A longtime friend and the director of Finding Atlas, a Brooklyn-based immigrant youth collective, has just started a great new tumblr, Welcome All You Dreamers. The complete info on the project is below, but the gist of it is simple - take a photo of yourself extending a welcome to the young people who will earn green cards through the Obama Administration's Deferred Action program.
Crown Heights has a sizable immigrant population, of course, many of whom are un- or mis-documented, and it would be great to see these photos taken around the Avenue. In my own case, I decided to head down to 33rd Street in Sunset Park, where my Ukrainian great-grandparents lived for a short while when they first arrived in the the United States. While the immigrants of their generation experienced many hardships, including nativism and violence, they were, for the most part, given the opportunity to make their lives here, and most of us wouldn't be here if they hadn't had these chances. 1 in 7 Americans can trace their ancestry through Brooklyn, and today, the borough is once again a thriving mosaic of immigrant communities, Sunset Park among them. Going down to the ancestral home was also a chance to welcome the future to Brooklyn.
If you're one of those who supports the Dreamers, read on below for instructions on how to add your voice to the welcome chorus:
Hundreds of thousands of young people will be welcomed into our society in a new way this year. When USCIS grants a green card they officially "welcome" someone into America, my clients and I joke about it, but it is a powerful message.
USCIS may not be welcoming these incredible young people, but, finally, at least in some ways, they are being recognized here in the U.S. So let's give them a proper "welcome" from those of us who are so proud they are here.
I am creating a tumblr ( welcomeallyoudreamers.tumblr.
DO YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES?
Can you send me a photo of yourself holding up a paper that says "Welcome"? It can be in any language, in any font, typed or handwritten. It can be yourself with your children your teachers, your office. It can say "Welcome to our workforce", "welcome to our schools" "welcome, we are proud to stand by your side" ANYTHING to let these young people know that there are hundreds, thousands of them who stand by their side.
DO YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES?
How about creating a video message from yourself, telling young people that you are inspired by them, that you wish the dream act was passed, that you encourage them to apply to your jobs, etc etc. Videos are so inspiring and uplifting when young people need a voice to grab them through.
DO YOU HAVE FIFTEEN MINUTES?
Can you forward this to anyone you know who may be similarly inspired to share a word of encouragement, of pride, of inspiration, who can help?
WHAT TO DO
1) Email your photo or video (as a file or uploaded to youtube and send me private link) to email@example.com
2) Pass this email on to your friends