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Sunday, December 13, 2009

NSM and the Philadelphia Storytelling Project

The current focus of NSM Philadelphia is a collaboration with the Philadelphia Storytelling Project and co-directors Manuel Portillo and Mark Lyons. Through these efforts, immigrant communities are recording first-person accounts of their experiences which will become a powerful voice in organizing and advocating for justice. 

Listen to stories by Sarbelia and Marta, two women in the Ecuadorian community in Upper Darby who have participated in the storytelling project.  The recordings are available in Spanish and in English.

Read an online account of the vision for this compelling work in this introduction by Manuel and Mark.

Here is an excerpt from that introduction on the Open Borders / Philadelphia Storytelling Project website...
 Participants record their stories, mix them with music, and share them on CDs, the radio, webcasts. The process of creating our stories and sharing them has been profound. Listening to each other’s stories and reflecting on our common experience is an act of honoring our lives and affirming our dreams and sacrifices. Through our stories we develop a collective identity as immigrants. Telling our story allows us to take risks, to talk about missing our families, our isolation, our frustrations as we try to feel at home in our new world. Our stories create openings for conversations with our friends and family, to say things unsaid. And now we are taking our stories to the world—to immigration authorities developing deportation guidelines, legislators who are deciding whether to provide healthcare for undocumented children, communities terrified by the specter of immigration raids. These stories must become part of The Great Immigration Debate.

We invite you to listen to some of these remarkable stories, filled with honesty and risk-taking and possibility and anger. Over the next few months we will share stories of sacrifice, separation and grief, of teens who talk about pregnancy and homelessness and finding a way to connect with their father at a baseball game, of farmworkers who harvest our food, of the terror of immigration raids and deportation, of high school graduates who came to the U.S. ten years ago and whose dreams of going to college are deferred because they have no documents, of learning English while hanging on to their culture, of frontier justice. And more. We will tell the story around the story—how sharing stories changes the way people see themselves, each other, the world. How stories demand an act of listening—the basis of all relationships. You will be able to listen to many of these stories on this website—three to six minutes in length, often produced by the storytellers themselves. All will be in English; some will be in Spanish, as well.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NSM's intern featured in Goshen College news

(Photo by Timoyer/Franconia Conference)

Check out this article about NSM Philadelphia's recent intern, Maria Byler, in the Goshen College news archives.

(The complete article, by Noël King, first appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference's Missional Seeds newsletter.)

Maria Byler spent the summer as a field worker in South Philadelphia with Franconia Mennonite Conference through the Ministry Inquiry Program. Above, she translates a worship service from Spanish to English at the Centro de Alabanza de Filadelfia (Philadelphia Praise Center), the congregation in which she participated during her 11-week internship.  

During her experience working with the New Sanctuary Movement, Maria listened to immigrants' stories, visited detention centers, attended meetings, and helped with projects. She is currently a Goshen College senior social work major with a Spanish minor.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Appeal and December Coalition Meeting

New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
Coalition Meeting:  Intro to NSM
Thursday, 12/10 @ 7pm
Visitation BVM Church 300 E. Lehigh Ave
6pm: Mailing Party for our Winter Appeal

Come Celebrate Human Rights Day with the New Sanctuary Movement!  Join us for an evening to learn about NSM's different programs, overarching goals, and the campaign to stop the Philadelphia Police Department from collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This is an opportunity to bring new people to learn about our work and for current members to gain a better understanding of the whole organization.

Join us an hour early to help with NSM's Winter Appeal!  We will provide letters and postage, coffee, and good conversation. Bring your address books to send letters to your personal contacts, and help NSM raise the resources we need to grow this important work. We will meet at 6pm in Visitation school's basement.

Coalition Meetings are the 2nd Thursday of every month
In Peace and Solidarity,
Jen and Peter


Nuevo Movimiento de Santuario
Reunion de Coalición: Introdución de NSM
Jueves, el 10 de deciembre a las 7pm
a la iglesia de Visitacion.  300 calle E. Lehigh
A las 6pm: Fiesta para Enviar Cartas de Navidad

Venga a celebrar el Dia de Derechos los Humanos con el Nuevo Movimiento de Santuario!  Acompáñenos para aprender de los diferentes programas del NSM, los objetivos generales, y la campana poner fin a la colaboración entre la policia y la migra.  Esta es una oportunidad para a traer  personas nuevas para apprender de nuestro trabajo y para los miembros existentes ganar un mejor entendimiento de la organización.

