Launch: 40 Days of Fasting, Action, and Prayer

As immigration reform is debated in Washington DC, hundreds of immigrants are deported out of Philadelphia because Mayor Nutter, District Attorney Williams, and President Judge Neifield give federal immigration officials a license to access to the Philadelphia Police Department’s database. This summer, we hold 40 days of action, fasting, and prayer to demand that:

  1. The City of Philadelphia immediately stops the collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which directly results in unjust mass deportation. City officials have the power to stop this collaboration and should do so to keep families and communities together.
  2. Pennsylvania elected representatives vote YES for just and humane federal immigration reform.

From June 22 – July 31, 2013, New Sanctuary Movement members, supports, and allied faith communities embark on 40 days of action, fasting, and prayer to demand immigrant justice at the local and federal level. While we go without food, millions of immigrants are separated from their families for indefinite periods of time because of unjust immigration policy. At this critical time, we draw upon our powerful faith traditions and the legacy of social movements to call for 40 days of:

  • Public demonstrations, rallies, and vigils
  • Fasting by immigrants, allies, and faith leaders
  • Prayerful events in Philadelphia-area faith communities
  • Meetings with public officials
  • Workshops on spiritual non-violence and immigrant justice
  • Public testimonies by immigrant families facing deportation
Previous slide
Next slide

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.