Support NSM’s Bold Organizing

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Oneita was standing in her kitchen when she got the call from ICE.

 

I will never forget when ICE told me that my husband and I were going to be deported.  My heart was racing – all I could think about was my family being torn apart, and that we would be killed if we went back to Jamaica.   The whole world was on my shoulders, and I called New Sanctuary Movement. When they picked up and told me to come in, I felt a huge relief – an opening. They were there when we needed them the most. Three days later we moved into Sanctuary.

 

When ICE closed the door on Oneita, Clive and their kids, the community at NSM fought to create an opening. ICE had also ordered the deportation of Suyapa at the same time, separating her from her four kids. NSM members came together and decided it was not a question of yes or no, but how. And we found a way to offer both families Sanctuary. We are now working with all three families in Sanctuary – Oneita and Clive, Suyapa, and Carmela – to stop their deportation and challenge unjust laws. These three families represent millions across the country.

 

Every week, we sit with people in their homes who have had a loved one arrested – their hearts broken and family torn apart. This is the reality of the policies of the Trump Administration as it systematically works to implement an extremist ideology that wants to close all doors to this country and close in on immigrants of color. Here in Philadelphia, we have the most aggressive ICE office in the country, and they won’t stop until they close every door.

 

As we stand in this pain, we remember the stories from our faith traditions and move from the deep belief that the divine is active, that loves always has the last word. With bold love and collective action, we fight every day to create openings – we open our congregations, our hearts, and the doors of this country. We confront codified hate and racism as we build community, and we have found abundance, family and impact.

 

After ten years of organizing, Philadelphia ended ICE’s access to the local police database, cutting off another way ICE reaches into our communities. Fourteen people living in Sanctuary in Philadelphia keeps three families together, and is a powerful message to Trump that love is stronger than all the agents of ICE. The slow work of building a diverse community of people standing side by side has opened the power of building bridges and collective love. Accompanying families to court makes sure they are not alone and judges are held accountable. With bonds usually set at $10-15,000, if we are in the court, they are set at $3-7,000. Building leadership with everything we do moves us toward the long-term goal of changing the balance of power.

 

The Trump Administration is relentless, but together we have found the power to open new possibilities, new strategies and victory. We only do this together.

 

Will you be part of our community and make a gift today? Thank you!

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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.