September 2015 was a historic moment not just for Philadelphia but for the Immigrant Rights movement. In his six days in the U.S. , Pope Francis made justice for immigrants a central point of his visit. He implored to the U.S. Congress that,
“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War…”thousands of persons (who) are led to travel north in search of a better life. We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation…To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal…We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.”
During his visit in Philadelphia over 100 Juntos members held a vigil and sunrise procession to Independence Hall from our office in South Philadelphia. One Juntos family was especially touched by his grace. Adamaris, oldest daughter of Alma Sanchez, is fighting with her family for the release of her father and an end to his deportation. While waiting for the Pope this 11 year old created a sign asking for the Pope’s help. While arriving the Pope paused to read her sign and give Adamaris a blessing.
We know that this family will be reunited again, and with a blessing from the Pontifex and with support from community and allies we will have Adamaris’ father released.
Juntos’ Open House; A Celebration with Community and Allies
On Sunday Oct. 4th, 2015 Juntos officially celebrated our new space with an Open House for community and allies. Our move in August to our new office marked a historic moment for Juntos’ and we chose to celebrate with the people who made it happen. And during the Open House we were proud to raffle off three full DACA scholarships for young people who have taken the last few months to apply for DACA with Juntos. A huge thank you to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers who raised the money for the DACA scholarships, DACA clinic and the Open House.
We also want to thank you the lawyers who donated their time and expertise with the DACA applications. Thank you to the teachers and Juntos volunteers who helped set up and run the clinic and the Open House. Thank you to the members of the board for your work on making the Open House happen. And thank you to all the community members who became sustainers, people who are now donating monthly to the organization. To become a sustainer as well visit our donation page right now and sign up today.
Sunday really reminded us all that Juntos is an organization made by the community, supported by the community and for the community! Sí se puede!
Juntos Youth Leaders meet with SMARTDC Youth Leaders in Nation’s Capital
On October 24th Juntos Youth leaders from our leadership group, Fuerza, made their way down to Washington D.C with the mission to meet and learn from other young leaders doing similar work for their education and their rights as immigrants. Their search lead them to meet with SMART DC, a youth group of Many Languages One Voice. During this 2 day exchange we learned of all the amazing work youth leaders in D.C are doing around language access and education equity in their city and learned that the fight for public education is a shared struggled that our cities have. We also met with Son Cosita Seria, a local Son Jarocho group that focuses on bridging the gap between traditional folk music from Mexico and social justice work. After 2 days of laughing, sharing and learning, Juntos youth leaders are excited to put the new skills they learned into their local work here in Philadelphia.
Join us for a Happy Hour Fundraiser on Tuesday, July 29, from 4pm to 7pm at Mixto restaurant in Philly (1141 Pine St).
Help us celebrate the victories this past year and envision the future with us. Tickets can be purchased online (info below) or at the door for $25. Ticket purchase includes the following:
- Free appetizers courtesy of Mixto and first drink is on Juntos
- Silent art auction featuring various Philadelphia artists
- Juntos merchandise: buy your own Sí Se Puede shirt, handmade screen prints of la Virgen de Guadalupe
- Short program with Juntos community and youth leaders
Purchase your tickets online on Eventbrite and be sure to RSVP on facebook.
Don’t forget to bring your checkbooks and/or credit card to donate or become a sustainer!
Let’s celebrate who we are, what we have achieved, and what we hope for the future.