shutterstock_44517163For many, Saturday is just another ordinary day in October and just another weekend to have a barbeque with friends, go to the movies or maybe just watch college football, but for immigration advocates and stakeholders, the answer is raising their voices for the National Day of Dignity and Respect, to show solidarity and emphasize to lawmakers the importance of real immigration reform.

There will be rallies, vigils, pilgrimages, and direct actions across the nation as immigrants, their families, and concerned community members make their voices heard. Some are happening on the 4th, most on the 5th and some on the 6th before the culminating event scheduled for October 8th in our nation’s capital.

Imagine for a moment your ability to participate in changing the world you live in.  Your ability to lend your voice to those of thousands calling for Dignity and Respect for all who live among us; yet live in fear and in the shadows.  Dignity and Respect for the young boy from Somalia who is your daughter’s schoolmate, for the young Ukrainian woman who prepared your latte at your favorite coffee shop, for the Guatemalan gentlewoman who cleans your house or for the energetic Mexican young man who was your waiter at the local restaurant last night.  There will be events in at least 160 cities in more than 30 states on October 5th.

So the question is not “are you interested?”, but “why would you not be?” TiVo the football game, wait for the movie to come on DVD, invite your family, co-workers, and friends and raise your voice.  Afterwards you can stop by the local grocery and ask the Argentinian butcher for a good cut of meat for your barbeque, swing by the middle-eastern shop at the corner to pick up some couscous and tabbouleh and then come by the recently opened French pastry shop for dessert. Information about how and where to get involved can be found at this website:  October 5th Events.

Are you able to be in Washington, D.C. on October 8th?  Join the rally at the U.S. Capitol Building. Call out for Dignity and Respect in our immigration process and tell our Congress that the time is now for commonsense immigration reform. 

Supporters are gathering to educate the public and policymakers about the cruel reality of deportations, the inefficient and wasteful spending on ineffective border security initiatives, and the need for a roadmap to legalization and citizenship.

Your voice, my voice and all of our voices are important to remind our Nation’s leaders of the many contributions of immigrants and of the cultural, economic and social benefits of their presence in our communities.  You will be raising your voice to call for Dignity and Respect in the way our immigration laws treat immigrants who are already here, who wish to come here or who are pleading to stay here.  You will remind leaders that Dignity and Respect are based on the principles upon which our great Nation was founded on: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Solidarity with those who live in the shadows lends courage and kindness to every immigrant who aspires to become an American citizen.  Come out and raise your voice with individuals from all backgrounds to remind our leaders in Congress that they have a job to do and delay will only hurt our nation.

Even if you can’t participate in person, consider using social media as a way to join in the day by:

Get inspired and take action! And remember… “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank