6 Organizations Working to Protect Immigrant Rights in 2017

In lieu of my usual Friday link roundup: Some resources to help you consider what you would like to do to move forward and get involved after Inauguration Day.


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As an American, heartbroken and infuriated that bigotry was given a platform in my country, I’ve been asking myself: “What do I want my activism to look like in 2017?” I wondered aloud to a friend, who answered, “Me? I’m not an activist. At least, I don’t think activism is anything exceptional. It’s how we should be behaving as human beings every day.”

And her words have echoed with me ever since. So whether you are a diverse book blogger, working in the publishing industry, a volunteer, a teacher, an artist; whether you are working directly or indirectly to do good, there is always something you can be doing to enact positive changes. We can all be active, be intentional, and run like the devil away from apathy. And this counts for after January 20, 2017, and beyond.

And so my message to you is this: Whether you donate money, donate time, organize, create art, practice bystander intervention, or educate yourself, show love how you can. The world can only benefit by it.

And now, as promised, some organizations that could inspire your everyday activism:

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6 Things I’m Thinking About 1/6

At last, 6 Things I’m Thinking About is back! This week, I’ve been ruminating about how individuals and publishing companies are preparing to make this new year better than the last, two exciting diverse book releases, and celebrating little-known artists and pioneers of color. I’d say 2017 is off to a bright start.

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6 Things I’m Thinking About 11/9

This week’s round-up is focused on celebration – celebrating up-and-coming children’s books artists, Latino American stories, and the young first-gen and immigrant-origin youth that are making the United States a better, brighter place. Read on for more!

  1. We Need Diverse Books announced their 2016 Walter Dean Myers Award Winners! These are the up-and-coming children’s/YA authors to look out for. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for their work!
  2. Are you thinking about holiday shopping for little ones? (Or maybe you’re a children’s lit fan yourself! If so, you’re in good company.) Here’s list of Latino children’s books everyone should have on their bookshelves. Enchanted Air made the list in the YA category!fullsizerender-2
  3. I really resonated with Latina American author Meg Medina’s reflections on Writing the American family: “My parents came to the United States during the mass political exodus of the Cuban upper and middle class in the 1960s. All these years later, I still find joy in writing about families grappling with transition and about how children fit into that dynamic over time.” Lots of great book recommendations here, too!
  4. Dreamers – the young, bright undocumented students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act – are some of the United States’s greatest assets. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein explains in an editorial.
  5. A study from the U.S. Dept. of Education finds the real, measurable economic gains propelled by… new American graduates! First-gen and immigrant youth reading this blog, your voices are SO important, and you’re going to make us all proud 🙂

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    First snowfall! The white-frosted view on the way to my 9am Spanish class.

  6. Last of all, snow has powdered the grounds of my university! Which also means final exams are around the corner. I’m going to take a hiatus for the next week or so as I replace reading YA with some old French philosophers. Wish me luck, and I’ll see you on the other side!

Where do we go from here? Read, heal, work.

I was hoping to write a happy article today.

I was hoping to talk about what this new American dawn means for me as a young woman of color from an immigrant family, about the ways that a country I have loved is taking a step toward the intentional inclusion of marginalized people.

But today is not that day. I’m guessing that if you are following this Intrepid journey, you have some interest in the well-being of young people, in how books can open possibilities for young readers, in telling the honest story of immigration. If any of these things have a place in your heart, you are likely as shaken, even sickened, as I am.

I wish I could write about joy. Instead, I am writing about pain and responsibility.

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Words matter. So let’s talk about “illegal alien.”

Last night, with Halloween on the mind, we were thinking about creepy creatures. Monsters. Ghosts. Aliens, maybe?

Tonight, let’s talk about something else that should give us chills: How everyday language permits dehumanizing thoughts and actions toward people. Okay, it’s not a monster, but this should be frightening because this is a real problem that impacts real people.

This day after the Halloween revelry, we’re going to talk about the use of the word “illegal alien.”

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6 Things I’m Thinking About

The 6 things that intrigued me from this past week. Read on for diversity in literature news and how schools can support immigrant/first-gen children!


  1. October is Filipino American History Month! Celebrate with these books by Filipino authors. Look out for Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz on this blog soon.
  2. Diverse books meets Netflix:  Publishers Weekly reports the We Need Diverse Books organization will soon be launching OurStory, an app that curates #ownvoices stories written from traditionally marginalized perspectives. One of my favorite picture books, Juna’s Jar, is in the database!
  3. If you’re looking for new ways to visualize “mirrors” and the need for diversity in children’s books, ReadingSpark has a thought-provoking  infographic. The illustrations underscore the fact that kids do take notice. So let’s do better!

  4. A Nashville middle school that specializes in nurturing the needs of recent immigrant students is the topic of this story from Chalkbeat. How do they do it? “Creative teaching,” article explains, so that teachers “aren’t just relying on English to help students master grade-level material.” But isn’t it so that creative, adaptive teaching methods benefit all students?
  5. I encourage readers from California to consider Proposition 58, which would give schools more freedom to expand bilingual programs for some of the most linguistically diverse kids in the country. So proud of my multilingual home state.
  6. The latest episode of the This American Life podcast follows a Somali refugee who wins a lottery that could make his dreams of living in the United States come true. Gripping, honest, and told with journalistic integrity above all, “Abdi and the Golden Ticket” invites reflection on the privilege of citizenship, and what it takes to become a naturalized citizen.

A corgi walks onto campus and suddenly life is filled with new meaning. Have a happy Indigenous Peoples Day weekend!