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Grassroots Welcomes Elizabeth Welliver

Grassroots Leadership is glad to welcome Elizabeth Welliver to its Austin staff. Elizabeth joins Grassroots as the fifth Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) to serve with the immigration team since 2012. The Young Adult Volunteer program with the Presbyterian Church (USA) offers the opportunity for young adults to serve for one year alongside local partners while practicing simple living, vocational discernment, intentional Christian community, cross-cultural mission, and leadership development. Read more about Grassroots Welcomes Elizabeth Welliver

A YAV year in review

When I walked into my first day of work at Grassroots Leadership, Cristina had been there for at least an hour already working on the call-in campaign to get Sara and Nayely released from Karnes. She quickly explained to me what was going on and asked me to jump in where I felt comfortable. Just over a month later, we had planned the rally at Karnes and released the report on family detention. Even today, my last day, I feel like there is much to do and that this work will never be done. Read more about A YAV year in review

Confronting the border

In mid-October I had the good fortune to be invited on a trip to the border of Texas and Mexico. I was auditing a class at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary called, “The Church, The Borderlands, and The Public Good”—all themes that I wrestle with as I learn more about immigration issues during this year of service for my church.

So far, I had felt connected to the work I'm doing here at Grassroots Leadership, and grounded in the knowledge that I am effecting systemic and individual change. The day I started was the day we started the campaign to get Sara and Nayely released from Karnes. Then I met Sara and Nayely when I took them to the hospital for an appointment. When I visited Hutto I met another woman who has been severely affected by the violence in Central America, and the subsequent violence of being locked in a prison in the country she fled to—the United States. Going to the border in October made the work that I do on the immigration team at Grassroots Leadership feel more realistic. 

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Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Young Adult Volunteer Emma Randles

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Emma Randles to our Austin staff.

Emma is originally from Claremont, California and graduated from Gettysburg College in 2013 where she studied psychology and Spanish. She is very excited to have been placed at Grassroots Leadership for her assignment as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) for the Presbyterian Church (USA). The YAV program is an opportunity for young people to serve others both internationally and domestically while they focus on social justice issues, community connection, simple living, and vocational discernment. 

“I first became aware of the massive injustice surrounding the national immigration policies as a senior in high school,” she says, “and after many years of wondering how to approach effecting change, working with Grassroots Leadership feels like a concrete step towards bringing about a shift towards a more just system.”

Read more about Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Young Adult Volunteer Emma Randles

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