Grassroots Leadership Blog

What your donation to our work means to us

We are overwhelmed by the support we received during Amplify Austin on Friday. We are happy to share that we met our $10,000 goal. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you! Those donations will ensure that we are able to keep organizing for the long haul and fighting back against criminalization right here in Texas. For example, did you know the Travis County Commissioners Court is actually considering spending $97 million on a new jail? [node:read-more:link]

Welcoming Ari Luna


Grassroots Leadership is excited to welcome Ari Luna as our new Administrative Associate!

Born and raised in Central Texas, Ari holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Ari joins us with 6 years of experience providing specialized support to non-profit organizations in Austin, Texas. They are excited to support our organization and staff in their fight to eliminate incarceration, deportation, and criminalization. [node:read-more:link]

Things are just as bad as we feared at a “civil commitment center” in Texas

This private prison facility in West Texas once incarcerated prisoners from Idaho. Ever since Idaho canceled the contract with GEO Group in 2008, the county has been desperate to fill the facility that had become a money pit for local taxpayers.

I hate to say we told you so. In this case, I really, really hate it.

An exposé in the Texas Observer this month confirmed everything we feared about the Treatment Industrial Complex (TIC), a term we use to describe private prison companies’ scheme to expand their revenue by exploiting new markets in healthcare, treatment, and re-entry. [node:read-more:link]

Welcoming Sulma Franco to the immigration team // Bienvenida a Sulma Franco al equipo de inmigración

Grassroots Leadership is pleased to welcome Sulma Franco as our new Sanctuary Organizer! Grassroots Leadership was invited by Sulma to help with her sanctuary campaign in 2015 when she was at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin.

¡Grassroots Leadership se enorgullece en darle la bienvenida a nuestra nueva Organizadora de Santuario, Sulma Franco! Sulma invitó a Grassroots Leadership a apoyar su campaña de santuario en el 2015 mientras estaba en santuario en la iglesia First Unitarian Universalist en Austin. [node:read-more:link]

Welcoming Development Coordinator Natalia Thompson

Grassroots Leadership is proud to welcome Natalia Thompson as our new Development Coordinator. 

Natalia has been organizing and fundraising for migrant, economic, and racial justice for over a decade. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Natalia holds a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale, where she organized with MEChA de Yale.  [node:read-more:link]

Welcoming Josue Damian-Martinez to the Immigration Team

Join me in welcoming Josue Damian-Martinez as the new Immigrant Rights Advocate Intern. Josue will be leading groups during visitations at the Hutto Detention Center. Visitors will also hear from Josue often, as he will be sending out Friday resources and support visitation volunteers in organizing for real change at the Hutto Detention Center. 

Welcoming Alex Cogan as Criminal Justice Intern

Grassroots Leadership is excited to welcome Alex Cogan as a Criminal Justice Intern for the 2018 spring semester. Alex is earning her Master of Science in Social Work with a concentration in administration and policy practice at The University of Texas at Austin. She has focused much of her graduate school research on criminal justice reform, having interned at the Travis County Correctional Complex. As a social work intern at the jail, she had the opportunity to work closely and build relationships with incarcerated individuals. [node:read-more:link]

La historia de Guadalupe: la detención y la deportación son fuerzas mortales

Altar de la conmemoración en el ayuntamiento de Austin construido para el Día de Muertos

En el Día de Muertos de este año, nos unimos a los miembros de Detention Watch Network para recordar a las víctimas de los sistemas de detención y deportación de los EE. UU. Te invitamos a leer esta historia de Guadalupe, una inmigrante cuya historia se compone de experiencias de la vida real, la mayoría de ellas vividas por inmigrantes en Austin. Mientras lees, te invitamos a recordar a las personas que pierden sus vidas todos los días a manos de nuestro cruel sistema. [node:read-more:link]