Welcome to the second post in the “10 Ways to Support Immigrants and Refugees” series!
“Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history.”– Oscar Handlin
#9: Speak Up and Speak Out
Advocating for refugees and immigrants involves communicating with others about the importance of immigration rights. Talking with family and friends can be an effective advocacy tool. In order to create impactful conversations, try introducing the subject of immigration in small pieces, over time, in order to avoid making your family and friends feel defensive.
Try to listen more than you talk, and listen with an open heart. Immigration rights are a hot-button topic for many Americans, but the more empathetic you can be in the moment, the more likely someone is to listen to your perspective. Lead the conversation with personal stories and shared values. Although it may be tempting to throw statistics at your conversation partner, data is not as compelling if there is no narrative to go with it. The best advocates invite people into the conversation instead of making people feel intimidated or confronted.
How do you stay updated on issues affecting immigrants and refugees in your community and across the globe? Let us know on our social media!
– Annaliese Fowler, Puente CI Data Analyst