MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, April 12

In January, a group of 9 people from the MFSA chapter in Austin went to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) on an educational tour of missions related to asylum-seekers and immigration.  At our upcoming meeting on April 12, we will provide a program on what we saw and learned on that trip.  Our special guest for the meeting is Deaconess Cindy Johnson, who is involved in several of the programs in the RGV and was our host for a portion of the fact-finding visit.  We will discuss what we encountered, and our next steps related to their missions.  Please join us for this timely discussion.

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

iACT Hope Awards May 1

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

We are excited to announce

the 2018 Hope Awards Honorees:

Luci Baines Johnson

Imam Mohamed Umer Esmail

A great evening is planned including a conversation with Overheard‘s Evan Smith and Luci Baines Johnson. More event details, including how you can purchase tickets and sponsorships, can be found here.

From Third Coast Activist

“AUSTIN AS A WELCOMING CITY: LOCAL RESPONSES TO FEDERAL IMMIGRATION POLICY”

Date: April 13, 2018

Time: 12:00 pm  to  1:30 pm

This University of Texas Opportunity Forum’s Lunch Series program will focus on “Austin as a Welcoming City: Local Responses to Federal Immigration Policy” with panelists Montserrat Garibay, Texas AFL-CIO; Barbara Hines, retired UT School of Law professor; and Tom Jawetz, Center for American Progress.

The event is free, with lunch provided, but seating is limited and an RSVP is required.

Location: University of Texas, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Room 3.122, 2315 Red River St., Austin

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, March 1

The Rio Texas Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) will hold its March meeting one week earlier than usual.  Mark your calendars for the FIRST Thursday of the month, March 1.  Our program will feature speakers from Austin Sanctuary Network (ASN), a coalition of more than two dozen congregations and religious groups, three labor unions, several nonprofit groups and dozens of individual volunteers.  ASN helps provide shelter and protection for undocumented immigrants who are subject to deportation to their home countries.  Please join us for this timely discussion.

Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, with snacks and mingling at 6:30p and the program at 7p.  All are welcome!  Hope to see you there!

From Grassroots Leadership

Austin Advocates Call For Release Of Detained Migrant Woman

“Officials at Grassroots Leadership — an Austin-based national organization working against prison profiteering, mass incarceration and deportation — will ask Williamson County Commissioners Court members to intervene on behalf of an immigrant woman facing extreme hardship at a county detention center.

The group is acting on behalf of Laura Monterrosa, an asylum seeker from El Salvador being detained at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, which in actuality is a detention center for immigrant women. Advocates say the woman’s mental and physical health continue to decline after she was driven to attempt suicide at the detention center in early January. Monterrosa has spent nearly nine months at the detention center where she previously spoke out about being sexually assaulted by a guard.

Since her outcry, the woman has been subjected to what Grassroots Leadership officials say is a pattern of retaliation — including being placed in solitary confinement for 60 hours earlier this month in what her advocates say was vengeance for her outcry.”

Actions this Weekend:

Sunday, (2/25) 3-5 PM, T. Don Hutto Detention Center: Laura remains under constant threat of solitary confinement and other forms of retaliation.  Sunday we’ll gather outside the detention center to visit with Laura in the largest mass visitation event yet!  Let’s protect Laura with our presence and show the growing support from her community to pressure ICE for her release.

 

Bring the Fight to Williamson County Commissioners

Tuesday, (2/27) 9 AM, Williamson County Commissioners Court: Last week we testified to County Commissioners asking them to take urgent action to intercede on Laura’s case or provide 90 day notice to pull out of the detention center contract.  As party to the contract with private prison company CoreCivic and ICE, Williamson County is liable for the many rights abuses that take place in Hutto: from sexual assault to labor violations.  Laura remains detained, so we will be back to communicate the urgency that Commissioners act immediately.

