G92 Fellows Program Fall Semester 2014 Plan Overview

Summary:

The G92 Fellowship is designed to help Christian students around the country interact with the issue of immigration from a distinctly biblical perspective. Fellows will raise awareness of immigration issues and educate their campus communities on immigration, mobilize their campuses to serve immigrant brothers and sisters, and lead their campus in advocating for immigration reform that will alleviate the suffering our current laws wreak upon immigrant communities.

To accomplish this, each Fellow will be expected to 1) execute at least 1 event designed to raise awareness of immigration issues – unless otherwise approved, this event should be a screening of The Stranger 2) Organize (whether formally or informally) at least  1 service opportunity 3) Generate 100 contacts to Congress advocating for immigration reform 4)  Place at least 1 article in your school newspaper to cover events such as The Stranger screenings or awareness events/service opportunities, or to express your thoughts on immigration from a biblical perspective. Fellows should also be prepared to reach out to local media as well to generate coverage of their events (with G92’s assistance if you need it, and where schools allow this).

Most of you will be able to surpass these goals without much problem (though it will require work). G92 is here as a resource as you work on your campuses – while the in-person training is over, you will still receive guidance and training to help you move G92 forward on your campus.


Goals

  1. Awareness/Education
    1. Rationale/Description
    2. Concrete Goals
  2. Service
    1. Rationale/Description
    2. Concrete Goals
  3. Advocacy
    1. Rationale/Description
    2. Concrete Goals
  4. Media
    1. Rationale/Description
    2. Concrete Goals

Awareness/Education

As you all mentioned in DC, one of the most common problems we run into regarding issues of immigration (such as: what the Bible says about treatment of immigrants, facts regarding crises such as refugee crises around the world, unaccompanied minors, economics of immigration in the United States, and current immigration policy and how it adversely affects the immigrant community, such as the issue of DREAMers) is the fact that many people are not educated on the issue. One of your primary objectives as a G92 Fellow is to raise awareness of immigration issues from a distinctly Christian perspective.

The Resource Folder contains most of the information you will need to execute events, and you can always contact me (Daniel) for any help you might need in terms of planning events. Some examples of events include (but are not limited to): film screenings, discussion panels, and lectures. In order to execute events, you’ll usually need to get approval from your school (especially an event like a film screening).

Concrete Goals

Each Fellow will be expected to execute at least 1 awareness-building/educational event.  Unless otherwise approved, each Fellow’s first such event should be a film screening of The Stranger, which should ideally be followed by an interactive aspect such as a discussion panel. Each Fellow should administer the survey contained in the Resource Folder at the end of each event.

 

Service

Another main focus of your Fellowship will be in getting your fellow students to engage in acts of service with local immigrant communities. This can be volunteering at a local organization (such as World Relief) that serves refugees and/or other immigrants in ways such as teaching English, tutoring, helping set up new apartments for new arrivals to the US, job training, providing childcare, processing visa applications, etc. It can also be working with local churches, community centers, etc., which provides these or other services to refugees and/or other immigrants.such

This is important for two reasons.

1)      Interpersonal acts of compassion and service are the most clearly explicit commands in the Bible regarding treatment of immigrants. Living this out ourselves (both for those of us who have direct immigration experiences, and for those of us who don’t), and encouraging others to do so as well, is an incredible way to live out some of the most direct commands of our faith.

 

2)      Research (and common sense) consistently shows that people who have actual relationships with immigrants care more about them and are more willing to support immigration reform policies which would help them. By mobilizing your campus to serve immigrant communities, you will be helping your campus community members form relationships with immigrants, making the issue more tangible to them, and significantly increasing the likelihood of their actively supporting immigration reform.

 

Concrete Goals

Each Fellow will be expected to execute at least 1 such act of service that incorporates a team of students (so, not just yourself going alone to volunteer somewhere, though that is definitely a great thing to do!). Don’t get hung up on terminology such as “service project” or anything – the idea is to get a group of students together (whether formally or informally) to tangibly serve local immigrant communities (where possible). Think creatively – if there are no such communities around that you know of, you can do things such as writing letters to immigrants who are in detention centers, or leading a gift drive for kids whose parents are detained, etc. The more students you can engage in this, the better, but don’t wait forever to take action just because you’re waiting for more people to sign up. And while the bare minimum is to do this once, it’s even better if you can set up something on a recurring basis!

 

Advocacy

Advocacy is the act of following the biblical command to raise our voices for justice on behalf of, and in partnership with, those whose voices have been marginalized. In terms of this Fellowship, advocacy will consist of mobilizing your campus to contact your Congresspersons (members of the House of Representatives) and urging them to support immigration reform legislation. While Congress has indicated that it will not consider immigration reform legislation within the coming months, or even year, this makes it even more important that we advocate. If Congress makes it clear that they will not fix our nation’s broken immigration system, and they do not hear back from their constituents, they will assume that is what their constituents want, and that there is no reason for them to improve the laws. If, however, we do our jobs well and contact them, they will know that their constituents disagree with them and that we need our laws fixed in ways that ease the burdens placed on so many millions of people.

Concrete Goals

Each Fellow will be expected to generate at least 100 contacts to Congress over the course of the semester. Don’t let that number intimidate you – many of last semester’s Fellows surpassed that number easily – if you have a team of 9 people helping you, then each person on your team only has to get 10 people to participate to reach this goal. Together, we (Daniel and the Fellows) will decide whether we are going to focus on generating phone calls, letters, or tweets. In addition, students should seek to arrange 1 in-person meeting with their Representative’s local office.

 

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