SURJ Screen&Discuss Brunch brings organizers together around films

Showing-Up-for-Racial-Justice (SURJ-Boston) and CSFilm collaborated for a Screen&Discuss brunch on Sunday, October 4. The event attracted over 50 people and brought together NIRV filmmakers and film subjects as well as MA and NY-based organizers for a discussion about the impact on immigrants and refugees of race relations, the current administration’s policies and budget cuts, and COVID.

“I really appreciated these films and the work that went into them. I have always believed that storytelling is the most powerful way to begin to understand others and their backgrounds, and [these] documentary [films] have just proved that to me even more.”

The discussion was informed by the voices of Abdirahman Abdi (Worlds Apart at Home), Annabelle (She’s an American Child) and Rahmatullah Aka (Seeking Settled Ground) as well as local organizers Tania Erlij (BIJAN), Doris Landaverde (Mass TPS), Valeria Do Vale (Student Immigrant Movement) and Tony Alarcon (Make the Road NY).

“In addition to many things, I learned just how much of a financial strain it is to become an immigrant here, particularly for DACA recipients [who]…must file every year and pay filing fees… In regard to Mohammad Anwar’s story…the discussion he had with his [case worker] at the International Institute of New England [shed light on the]…costs associated with coming here as a refugee.”

Here is information from the organizers about ways to get involved:

Tania Erlij, BIJAN
If you would like to join BIJAN as a volunteer please sign up at https://www.beyondbondboston.org/join. If folks want to get involved in attending action circles and after getting involved in planning them with our collaborative or with their own organization, they can reach out to our google group at bostonactioncircles@googlegroups.com. There is also the #FreeHerFridays campaign that we’re supporting through our relationship with the People Not Prisons Coalition and Families for Justice as Healing. To get involved in advocacy calls, writing letters to the editor, etc. to support policy changes endorsed by currently and formerly incarcerated women in our community, visit http://bit.ly/maweekofactionweekly for new calls to action.

Doris Landaverde, Massachusetts TPS Committee
Please call congress to pass a legislation name H.R.6 to protect DACA and TPS (temporary protected status); https://www.nationaltpsalliance.org/journey-for-justice; https://masstps.com; Documentary: The Last Dream

Valeria Do Vale, Student Immigrant Movement
For our youth to continue the work they do, we depend on your financial support, and encourage you to reach out to talk about other non-financial ways you can also support. To donate please visit bit.ly/dreamdonation, and to connect and learn about our various efforts contact me at vdovale@simforus.com. (Our website is under construction, please visit our social media platforms.)

Tony Alarcon, Make the Road NY
Visit maketheroadny.org.