Events from Third Coast Activist

PANEL ON REDISTRICTING, THE CENSUS, AND THE FAIR MAPS PROJECT

Date: March 3, 2018

Time: 2:00 pm  to  4:00 pm

Speakers will discuss the 2020 census, redistricting in 2021, and the Fair Maps for Texas coalition, which aims to ensure fair districts and representation. Panelists will include Stephanie Swanson, League of Women Voters; Michael Sarahan, Software Engineer; Anthony Gutierrez, Common Cause Texas; and moderator Mike Ignatowski.

The event is sponsored by Common Ground for Texans., a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Austin, Texas.

Location: Old Quarry Branch Library, 7051 Village Center, Austin

READING: “GODDESS OF ANARCHY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LUCY PARSONS, AMERICAN RADICAL”

Date: March 5, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  8:00 pm

University of Texas history professor Jacqueline Jones will discuss her new book, Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical. The book tells the story of the militant writer, orator, and agitator Lucy Parsons. Born to an enslaved woman in Virginia in 1851, she was raised in Texas, where she met her husband, the Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons. Lucy Parsons was a fearless advocate of First Amendment rights, a champion of the working classes, and one of the most prominent figures of African descent of her era. Her life also was riddled with contradictions—she advocated violence without apology, concocted a Hispanic-Indian identity for herself, and ignored the plight of African Americans.

Jones, who is chair of UT’s History Department and a former MacArthur Fellow, teaches courses in American history and is author of numerous other books, including A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America.

Location: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, 78703

SCREENING OF “LAMERICA”

Date: March 6, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The film will be introduced by University of Texas professor Chelsi West Ohueri.

The screening is part of the “Faces of Migration” series presented by “Not Even Past,” Department of History, and Institute of Historical Studies.

Location: University of Texas at Austin campus, CLA 1.302B, Julius Glickman Conference Center (first floor, CLA Building). Paid parking in the Brazos Garage, 210 E. MLK Blvd.

#METOO / #YOTAMBIÉN: SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Date: March 7, 2018

Time: 6:30 pm  to  8:30 pm

This panel focusing on how sexual assault and domestic violence affect immigrant communities is sponsored by Asian Family Support Services of Austin, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, United We Dream, Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project, and YWCA ATX. More information on the Facebook event page.

Location: St. Edward’s University, Carter Auditorium, Austin

SCREENING OF “LONE STAR”

Date: March 27, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

The film will be introduced by University of Texas professor Ward Keeler.

The screening is part of the “Faces of Migration” series presented by “Not Even Past,” Department of History, and Institute of Historical Studies.

Location: University of Texas at Austin campus, CLA 1.302B, Julius Glickman Conference Center (first floor, CLA Building). Paid parking in the Brazos Garage, 210 E. MLK Blvd.

AUSTIN SANCTUARY NETWORK BENEFIT CONCERT FEATURING CARRIE NEWCOMER

Date: April 20, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm  to  10:00 pm

Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer will perform at a benefit concert for the Austin Sanctuary Network, a coalition of faith communities, immigrants, and other organizations that support immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation.

The evening begins with a regional art show at 7 pm and the concert at 8 p.m. The Austin Sanctuary Network. Buy tickets online.

Location: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Drive (exit off I-35, west on Wells Branch Parkway)

MFSA Monthly Meeting Thursday, February 8

The February meeting of the Rio Texas Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) will take place Thursday, February 8, at Saint John’s UMC, Austin.  The program will focus on the Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors (ARJFON) effort, which is part of a national United Methodist network of legal clinics based in United Methodist churches around the country.  Our speaker will provide updates on JFON’s activities as they attempt to address immigration issues in an increasingly challenging social environment.

ARJFON, a non-profit law office, welcomes refugees and immigrants into our communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.  ARJFON strives to empower immigrants bring about systematic change through active participation in our community.

Please join us to learn about this much-needed ministry.  Snacks and mingling begin at 6:30p; the program will start at 7p.  Hope to see you there!