In mid-June, a loose coalition of grassroots activists, with support from long-standing immigrants’ rights organizations and other organizers, announced a nationwide mass mobilization.
On Friday, July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, would bring thousands of Americans to detention camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees.
As the 2019 Legislative Session was wrapping up, I found myself with a bit of extra time on my hands. I decided to get involved.
I knew that many local organizations were already doing good work around immigration issues. I began reaching out on June 20 to create a Capital Region SUPERGROUP to take part in Lights for Liberty. My goal was visibility and allyship – and to empower people from many different backgrounds to make a stand for justice.
On July 12, we filled Albany’s West Capitol Park with speeches, poetry, prayers and song. And candles. Lots of candles. We were part of a mass mobilization with tens of thousands of people, at 817 events, on 5 continents. Here's what the Washington Post had to say about Lights for Liberty.
I’m profoundly grateful that dozens of local and regional organizations and several individuals brought their expertise and deep ties in their respective communities to this coalition.
So many people commented on the variety of speakers at the event, and how inspiring their remarks were, that I put together an online resource with links to participating organizations. One of the goals of Lights for Liberty was to support and amplify the work of direct service organizations, and based on reports from the participating groups, we delivered!
Please click on the Sway below to bring up navigation tools, and learn more about these great organizations. (Frustrated by poking at the image? Here's a direct link to the resource.)
When you're done, I hope you'll let me know - how can I help you tell your story?
Colleen M. Ryan is an