation. It was very powerful!”
We spoke a lot about our work to keep our families together but also how our work goes beyond just stopping deportations and also focuses on building power in immigrant communities of color.
Molly also commented about this to us, “One thing that really stood out to me was when you were speaking about how the goal is not necessarily about "winning" but rather about maintaining and restoring dignity to those that are oppressed by a system that is unbalanced and unjust.”
“Meeting you and hearing your stories reminded me that our resistance is never futile, change is possible and we have to remain hopeful and committed to the struggle. Thank you for taking the time to help our students see that they have the ability to harness the power to fight for a more just world for all people!”
We hope to host other student groups in the future. Please contact us info [at] familiesforfreedom [dot] org or call (646) 290-8720 if you're interested.