In response to community feedback expressing concern about the current political climate and the recent attacks on the immigrant community, the Center for Worker justice has formed a coalition of members from various faith organizations to address these concern. Since its creation in September 2017, this interfaith team has formed three committees that each work both independently and collaboratively to put resources together and take action to ensure the continued safety and well-being of all members of the Iowa City community.
Current Committees and their Work:
- The Family Support Team started off with the idea of providing support to families in crisis. Its members have created a network of people and resources from which they can draw upon in order to assist families in a timely manner. The Family Support Team has so far been able to mobilize and partner with multiple families to provided food assistance, transportation, child care, and emotional support to ensure families feel welcome in our community.
- The Legal Team has recently started a new campaign to address immigration issues at a more macro level. Based on the CIVIC model that’s been implemented nationwide, the Legal Team has trained and sent members to immigration detention centers to visit with those individuals detained there. In addition to providing support and resources for these immigrants, the secondary purpose of this new project is to address the current flaws of the immigration system by documenting and studying the detrimental effects it has had on the community as a whole. Many of the volunteers are very excited about this new program and are eager to see its wide-reaching, positive impact.
- The Rapid Response Team similarly balances its efforts between providing individualized support and influencing systematic change. This past month, a sizeable group of volunteers went to visit the offices of Iowa Senators Ernst and Grassley to communicate the concerning patterns they have seen within the Iowa City community and put pressure on officials to pass a clean DREAM Act. They have also been working on putting a network together to ensure information moves quickly and the group is able to mobilize if a family or individual in our community find themselves in an emergency.