The Applied Research Center Celebrates Associated Press Decision to Drop the I-Word

April 3, 2013 (New York, NY) – The Applied Research Center (ARC) applauds the Associated Press decision to eliminate the phrase “illegal immigrant” from its 2013 Stylebook and calls on other institutions to do the same. A watershed moment in ARC’s Drop the I-Word campaign against dehumanizing language, the Stylebook change will have a tremendous impact on newspaper and other media coverage around the country.

"The AP deserves a lot of credit for the thoughtful and thorough process they've gone through, and for listening to readers and journalists alike," said ARC President Rinku Sen. "This decision will have far reaching implications, at a crucial time in the immigration policy debate."

ARC launched its Drop the I-Word campaign to eliminate use of the word “illegal” in September 2010, as anti-immigrant sentiment and hate crimes against communities of color has increased. ARC first put out a call for the AP to remove “illegal immigrant” from its Stylebook in November 2011 as the go-to reference for journalists is expected to be accurate, objective and respectful. Powered by immigrants and diverse communities across the country, Drop the I-Word has worked steadily through advocacy and coverage at Colorlines.com to present the dehumanizing and inaccurate aspects of the i-word, give space for immigrants to tell their stories, and to highlight the history behind the term “illegal” and other dehumanizing language.

The Applied Research Center would like to recognize key partners in this campaign: The National Association of Hispanic Journalists who called for journalists to reevaluate use of the term; progressive media outlets such as Alternet, The Nation, and Free Speech TV, who were among the first to drop the i-word; Roberto Lovato, who provided critical encouragement and was key to the early campaign strategy; The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities challenged local outlets, including the Boston Globe, to make the change; Presente.org; National Hispanic Media Coalition; and Jose Antonio Vargas drove the project home with his impassioned plea to journalists last fall. Additionally, ARC is appreciative of linguists, journalists, attorneys and public officials who offered support and made it clear that they could not use the word in good conscience, and the tireless work of community organizers and online supporters who rallied behind campaign efforts and held media outlets accountable.

While the AP Stylebook change is a significant and exciting victory, the work has just begun. ARC will continue to work with editors and publishers to update their style guides.

To learn more visit droptheiword.com.
 

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About ARC
The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a thirty-year-old, national racial justice organization with a mission to build awareness, solutions and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information and experiences. We define racial justice as the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equal opportunities and outcomes for all and we work to advance racial justice through media, research, and leadership development.
 
About Drop the I-Word
Drop the I-Word is a public education campaign powered by immigrants and diverse communities across the country that value human dignity and are working to eradicate the dehumanizing term "illegals" and related language, from everyday use and public discourse. The i-word opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents truthful, respectful debate on immigration. No human being is "illegal."

ARC Releases New Report on Good Food and Labor Movements

Recommends Better Collaboration To Advance Racial and Economic Equity
 

goodfood_finalreport_cover_sm.jpg July 10, 2012 (New York, NY) – A new report released by the Applied Research Center finds stronger collaboration is needed between movements for “good food” and “good jobs” in order to advance racial and economic equity in the food system. ARC report “Good Food and Good Jobs For All” is available at arc.org/foodjustice.

Report findings show that low-income people and people of color are most disproportionately, negatively impacted by: obesity, food security, “food deserts,” wage and hour violations, and lack of benefits. Yet, the movements for good food and labor rights do not typically work together towards food justice.

"What's at stake here is the future of food justice," said Yvonne Yen Liu, senior researcher at ARC and author of the report. "Healthy food is a human right that all people should have access to, regardless of race, class, or gender. Workers should be treated with dignity and respect.  We show in this report that food justice is a combination of the two: healthy, good food and sustainable, good jobs."

The “good food” movement promotes healthy food, available to all, that is sustainably grown through small-scale, local, seasonal, organic production. The “good jobs” labor rights movement strives to win dignity and respect for workers in the form of family-sustaining wages and benefits, healthy and safe working conditions, and career pathways. The good food movement often leaves out crucial factors such as living wages, immigration status, and enforcement of safe working and living conditions. Similarly, many labor advocates don't address how and why good food and land sovereignty relate to their struggles for workers. Developing collaborative efforts between these movements is key to winning both good food and good jobs.