Los que puedan acompañarnos una hora antes de la reunión, estaremos preparando las tarjetas de navidad de NSM como parte de la campaña para recaudar fondos para nuestro trabajo. Nosotros proveeremos las tarjetas, los sellos, cafe y la buena compañía! Pueden traer su libreta de direcciones de familiares y amigos a los cuales enviarles tarjetas. Nos reuniremos a las 6pm en el sotano de la Iglesia de la visitación.

Las reuniones de la coalicón son los segundos jueves de cada mes
En paz y solidaridad,
Jen y Peter

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Cambodian Community's Struggle / La Lucha de la Comunidad de Camboya

versión en español abajo...

New Sanctuary Movement's 
Coalition Meeting:
The Cambodian Community's Struggle 
Thursday November 12th @ 7pm
Visitation BVM Church
300 E. Lehigh Ave

Please join us for an evening with Mia-lia, the Youth Programs Coordinator at the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, to learn about the Cambodian-American community's struggle against an unjust immigration system. Some 250 Cambodian-Americans have been deported to Cambodia, where many of them have little family, speak limited Khmer, and have to fight everyday to survive in a country they once fled as child refugees. Over 1500 Cambodian-Americans are unable to live full and productive lives for months and years, while they await inevitable deportation and separation from their loved ones.

We will also watch a segment of Sentenced Home, a film about three young Cambodian refugees raised as Americans in inner-city projects near Seattle. Each made a rash decision as a teenager that irrevocably shaped their destiny. Now facing deportation back to Cambodia years later, they find themsevles caught between a tragic past, colliding cultural identities, and an uncertain future, by a system that doesn't offer second chances.

Please feel free to bring a friend and food to share. We look forward to seeing you all!

In Peace and Solidarity,
Jen and Peter

Nuevo Movimiento Santuario
Reunión de Coalición:
La Lucha de la Comunidad de Camboya
Jueves el 12 de Noviembre a las 7pm
Iglesia Visitacion BVM
300 Calle E. Lehigh

 Los invitamos a que nos acompañen a compartir con Mia-lia, la coordinadora de Programas para la juventud de la Asociación Camboyana del Area de Filadelfia, para aprender acerca de la lucha de su comunidad contra el sistema injusto de inmigración.  Aproximadament 250 camboyanos-americanos han sido deportados a Camboya, donde muchos de ellos tienen escasa familia, no hablan la lengua jemer y tienen que luchar para sobrevivir en el pais que abandonaron como niños refugiados. A otros 1500 camboyanos-americanos se les impide vivir productiva y tranquilamente porque esperan la inevitable deportacion y separación de sus seres queridos.

Además veremos un segmento de la película Hogar Sentenciado, acerca de 3 jóvenes camboyanos-americanos criados en la ciudad de Seattle.  Cada uno tomó una decisión rápida como adolescentes que cambió irrevocablemente su destino. Años después se enfrentan a la deportación, atrapados entre un pasado trágico, identidades culturales chocantes y un futuro incierto, por un sistema que no ofrece una segunda oportunidad.

¡Esperamos verlos! Inviten a sus amigos y si pueden traigan algo de comer para compartir

 En paz y solidaridad,
 Jen y Peter

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Secured Communities Program

NSM members are currently working on and responding to the negative sentiment caused by the passage of the Secured Communities Program in the Philadelphia Region.

The Secured Communities Program allows communication between the Philadelphia Police force and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. This communication has increased ICE's ability to assert authority. For example, when an individual is booked by the Philadelphia police department their information is released to the ICE database. If an individual's name is matched ICE puts a detainer on them, the individual is then held in police custody and ICE picks them up. This process is not dependent on the individual being guilty, innocent, a victim of a crime, or a witness. Additionally ICE has access to the Philadelphia Arrest and Recording System (PARS) which allows them to search through the police system and allows them to subjectively investigate anyone based upon their name. This program has had a number of negative effects on the immigrant community in Philadelphia by increasing targeted police/ICE profiling, which has led to a fear of police officials and rising anti-immigrant sentiments.

In response to Secured Communities, Philadelphia NSM has partnered with JUNTOS and Philadelphia Storytelling Project to organize affected immigrant groups around Philadelphia. Communities are coming together to express their experiences with this collaboration and their new fears to contact police for help in times of actual need. Through the use of storytelling, the goal is to stop the collaboration between ICE and Police officials.

Philadelphia NSM and related immigration events