Here’s a quote we wanted to share with you all. It’s something we hope you all keep in mind as FYSOP draws closer and the excitement builds!
“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.” – Viktor Frankl
We had some downtime in the office and thought a personalized video would be a nice update for our week. Its not the middle of winter despite what our sweatshirts would suggest… our office just feels like the tundra!
We’ve included some really interesting facts and information so make sure to check it out! Also, find us on twitter @bucsc #gohurights!
On Sunday July 8th, Governor Deval Patrick signed the FY 2013 State budget which included the creation of a commission to investigate the problems surrounding unaccompanied youth in the Commonwealth and to recommend to policymakers how to improve their situations. One of our sites, MassEquality, will have a seat on the commission and bring attention to the severity of the situation involving LGBTQ youth in particular.
Approximately 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ and what’s more, the vast majority of unaccompanied homeless youth (meaning homeless without a parent or guardian), are LGBTQ.
Generally, these youth are forced to the streets by families who reject them or abuse them because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Left without a safe shelter at home, homeless shelters also tend to be ill-equipped when taking in LGBTQ youth who find themselves victimized and harassed by other unstable adults in shelters.
The new commission has potential to improve the lives of homeless youth across the State of Massachusetts.
For today’s blog post we wanted to share a bit of information about our newest site, MIRA.
MIRA stands for Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and they work in all aspects of immigrants’ rights- from policiy initiatives to public leadership and training sessions.
Their Mission: “The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. We serve the commonwealth’s one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, and strategic communications.”
This organization was founded in1987 in response to Clinton’s signing of the IRCA, a 1986 law that legalized some three to five million immigrants. Since it’s founding, MIRA has done crucial work improving the lives and well-beings of immigrants and refugees. In the past five years, they have really focuesd their efforts on a comprehensive immigration policy reform. As they push forward and look to the future, their eyes are always set on the goal of gaining equal rights for everyone who identifies as American.
When we send our volunteers to this site in August, they will have an incredible opportunity. They will attend a Naturalization Oath Ceremony for immigrants who have just become citizens. Our volunteers will stand outside the doors and register these folks to vote, one of the amazing basic rights afforded to us as citizens of the United States of America.
Katie and myself are unbelievably excited to welcome this site to the Human Rights Issue Area of FYSOP this year! It was recommended to us by one of our Ed Day speakers you are sure to enjoy on Tuesday, August 28th, and we think it will be an invaluable experience for all involved.
For more information, please check out their website at http://www.miracoalition.org/
On Monday June 25th, the Supreme Court reached a decision regarding the legality of the Arizona State Law that permitted racial profiling and enforced a strict immigration code. The legislature, passed in April 2010, was instantly brought to the supreme court by the U.S Department of Justice as it questioned the power of state versus federal law in determining immigration policy. It allowed state law officers to determine immigration status during any lawful stop, to require immigrants to carry alien registration documents, to prohibit immigrants from applying for work if unauthorized, and to make warrantless arrests if the offense would make the person removable from the United States. Instantly many concerns were raised including the costs to the state for enforcing federal immigration law, how reasonable suspicion of immigrant status” will be interpreted; and the narrow list of documents eligible to demonstrate lawful presence. Furthermore, the practices of private business in dealing with immigrant removal have been challenged. Privately owned transitional centers and detainment facilities intended to facilitate removal from the United States are making billions of dollars in the business of immigration, and most centers are unsafe and corrupt.
In Monday’s decision the Supreme Court ruled against most aspects of the state law but maintained one of the best known facets requiring state law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if there is reason to suspect that the individual might be an illegal immigrant.
In other news, the Obama Administration also recently passed the Dream Act, which allows illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since before they were 16 and for at least 5 consecutive years to acquire two-year-long work permits that have to limit to how many times they can be renewed. The passage of this Act has created controversy among both supporters and opponents. Some believe that it does not introduce enough change while others think it is already too much. It comes at an interesting time of an election year where politics play a integral part in its purpose.
For more information see:
Introducing: the Human Rights Coordinators!
Hello Everyone! We are the Human Rights coordinators for FYSOP 23, Meagan and Katie, and we would like to welcome you to our blog! We could not be more excited by our findings on our issue area so far, and hope you guys can find the same inspiration we have from what we post here. Make sure to check back on this blog each week to get updates on all our progress and interesting findings.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The countdown is on and FYSOP is right around the corner! That’s right, only 7 days till you’ll all be here moving in. We hope you’re all as excited as we are.
As you all pack and prepare to leave for college, please keep in mind that we are collecting clothing donations for one of our sites – Kim’s Project. Kim’s project works with young women who have been victims of the sex trade, and often have no belongings of their own. Kim’s project relies heavily on donations to be able to provide these young women with some much needed necessities. As well as volunteering with Kim’s Project during FYSOP, Cherie Jermenez who runs the organization, has also kindly agreed to speak to us during education day. We know that she, and all the women she works with, would really appreciate your generosity.
So as you’re cleaning out your closets and packing for BU, please keep Kim’s Project in mind. If you have one (or more) items you can spare (and bring with you to FYSOP) we’ll be collecting donations during registration and ed day (or you can give them to your staff). All your donations will be going to great new homes.
Thanks and happy packing!
Emma and Bree