Kid Lit Community Acts To Help Immigrants and Families

Members of the Kid Lit community put out a call to action to colleagues and readers. ALA president Jim Neal adds his voice to the outcry.
UPDATE: A side project fundraiser to support "Kid Lit’s fight against the cruel separation of kids from their families at the U.S. border, and the work of reuniting families" has emerged from Kid Lit Says No Kids In Cages. There is now a raffle and auction of publishing items and experiences—including signed books and author Skype visits, having a character names after you in an upcoming novel, getting your work critiqued by a published author or agent, and more. The auction at writersforfamiliesbelongtogether.com is open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday July 13. The funds raised will go to Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages, which is distributing its money to charities that assist immigrant communities.
  Once again, the children’s literature community saw an injustice and, once again, members rallied to do what they could. In light of the U.S. policy of separating families attempting to come into the country at the borders and the recent news coverage of that process, Kid Lit Says No Kids In Cages was created. According to a tweet from author Melissa de la Cruz, her fellow author Margaret Stohl was the driving force behind movement. “Last night my friend @mstohl said WHAT CAN WE DO and we mobilized the team,” de la Cruz tweeted when she released a statement from the group. “I am so proud to call all of you my friends. Please share this far and wide.” The statement was signed by: Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, Pseudonymous Bosch, Ransom Riggs, Tahereh Mafi, Marie Lu, Veronica Roth, Jenny Han, Victoria Aveyard, Soman Chainani, Brendan Reichs, Ally  Condie, Sabaa Tahir, Kami Garcia, Rainbow Rowell, Renée Ahdieh, Danielle Paige, Adam Silvera, Nicola Yoon, and C. Alexander London. It asked for signatures of support and donations which would be distributed to organizations that help the immigrant community, including The Florence Project, ACLU, RAICES, Women's Refugee Commission, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), and Al Otro Lado. Within minutes of posting the statement at approximately 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday night June 18, there were nearly 100 more signatures. Less than a half hour after the first post, de la Cruz tweeted, “I can't stop crying we are up to 162 signatures and $12,000. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU KID LIT COMMUNITY” Not 12 hours later, the group had exceeded its fundraising goal of $42,000 with signatures and donations continuing to roll in. After President Trump signed an executive order later that week to stop separating the families, the group put out this statement: "Despite the recent Executive Order stating children will no longer be separated from their parents, thousands of families remain torn apart with no immediate plan for reunification. We will remain united until every family is reunited." Not long after the Kid Lit community put out its call, American Library Association president Jim Neal joined in the outcry of the children's literature community, ACLU, American Academy of Pediatrics, and many others, releasing the following statement that called on the library community and educators to act: “The nation’s library community is appalled that innocent children would face such emotional trauma and would be locked in mass facilities and separated from their families, There is no legitimate policy or moral basis for this unconscionable action. “The library community stands for diversity and inclusion, and for the legal rights of refugees entering on our borders. We serve immigrants in our communities across the US, and view libraries’ support to children as one of our most important values. We must support legislation and action that set aside this unacceptable practice. “ALA, through its Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services and Washington Office, and in partnership with REFORMA, is providing and sharing resources that support action against this zero-tolerance immigration policy. “This dire situation transcends partisan politics and requires immediate legislative and legal strategies to abolish this practice and seek to immediately reunite children with their parents and caregivers. “We can’t address this issue alone and ask ALA members, library supporters and educators to express their opposition to the ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy by calling their legislators and demanding the halt of this cruel practice. “I also encourage libraries of all types to explore the vast resources ALA offers to help facilitate thoughtful discussions regarding this policy and leverage charitable resources to lend support to border families in need. “We express our sincere appreciation and stand in solidarity with those of like mind including ACLU, Al Otro Lado, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Border Angels, CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, Immigrant Defender's Law Network , KIND (Kids in Need of Legal Defense), Pueblo Sin Fronteras, REFORMA: Children in Crisis, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal ServicesTexas Civil Rights Project, The Florence Project and Refugee Rights Project, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Young Center of Children's Immigrant Rights, and Together Rising.”  
Comments

Judgment and Compassion

it is refreshing to see that the American public actually supports the idea of enforcing immigration laws, and disagrees strongly with the signatories' wish that we go back to catch-and-release and drop strict enforcement. According to a 21 June poll commissioned by The Economist magazine and YouGov, "When given a choice for how to handle illegal border crossing arrests, some 44 percent of Americans chose “hold families together in family detention centers until an immigration hearing at a later date.” Another 20 percent of U.S. adults chose detention options that would separate families. Only 19 percent chose to return to the policy of allowing people who cross the border illegally to go without detention on the promise they’d return for a court hearing at a later date." (from Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist). The poll: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/rbrysksiud/econTabReport.pdf#page89

Posted : Jun 23, 2018 06:46


Kathleen Moore

If ever our voices needed to be raised, it's now.

Posted : Jun 20, 2018 12:25


carole marsh longmeyer

I just wrote a book, HOW TO BE A GOOD KID IN A ROTTEN APPLE WORLD. