Public action to end 40 days of fasting, action, and prayer

At the end of the 40 days of action, fasting, and prayer, we held a public action and “break the fast” at member congregation Arch St UMC. The 125 people who fasted, and many more supporters, came together to eat, pray, share stories, and renew our commitment to the continued fight for immigrant justice.

As our 40 days of fasting Ends, we find a new beginning. In the last 40 Days, 13 congregations and over 125 people fasted, prayed and came together for collective action against local deportations and for just and humane immigration reform. We are not the same people, nor the same organization as when we started the 40 Days.

Even though the 40 Days of Action, Fasting and Prayer has ended, our commitment to keep fighting for a just and humane immigration reform and to end deportations in Philadelphia has been renewed with a deeper strength, determination and hope. The 40 Days was an opportunity to bring our souls together, an opportunity to explore what our faith asks us to do – to love one another without borders, without prejudice of skin color, background, language or legal status. Our faith traditions lead us to the 40 Days, and as we emerge from this journey, we continue to find our guidance here. Thank you to all who made this powerful journey possible!

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Immigrant led Community Organizing

Our staff manages our campaigns and programs while our members join our working committees to inform our programming, choose our campaigns, and plan our strategies to win. Through conversation and listening, our members and the community on the ground are the ones directing the organization. When people reach out to NSM, they connect with someone who speaks their language, looks like them, and is committed to empowering immigrant communities because they understand their journey and struggle. At NSM, our communities see their peers guiding our mission, creating trust, and allowing members to recognize NSM as an immigrant-led organization.
NSM works to lift the skills of the affected community and dismantle systems of oppression while promoting systems of mutual support, collective liberation, and respect for all people, which is why we provide interpretation services, respect childcare needs, schedule our sessions during times that work best for members who work multiple jobs or cannot meet in person, and allow members to inform us about their individual needs before meetings.
The community leads our work at every level to eliminate unnecessary barriers and meet the varied needs of our members.

Leadership Development

Our Leadership Development Program is a step in recruiting and training new leaders and training. The program blends the skills and experiences members bring from their home countries with NSM’s signature faith-rooted and anti-racist organizing model.

We have curricula for each level of membership, which includes workshops on the history of detention, community organizing, nonviolent protest, campaign strategy, and ongoing anti-racism training. Our programming encourages immigrant leaders to find their voice, understand the power of collective resistance, and join a community of immigrant leaders fighting for transformational systemic changes rooted in social and economic justice.

Leading this initiative is Bertha Murcia, one of NSM's Community Organizers. She is an alumna of NSM’s Promotoras de Justicia immigrant leadership program and oversees member engagement.

Build Community Power

NSM’s organizing efforts emphasize community building, inviting people to new roles, deepening Black and Brown solidarity, long-term leadership development, and impactful campaigns.

We build a base of people from our 33 congregations and Accompaniment Team and direct that people-power to fight specific campaigns. Staff members work with immigrant members to choose our campaigns, guide our strategies, lead events, and ensure our work is focused on meeting the needs of Philadelphia’s various immigrant communities.

Having a hands-on role in changing policy allows our members to gain a sense of empowerment, confidence, and self-respect. Empowering immigrants of color to organize collectively is part of NSM’s long haul work to create a people-powered movement for immigrant justice.