"These are critical issues that affect everyone – those who produce our food, and all of us who consume it,” said ARC President Rinku Sen. “We hope that this report will help fuel robust collaboration between these two fields."

Key Recommendations of “Good Food and Good Jobs For All: Challenges and Opportunities to Advance Racial and Economic Equity in the Food System:”

  • Pursue intersectional analysis and foster collaborative leadership of those most negatively impacted in the food chain
  • Create alternatives while challenging current dominant food and economic systems
  • Build multiracial coalitions that overlap between good food and labor and promote both
  • Conduct additional research and develop resources such as tools and training


A free webinar will be held on July 12, 2012 at 1pmET/10amPT to present the findings of “Good Food and Good Jobs For All.” Presenters include Yvonne Yen Liu, ARC Senior Researcher and report author; Liana Foxvog, Director of Organizing and Communications at International Labor Rights Forum; and Jose Oliva, Program Director at ROC United. ARC Research Director Dom Apollon will moderate. For more information visit arc.org/webinars.

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

ABOUT ARC – The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. ARC also serves as the publisher of Colorlines.com, a daily news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today’s racial justice issues. For more information on ARC’s work, please visit www.arc.org.

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New Study Offers Insights about Young Progressives' Views on Activism and Race

Applied Research Center Makes Recommendations on Ways to Engage Millennials in Social Justice Work

arc_2012_millennials_cover.jpgMay 24, 2012 (New York, NY) -- Through a series of focus groups in key cities with Occupy participants and other activists aged 18-30, the Applied Research Center today released findings on young people’s motivations for engaging in activism, concerns about electoral politics, and thoughts on the extent to which race and racism should be an explicit part of current struggles for economic justice. The report also provides recommendations on key ways to engage millennials of all races/ethnicities in social justice work.

An accompanying article on young progressives was published by ARC President and Colorlines Publisher Rinku Sen, and an informational webinar will be presented to coincide with the release.


"From a researcher's perspective, it was a dream to hear from some of the most engaged progressive young people in the country," said report author and ARC Research Director Dominique Apollon. "And to provide a forum for them to express themselves freely, in ways that we hope readers of all ages and races will appreciate."


In ARC’s report
Millennials, Activism and Race, results show that the most significant influence for young progressives to engage in social justice work is their own personal and family experience, particularly for young people of color. In discussing what makes an ideal society, there were varied descriptions, but all agreed that it is one based on community and cooperation -- and that primary barriers include: (1) a dominant ideology based on individualism (especially economic), which too often causes people to be left to fend for themselves, without sufficient public resources and supports, and (2) a general lack of awareness of histories of oppression with political and economic analyses, that the general public doesn't have an analytic framework to critique our political and economic system. Additionally, Occupy protesters were more explicitly anti-capitalism, and more profoundly disillusioned by the electoral process than social justice advocates who had not participated in the Occupy movement.

In discussions about economic inequalities and strategies to close income and wealth gaps, participants were asked if focusing strictly on issues of class was enough, or if race, gender and other factors need to be
explicitly considered. The vast majority of participants argued that our society’s “post-racial” narrative is a challenge for racial justice progressives both externally and internally within the progressive movement - that an explicit racial lens is key to the success of social movements and that strategies should connect economic injustice to other systems of oppression like racism, classism, sexism.

“With recent Census data showing the majority of new births to be those of people of color, it’s not surprising that far from being ‘post-racial,’ millennials see that we have to talk about race to achieve social justice,” said ARC President Rinku Sen.


Millennials, Activism and Race
is a 32-page report with several infographics, dozens of quotes from the focus groups’ multi-racial participants, and detailed reactions on key current issues such as “to vote or not to vote,” “local vs national elections,” and “racial representation in Occupy.” Report findings are based on nine focus groups held in five cities (Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Oakland, Portland) between February and April 2012, with participants who either worked/volunteered for a progressive organization or participated in the Occupy movement. This newly released report follows an ARC 2011 report Don’t Call Them “Post-Racial”: Millennials’ Attitudes on Race, Racism, and Key Systems in Our Society - both can be found at arc.org/millennials.

