THE GREAT AMERICAN RAICES DINNER
Around this time last year, I had started to hear more about how the Trump administration was separating children from their families at the border. Given how the past few years have been, this was one of the breaking points for me, and I wanted to help out in some way. I threw together a casual 4th of July backyard dinner for some friends to raise some money for RAICES - the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. For those of you who may not be familiar, RAICES promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.
A full year later and the situation at the border has significantly worsened. I've linked a variety of articles at the end that summarize all that's happening right now, but essentially, we're at a point where we not only are separating families but are placing them in concentration camps.
This year, I wanted to do something similar to last year's dinner but also organize it in a way that could be expanded beyond just my close friend circles. Immigration is a complex subject, and I know we all don't agree on what the best way is to design a system that is fair and just. But, I do know that a lot of us can agree that what this current administration is doing right now is not okay.
A few weeks ago, I asked my friend Sri if she would be interested in co-hosting this event with me. We both were in agreement that we had to do something. As immigrants ourselves, this cause feels especially personal. With 4th of July coming up, we're pretty privileged we get to celebrate together with friends and family. But it doesn't feel right to celebrate Independence Day when so many in our country don't get to experience the same freedoms we do. Food is one of the biggest ways to bring people and cultures together, and we wanted to host a backyard dinner celebrating a diverse America and supporting RAICES in their crucial mission for immigrant & refugee justice.
We’re selling dinner tickets at a range of $20 - $35, depending on how much you are able to give, with all proceeds going directly to RAICES. If you are unable to attend but still want to support the dinner/cause, any sort of donation is greatly appreciated! Just Venmo @shruti-thundiyil :)
If you have any questions, definitely reach out to either one of us through Instagram or Twitter, or just drop a comment below!
Here are some articles we liked a lot on the border crisis and the effect it has on immigrant + refugee families:
Texas Monthly | In El Paso, Border Patrol Is Detaining Migrants in ‘a Human Dog Pound’
Vox | The crisis of children dying in custody at the border, explained
NBC News | 24 immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration
New Yorker | Families at the Border
New York Times | Hungry and Desperate, but Away From a Country in Chaos
Bandt | Madonna Badger Reveals New Emotional Campaign #nokidsincages