Rooms were packed in Dearborn, MI and Atlanta, GA this past weekend as advocates gathered to learn, share, and strategize at our 2018 National Leadership Summit, “Our America: Harness Power, Change Policy.” This election year convening took its cues from the Advocacy Road Map: A Local Action Toolkit, focusing in Dearborn on surveillance and bigotry targeting immigrants & refugees, and in Atlanta on hate crime, free speech, and democracy, including voting rights, gerrymandering and the 2020 census. Attendees in Detroit and Atlanta respectively learned about surveillance and free speech from the ACLU’s Hina Shamsi and Faiz Shakir, and in Atlanta they heard from civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis about the importance of engaging with officials to make a difference, and worked together to build power to resolve community-specific issues like 287(g) agreements between ICE & local law enforcement. With 2020 in mind, a policy platform and collective action plan began to emerge, giving those in the room a shared understanding and mission moving forward. Folks left the meetings armed with knowledge (and full bellies--Knafeh & BBQ are always good choices), and ready to act. Stay tuned for our action plan announcement, and in the meantime you can commit to joining our efforts here.

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