Additionally Colorlines.com, ARC’s daily news site, offers reporting and videos on millennials, Occupy participants, and their connection to racial justice work.


The Applied Research Center’s key recommendations outlined in
Millennials, Activism and Race on the political engagement of young people includes follow from its key findings:

  • Develop and use frames and narratives that offer clear alternatives to individualism and competition, emphasizing positive values such as unity, equity, inclusion, linked fate and shared prosperity.
  • Create opportunities for young people of color to share personal stories that highlight human impacts and connections to lived experiences.
  • Encourage conversation, learning and strategizing that explicitly address systemic racism, and create tools that equip young people with the skills to use an intersectional analysis to challenge multiple, interconnected systems of oppression.
  • Bridge dissimilar organizations and communities so that young people can build multiracial, intergenerational power, emphasizing connections from Occupations to those from other kinds of social justice work.

 

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ARC Announces New Webinars and Speaker Line-up for Racial Justice National Conference

Topics Include Millennials, Occupy Activism, Presidential Election, Pop Culture; Keynote Speaker Junot Díaz
 

May 9, 2012 (New York, NY) - A leader in the racial justice movement, the Applied Research Center (ARC) today announced a schedule of upcoming webinars and speaker line-up for its Facing Race national conference, with a new promotional video presented by ARC Executive Director Rinku Sen, including testimonials from Melissa Harris Perry, Maria Teresa Kumar, Van Jones, and Ai-jen Poo. Facing Race will be held in Baltimore, MD, from November 15-17, with Junot Díaz keynoting. Registration and information is available at facingraceconference.org.

With a mission to popularize racial justice, ARC programs are inclusive and interactive, bringing people together in online community, webinars, and in-person conferences. ARC is thrilled to present webinars covering a wide range of topics throughout the year that will help people to advance racial justice in their own spheres, leading up to Facing Race -- the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, artists, and activists on racial justice.

ARC is holding two free informational webinars: “Millennials, Activism & Race” (May 24 - registration open at arc.org/webinars) and “Building Healthy Communities: Good Food and Good Jobs” (June 21). ARC will also be offering skill-building webinars over the course of the year, including: "Challenging Racism Systematically" (July 19), "Racial Justice Impact Assessment" (Aug 23), and two sessions in the fall on Voting Rights and Reproductive Rights.

Celebrating 30 years in the racial justice movement, ARC has a multi-racial and multi-generational staff with extensive expertise and experience. As publisher of Colorlines.com, ARC works through the news cycle to investigate and explicitly confront racism, challenging concepts like “colorblindness” and “post-racial,” and working on solutions that move beyond “diversity” and toward equity.

Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and 2012 Facing Race keynote speaker, commented on the so-called “post-race” state of the nation saying that “....events like ARC Facing Race Conference are of paramount importance.  Not only for the important activism and theorizing that they engender but because it is in these spaces of deliberations that we come in contact with the promise of a just anti-racist future.”

The Facing Race conference will be co-emceed by comedian W. Kamau Bell and social media maven Deanna Zandt, with plenaries on “Elections, Governance & Policy,” “Race, Gender and the 21st Century,” and “Arts, Media, Culture.” Presenters include Judith Browne Dianis, Jeff Chang, Negin Farsad, Maria Hinojosa, Sally Kohn, Janet Mock, and Michael Omi. Facing Race will be held in Baltimore, MD from Nov 15-17, 2012. Registration available at arc.org/facingrace.

In addition to other programs, the Applied Research Center offers an array of consultation services, including training, curriculum design, public presentations, evaluation, webinars, and strategic coaching.

ABOUT ARC – The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. ARC also serves as the publisher of Colorlines.com, a daily news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today’s racial justice issues. For more information on ARC’s work, please visit www.arc.org.

