Grassroots Leadership Blog

We can not accept any DACA deal that includes more detention and deportation

Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, speaking at the University Leadership Initiative press conference on September 5 to respond to news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session announced the end of the DACA program.

I remain heartened by the defiant response of our community here in Austin to the ending of DACA. We’ve been standing with University Leadership Initiative, with United We Dream, and with undocumented students who have DACA and who don’t have DACA, for years. We’re outraged by the actions of bullies like Donald Trump, Ken Paxton, Jeff Sessions, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick who have tried to terrorize these communities for months now. Read more about We can not accept any DACA deal that includes more detention and deportation

We welcome Norma Itzel Salas to the Grassroots Leadership team

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Norma Itzel Salas as our new Immigration Social Work and Advocacy Intern. Itzel is a current student at St. Edward’s University finishing her last semester this December with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. 

Itzel has volunteered around Austin with different organizations such as Casa Marianella, has spoken to Senator Eddie Lucio about how to advocate for immigrant rights, is now part of our Grassroots Leadership team! She has a passion for immigration law and policy.  Read more about We welcome Norma Itzel Salas to the Grassroots Leadership team

ICE Show Us Your Papers: Action in San Antonio for ICE Accountability

On Tuesday in San Antonio, Grassroots Leadership, RAICES, the Austin Sanctuary Network, Movimento Cosecha, and local partners joined with immigrant advocates across the nation to demand accountability from ICE. The coordinated national actions were in response to ICE’s planned mega-raids during the month of September. Read more about ICE Show Us Your Papers: Action in San Antonio for ICE Accountability

Grassroots Welcomes Chris Harris

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Chris Harris to the team as a Data Analyst & Campaigns Coordinator! Chris has been contracting with Grassroots Leadership since January, assisting with everything from software consulting to data analysis to event organizing. We are pleased to now welcome him aboard in a full-time capacity where he will help coordinate local criminal justice campaigns, in addition to policy and data analysis. Read more about Grassroots Welcomes Chris Harris

Grassroots Welcomes Claudia Muñoz

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Claudia Muñoz to our Austin staff as our immigration Projects Director. 

Claudia was born and raised in Monterrey, México and has called Texas home since 2001.  After her nephew was detained by ICE, Claudia began to organize with other undocumented youth nationwide to secure his release and demand dignity for all immigrants. Since graduating from Prairie View A&M University in 2009, Claudia has worked for various labor and immigrant rights organizations throughout the country.  Read more about Grassroots Welcomes Claudia Muñoz

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

New Action Research Collective Asks Night Out for Safety and Liberation Participants: What Is Safety?

On August 1, Texas Advocates Justice (TAJ) and allied community groups hosted their first annual Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL), a night to redefine what safety and liberation means to us beyond the oppressive structures of police, prisons, and jails. NOSL was created by The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, CA in response to the National Night Out event sponsored by the National Association of Neighborhood Watch, which invited law enforcement into communities of color to promote the myth that policing equates to public safety. Read more about New Action Research Collective Asks Night Out for Safety and Liberation Participants: What Is Safety?

Houston and Austin join national Night Out for Safety and Liberation for #NOSL17

The #NOSL17 in Austin featured spoken word and rap performances, a cookout, and a community project where we defined together what #SafetyIs for our communities. All Austin event photos by Jaynna Sims.

The Night Out for Safety and Liberation is a national event that seeks to redefine public safety by challenging us to question what #SafetyIs for black, brown, and poor people. Texas Advocates for Justice chapters in Houston and Austin came together for #NOSL17 to imagine, celebrate, and connect. Read more about Houston and Austin join national Night Out for Safety and Liberation for #NOSL17

Welcome Norma A. Herrera, our new Criminal Justice Organizer!

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Norma A. Herrera as our new Criminal Justice Organizer! Norma has been involved with Grassroots Leadership and allied community projects, including Youth Rise Texas, ICE Out of Austin, and La Linea Defensa Comunitaria (immigrant hotline) and we are happy to call her the newest member of the criminal justice team, where she will work to find community alternatives to the Treatment Industrial Complex. Read more about Welcome Norma A. Herrera, our new Criminal Justice Organizer!

The Texas legislative session was ugly, but it wasn’t all bad

You’ve heard the bad news about immigration. But there actually are things to celebrate now that an ugly, racist legislative session is behind us. Lewis Conway, second from left, urges lawmakers to close prisons.

Rep. Matt Rinaldi put a lid on an already repugnant legislative session when he told colleagues that he reported protesters to federal immigration agents on Monday. Rinaldi’s mouthing off might hurt SB 4 supporters in court. Read more about The Texas legislative session was ugly, but it wasn’t all bad

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