Grassroots Leadership Blog

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

Grassroots Leadership's latest publication lays the groundwork for a new program area

Grassroots Leadership is excited to release Beyond Alternatives to Incarceration and Confinement, which lays the groundwork for a new project area to fight the Treatment Industrial Complex. Our work exposing the TIC has shed light on the private prison profiteers who built billion dollar empires as partners in tough on crime policies and who are now adapting to reforms by rebranding themselves as humane treatment providers and reentry experts. Read more about Grassroots Leadership's latest publication lays the groundwork for a new program area

WATCH: Texas Advocates for Justice #kNOwMORE2017 highlight video and recap

On February 1, Texas Advocates for Justice was honored to host a state-wide gathering of individuals whose lived experiences include incarceration, detention/deportation, and mental illness. The kNOw More Advocacy Day featured spirited marching, memorable speeches, an indelible art exhibit, and powerful conversations with Texas legislators. The daylong gathering was planned and led by individuals whose lives have been most affected by Texas jails Read more about WATCH: Texas Advocates for Justice #kNOwMORE2017 highlight video and recap.

Announcing Sofia Casini's new role at Grassroots Leadership

Sofia Casini, immigration programs coordinator

I am pleased to announce that Sofia Casini has joined our staff full-time as our new immigration programs coordinator. To many of you, Sofia is a familiar face. She has been working as our detention visitation coordinator since 2015.

Sofia Casini brings over 15 years of experience working with immigrants, refugees, and victims of trafficking.  Read more about Announcing Sofia Casini's new role at Grassroots Leadership

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