For press passes or media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

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THE NATION MAGAZINE AND COLORLINES.COM LAUNCH 'VOTING RIGHTS WATCH 2012'

voting_icon_030612.jpgNew Joint Project to Track Nationwide Voter ID Laws, Barriers to Registration and Voter Intimidation Tactics

April 18, 2012 (New York, NY) – The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com today announced a new partnership that will offer in-depth coverage of voter suppression efforts nationwide throughout the 2012 election season. "Voting Rights Watch 2012" will focus on the racial impact and dimensions of restrictive Voter ID laws, barriers faced by voter registration organizations, and efforts to "police the vote" and other intimidation tactics on Election Day.

The project, led by Nation.com executive editor Richard Kim and Colorlines.com editorial director Kai Wright, will consist of on-the-ground reporting by New Orleans-based investigative journalist and Colorlines.com Voting Rights Fellow Brentin Mock, and will be co-published at TheNation.com and Colorines.com.

Research has shown that at least thirty-four states have introduced and twelve have passed laws that erect barriers to voting at nearly every stage of the electoral process. According to a recent Brennan Center report, nearly five million eligible voters will be impacted by these laws. This patchwork quilt of laws disproportionately impact low-income citizens, college students, women, the elderly and people of color.

"This journalistic partnership will deepen our reporting resources and allow our two institutions, deeply committed to strengthening our democracy, to cast a brighter light on one of the most significant issues in this high-stakes election--the institutional barriers to voting," said Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher of The Nation.

"People fought very hard to ensure a robust democracy with as much participation as possible. Attempts to deny the vote to communities of color undermine that democracy and spill over to affect seniors, immigrants and others,” added Rinku Sen, ARC Executive Director and Publisher of Colorlines.com. “That's why Colorlines.com and The Nation are committed to unearthing these obstacles as well as their solutions, combining our audience reach to get this information to a broad base of concerned readers.”

For more information, including on-going investigations, or to book interviews, contact [email protected] or  [email protected].

ABOUT COLORLINES.COM
Colorlines.com is a daily news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today's racial justice issues. Produced by a multiracial team of writers, Colorlines.com is published by the Applied Research Center, and serves as a leading voice on a broad range of issues including politics, pop culture, immigration reform, the economy and jobs.

ABOUT KAI WRIGHT (Twitter: @kai_wright)
Kai Wright is the editorial director at Colorlines.com. His work explores the politics of sex, race and health. He’s a reporting fellow of the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute. His investigative reporting and news analysis appears regularly in The Nation, The Root and The American Prospect, among other publications. Kai is also author of Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York, as well as two books of African-American history.

ABOUT BRENTON MOCK (Twitter: @bmockaveli)
Brenton Mock is a New Orleans-based investigative journalist, Voting Rights Fellow for Colorlines.com, and former senior editor for The Loop 21, where he covered electoral politics and reporting on voter ID issues. Mock also works as web editor for the online, citizen-journalist driven blogsite "Bridge the Gulf" and helped launch the New Orleans online investigative news site "The Lens." He previously worked at The American Prospect as a reporter and blogger covering environmental justice issues through a fellowship awarded by the Metcalf Institute for Environmental Reporting. His work has been published in GOOD, The Root, The Daily Beast, Newsweek.com, The Grio, The Atlantic, Next American City, Truthout.org, Alternet, Vibe.com, XXL, The Source, and Religion Dispatches.

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COLORLINES REPORTER WINS HILLMAN PRIZE IN WEB JOURNALISM

swesslerhillman.jpgSeth Freed Wessler’s Investigative Series on Deportation and Child Welfare Honored With Prestigious Award

April 3, 2012 (New York, NY) -- The Sidney Hillman Foundation has awarded Colorlines.com reporter Seth Freed Wessler with the 2012 Hillman Prize, one of the most prestigious honors a journalist can receive, for his “Shattered Families” investigation of the intersection of deportation and child welfare.

