This week, LIRS’s Grassroots Mobilization unit marks one year in operation. 2013 proved to be both an exciting and busy time for our grassroots mobilization efforts as we engaged Lutherans around priority LIRS advocacy issues.
Here are just a few highlights of this past year:
Mobilizing in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
LIRS engaged and mobilized Lutherans, migrants and refugees, network partners, and activists in key states to support comprehensive immigration reform throughout the year. To this end, we resourced and supported Lutherans throughout the country as they organized faith and immigration forums, prayer vigils, and educational events. LIRS created and distributed mobilization resources, such as our grassroots advocacy toolkits, to further support grassroots efforts.
Relationship Building is the First Step toward Change
In 2013, LIRS Grassroots Mobilization unit focused on building relationships through the development of key partnerships at the local, regional, and national level. We cultivated relationship with bishops on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Immigration Ready Bench and attended three synod assemblies where we made important connections with pastors and congregants. As a partner in The Linking Communities (TLC) Project, LIRS supported the planning of activities in Ohio and Pennsylvania to “increase support for refugee resettlement and the overall level of welcoming for immigrants in communities.”
2013 World Refugee Day
LIRS’s 2013 World Refugee Day event was a huge success. Working with LIRS’s Refugee Alumni Network (RAN), we brought together 30 former refugees from 20 states (representing 16 nationalities) for advocacy training and a congressional lobby day in Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Participants in the 2013 World Refugee Day event have gone on to further develop their relationship with LIRS and advocate for refugee rights and immigration reform in their communities.
As LIRS begins its 75th Anniversary Celebration, we are working to build on the success of our past initiatives and expand the grassroots mobilization efforts in support of the organization’s priority advocacy issues. This year we are organizing a bigger and better World Refugee Day event that will take place June 18-20. We will also be organizing three to five statewide or area trainings for grassroots advocacy champions to develop capacity throughout the country to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in 2014 and promote refugee rights and integration in our communities.
Please check back throughout the year to learn more about the transformative and cutting-edge grassroots activities LIRS is taking on and how you can be part of our movement!