I am Christina

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I am Christina. I am from Indonesia. I am a part of the community of Saint Thomas Church. I was asked to become a part of the Promotoras I think because of my boyfriend’s immigration case and how much I have learned by communicating and supporting him. I also think I was invited because NSM has wanted to build a better relationship with the Indonesian community.

I am very busy, always running around from place to place and squeezing a lot of people into my schedule. My job as a Promotora involves growing bigger Indonesian community participation in NSM and delivering to the community what NSM does. I try to keep people updated about everything and to share information. When more of the Indonesian community knows what resources NSM has to offer, like support with city IDs and the Driver’s License for All Campaign, they will have to appreciate it because those are the things people really need.

This all involves building trust. The Indonesian community had lost in NSM in the past and I am trying to bring it back. I do this by going to the leader in the Indonesian community, a person people already trust, and communicating with him. It is him who then talks to the community about NSM and changes people’s attitudes. I do not go person to person myself because people do not know me. That is why it is so important to bring community leaders into this work.

For now, this is what the work looks like. Eventually it will grow and the leaders hope that I will become a legal resource for the community. Our goal is that people will learn to come to me with legal issues and then I will be able to bring their issues to NSM and use NSM’s resources and network to bring people the support they need. This is what we hope as we build more trust in the community.

The other Promotoras members are helpful because we all share information and because a few of them take the time to help me with my English. My English is not very good but the Promotoras work together to help one another understand.

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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.