Hillman Prizes are awarded to journalists who have demonstrated “excellence in reporting in service of the common good.” Since the publication of Wessler’s investigation it has precipitated significant attention from national media outlets (Nightline, AP, CNN, among others), reviewed by policy makers around the country, and even prompted a comment by the President of the United States. In response to a question posed about the lack of due process in the deportation of parents, President Obama called it a “real problem” and said the federal government needs “to make sure that children aren’t torn from their parents without due process and the possibility to stay with their children.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be awarded the Hillman Prize. The deported and detained parents who agreed last year to tell me their stories face the prospect of losing their children forever. Some already have,” said Wessler. “This investigation establishes that these tragedies are a result of structural failures of law and policy. It’s my hope that the attention it’s received will continue to usher in policy shifts to keep families together."

detentionwalls3_sm.jpgA significant impact of the investigation is its galvanizing effect on advocates around the country working to advance policy reforms. One notable example is the introduction of legislation by California state Senator Kevin de Leon to significantly address many of the local child-welfare based problems uncovered in the investigation.

“Needlessly separating children from their parents and families is disheartening. It benefits no one – especially vulnerable children. Seth has shed light on this tragic situation with his exceptional work, which has influenced the development of Senate Bill 1064: The Reuniting Immigrant Families Act,” said California State Senator Kevin de Leon. “Family reunification should be priority, irrespective of a family’s immigration status.  My hope is that our work will motivate other states to pursue legislation that will protect families.”

Wessler’s reporting on the devastating collateral effects of the deportation of parents has changed the conversation about immigration enforcement by making concrete the impacts of deporting historical numbers of people, 22 percent of whom, as the investigation found, are parents. His work established beyond a doubt that these cases are not exceptions, but a growing problem produced by two systems that together punish immigrant families by letting borders and bars stand in the way of that which we hold most dear.

"Seth's integrity, enterprise and relentless commitment to the 'Shattered Families' investigation made it possible for us to tell these heartbreaking stories,” said Colorlines.com Publisher Rinku Sen. “That intersection of immigration enforcement and child welfare agencies needs continued attention."

Colorlines.com is committed to ambitious investigative reporting on stories too often overlooked and questions too rarely asked about race. Among other stories in 2012, we'll be closely tracking the erosion of voting rights in many communities of color and the ongoing attack on reproductive rights. We'll look beyond the headlines on both stories to ask both how and why communities of color have become the battleground upon which these partisan wars are being fought. We'll also continue digging into the commodification of education, predatory financial products and, of course, the quickening pace of deportation. Wessler’s reporting built upon previous reporting he did in collaboration with Colorlines.com reporter Julianne Hing and research conducted with Applied Research Center colleagues Dominique Apollon and Esther Portillo.

Seth Freed Wessler bio is available here, and can be followed on Twitter at @SethFW. He will be awarded the Hillman Prize in a ceremony and reception on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at The TimesCenter in New York City. The event is free and open to the public. More information on the Hillman Awards Event and other awardees available here.

ABOUT: Colorlines.com is a daily news site where race matters, offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today’s racial justice issues from a multiracial team of writers. Follow breaking news at Colorlines.com/NOW. Go deep with investigative reporting. And join the conversation about solutions wherever you feel moved. Colorlines.com is published by the Applied Research Center (ARC), a racial justice think tank. 
 
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MELINDA WEEKES TO JOIN APPLIED RESEARCH CENTER AS INAUGURAL MANAGING DIRECTOR

Racial Justice Think Tank Celebrates
30th Anniversary and Plans for 2012 Election Year
 
March 27, 2012 (New York, NY) -- Celebrating 30 years in the racial justice movement, the Applied Research Center (ARC) announces its first managing director, Melinda Weekes, who is renowned in the social justice movement for her experience as leadership strategist, facilitator, and collaborative capacity builder.

As the nation’s leading racial justice think tank and publisher of Colorlines.com, ARC works to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. The addition of Weekes to the ARC team marks a significant moment in the organization’s history as it expands its movement-building initiatives through media, research, leadership training, research, and solutions-focused events.

“Melinda is a gifted facilitator of group processes and program planning, the kind who can feel what isn’t being said and make room for it,” said ARC President Rinku Sen. “ARC is thrilled to have Melinda take over our program management, providing welcome guidance and tools that enable the staff to keep producing at the fast pace and high quality in which we take pride. Judging from the early reactions of colleagues in the field, our choice will be applauded throughout the nation.”

“I’m thrilled to join the Applied Research Center -- to be counted among a team that has worked towards racial justice for the last 30 years is a great honor I don’t take lightly,” said Weekes. “I couldn’t think of an organization that I would rather be a part of in terms of mission, vision, and values in grappling with perhaps the greatest challenge of our time. ARC is singular in how it applies innovation, rigorous thoughtfulness, and practicality to making the quest for racial justice actionable and inspiring.”

ARC works to change the way society talks about and understands racial inequity, focused largely on institutional and structural racism as opposed to personal prejudice. With a powerful solutions-oriented approach and a mission that sees racial justice as key to social justice, ARC is connected to hundreds of organizations and leaders around the country, including community-based, state and regional, as well as national allies and partners.

Recent ARC achievements and plans for 2012 include:
  • Colorlines.com, a daily news site where race matters. In the 2012 election cycle, Colorlines.com is a leading source of racial news and analysis, with a particular focus on the increasingly racialized assaults on access to the vote and reproductive rights, to be expertly covered by investigative reporter Brentin Mock and gender reporter and columnist Akiba Solomon. 2012 saw the launch of Colorlines.com/NOW breaking news blog, following the latest developments from Trayvon Martin to viral videos.  
  • Facing Race National Conference - the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, activists, and artists on racial justice. Facing Race 2012 will be held November 15-17 in Baltimore, MD with with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz serving as keynote speaker.
  • Drop the I-Word campaign to eradicate the dehumanizing slur "illegals" and related terms from everyday use and public discourse. Thousands of people have pledged, and this year ARC will reach out to the AP Stylebook, hundreds of journalists and media outlets nationwide to document their policies and ask them to drop the i-word.
  • Landmark research reports on social justice issues built around the concept of “Race and …” – highlighting the intersection and compounding effects of race and key societal issues, most recently: “Shattered Families” on immigration enforcement and child welfare, “Don’t Call Them Post-Racial” on young people’s perception of race, and “Color of Food” on food justice at the intersection of labor and good food movements.
  • Racial Justice Training & Webinar Series - ARC has trained thousands of activists and also works with a variety of institutions and public agencies such as health departments, school districts, universities and philanthropic organizations. ARC’s Webinar Series makes ARC’s highly requested trainings accessible to a wider audience such as “Changing the Conversation on Race” and “Taking Real Steps Towards Racial Justice.”


For interview or other media inquiries, contact [email protected].

ABOUT ARC - The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. ARC also serves as the publisher of Colorlines.com, a daily news site where race matters. For more information on ARC’s work, please visit www.arc.org.

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ACTION NEEDED TO SAVE FAMILY FROM PERMANENT SEPARATION

Three US Citizen Children to be Taken From Father Deported to Mexico

February 14, 2012 (New York, NY) – An action launched on Valentine’s Day 2012 by Presente.org and the Applied Research Center is rallying public support to save a family scheduled from torn apart by the Department of Social Services in Allegheny County, NC. Felipe’s family is emblematic of thousands of families devasted by immigration enforcement and child welfare systems that collide and greatly increase the chance that children will never see their families again.

On February 21, Felipe Montes, husband to a US Citizen and father to three US Citizen children, will have his parental rights stripped away in court due to his deportation. The petition to save this family is available at presente.org/felipeschildren.

The petition will flood the North Carolina Division of Social Services with thousands of emails and hundreds of calls, and possibly compel a delivery action next week.

More than 46,000 cases involving mothers and fathers that were deported away from their U.S.-citizen children in the first six months of 2011 alone. An undocumented immigrant, Felipe is a devoted father and was breadwinner for his family. He resided for many years in the United States and has unwavering support of his longtime employer. The February 21 hearing is a pivotal moment in the lives of these three children, and possibly the final opportunity to reunify them with their father.

"The day of my detention was the saddest day of my life,” said Felipe. “I took my kids to daycare at 8 in the morning. I woke them up like always. I changed them. I fixed some things for them to take to daycare. I got detained, and they took me to another state. Without being able to say anything to my wife. Without seeing my children even one more time." Felipe was deported as a result of driving without a license and insurance.

Presente.org’s petition calls on the Allegheny County Department of Social Services to ensure that Felipe’s family is not permanently separated, but rather that they be reunified in the United States or Mexico: presente.org/felipeschildren.

“As if it isn't enough that Latinos have to deal with the devastation of the broken federal immigration system, we also have to deal with child welfare departments that are ruthlessly destroying families and traumatizing children,” said Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org. “Felipe Montes should be united with his three U.S. citizen children, immediately, and steps should be taken to make sure thousands more children aren’t legally separated from their parents forever.”

According to the Applied Research Center’s recent “Shattered Families” report, more than 5,000 children around the country currently in foster care have parents who have detained or deported. North Carolina was one of the key states ARC focused on in researching “Shattered Families.” Interviews and surveys with child welfare caseworkers and attorneys in a handful of NC jurisdictions found a growing number of children in foster care have detained or deported parents. Petition signers are also calling on the North Carolina Division of Social Services to develop clear policies to ensure that families separated by a parent’s deportation are quickly reunified.

“The heartbreaking experience of the Montes family reminds us that our immigration policies affect the lives of real families,” said Rinku Sen, president of the Applied Research Center. “They need action now, at every level of the system.”

The Applied Research Center’s report on the perilous intersection of immigration enforcement and parental rights has been featured on ABC News & World Report, ABC Nightline, MSNBC Rachel Maddow, dozens of other media outlets, and the issue commented on by President Obama and Newt Gingrich. Unfortunately, there has been little movement to reform the immigration and child welfare systems. In the meantime, thousands of families are being torn apart.

Child welfare departments must be prepared to ensure these families are treated fairly. A border should never speak louder than a parent’s love. On February 21, there is an opportunity to reunify Felipe and his family, and hopefully spark broader systemic changes, as outlined in the recommendations of the Applied Research Center’s “Shattered Families” report, available at arc.org/shatteredfamilies.

For information on the campaign, or to interview Presente.org Executive Director Arturo Carmona contact [email protected] or 832-315-5953. For more information on Felipe’s case, ARC’s “Shattered Families” report, or to interview ARC President Rinku Sen, contact [email protected] or 646-490-2772.

ABOUT PRESENTE.ORG: With more than a quarter million members, Presente is a major national organization dedicated to amplifying the political voices of Latino communities in the United States. Presente.org has led campaigns around various national issues, including the removal of Lou Dobbs from CNN, the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and the Trail of DREAMs campaign.

ABOUT ARC – The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. ARC also publishes Colorlines.com. For more information on ARC’s work, visit http://arc.org/.

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ABC Nightline on Deportation & Child Welfare

Last night ABC Nightline & World News with Diane Sawyer ran a feature story on families being shattered by immigration enforcement, citing ARC’s groundbreaking “Shattered Families” report, which offers the first national data on more than 5,000 children in foster care due to the detainment or deportation of their parents.  ARC projects another 15,000 children will face the threat of permanent separation from their families in the next five years. VIDEO: http://bit.ly/yNYVRd

ABC's segment offers a rare glimpse into the heartbreaking experiences of children and parents most vulnerable. ARC President Rinku Sen was interviewed as well, quoted: "We're creating a collateral consequence in which thousands of children are ripped away from their families with no real process for being reunited."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gave ABC a statement (available here: http://abcn.ws/zjF53p) commenting ("We take great strides to evaluate cases that warrant humanitarian release....Overall, ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement.") ARC's Response to ICE's statement:

  • ARC President RINKU SEN: "ICE claims are contradicted by a hard reality, which is that detention and deportation dramatically increase the chances that families will never see each other again. This is neither 'smart' nor 'effective.' In fact, it's downright cruel."
  • "Shattered Families" Report Author SETH WESSLER: "As our research makes abundantly clear, detention and deportation regularly obstruct the lines of communication necessary for participation in the child welfare process. If ICE stopped detaining parents, families would not face this kind of traumatic separation"

“Shattered Families” (http://arc.org/shatteredfamilies) is having an impact. President Obama, Newt Gringrich, and other leaders have commented on the gravity of the problem, media coverage is increasing, and people around the country and the world are talking about the need for solutions.

MEDIA CONTACT:
[email protected]

Related articles:

Seth Freed Wessler reports from inside immigration detention centers and follows several families who were shattered. A follow-up story highlighted data ARC obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. This data reveals nearly a quarter of people deported in first half of 2011 were parents with U.S. citizen children. If rates of parent deportation remain steady, the United States will expel as many parents in just 2 years as it did in a 10-year period before the Obama administration.

Additionally, ARC President Rinku Sen describes how domestic violence victims are particularly vulnerable, and discusses why it's crucial to keep immigrant families together

JUNOT DÍAZ TO KEYNOTE 2012 FACING RACE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

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Premier Racial Justice Conference to be Held November 15-17 in Baltimore, MD
 
January 25, 2012 (New York, NY) -- Early bird registration is open for the Applied Research Center’s 2012 Facing Race National Conference, to be held days after the presidential election, with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz serving as keynote speaker. Register today at the early bird price of $175 for Facing Race, November 15-17, at the Baltimore Hilton in Maryland: arc.org/facingrace.
 
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the Applied Research Center (ARC) is the nation’s leading racial justice think tank and publisher of Colorlines.com, a daily news site. ARC’s biennial Facing Race conference is the largest multi-racial gathering in the country for organizations and individuals on racial justice. Key issues to be addressed include 2012 election, economy, arts & culture, education reform, multiracial organizing, immigrant rights, and the development of racial justice leadership and training models. 
 
“We have recently seen enormous change and shifts in racial politics, some encouraging and others not so much. Our victories are the direct result of our collective effort to humanize people of color in the public discourse and keep an explicit racial analysis front and center in national debates,” said ARC President Rinku Sen. “But there's clearly still a ton of work to do, difficult conversations to be had, and new strategies to cook up. Facing Race is where we prepare for the opportunities ahead.”
 
ARC’s mission to popularize racial justice led to the selection of celebrated Dominican-American author Junot Díaz as Facing Race keynote speaker. From his Pulitzer Prize-winning, NYTimes bestselling novel, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, to his short stories and essays, Díaz is renowned for his bold, nuanced depiction of immigrants and people of color, moving far beyond stereotypes to deal with different degrees of historical and intergenerational trauma, issues of diasporic displacement, and immigration. Through Díaz’s writing, the impact of internalized and structural oppression is revealed in a way that makes a discussion about racial justice accessible and engaging. An inspiration to and mentor of young writers of color, Díaz will be an exciting part of ARC’s Facing Race conference, examining this political moment, how culture and art play a role in resistance, and how young people of color fit into a racially just narrative.
 
The post-election timing of ARC’s 2012 Facing Race National Conference is fitting as the Applied Research Center celebrates its 30th Anniversary, reviewing key racial justice successes over the past 30 years and setting a bold, ambitious course for the next 30. Elections come and go, but the work to advance racial justice and achieve equity will continue. Facing Race attendees will talk politics and examine the cultural landscape from a racial justice perspective, evolving strategies for policy change in the coming years. Previous speakers have included Melissa Harris-Perry, Van Jones, Walter Mosley, Eddie Palmieri, Sherman Alexie.
 
About ARC – The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to fight for it. ARC also serves as the publisher of Colorlines.com, a daily news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today’s racial justice issues. For more information on ARC’s work, please visit www.arc.org.
 
About FACING RACE – The 2012 Facing Race National Conference is ARC’s 6th Facing Race.  Grown from a summit of 225 people in Berkeley in 2004 to more than 1,000 attendees in national conferences held in cities across the country - New York, Chicago, Oakland, and now Baltimore in 2012 - Facing Race is the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, activists, and artists on racial justice.
 
For press passes or media inquiries, please contact [email protected] .
 
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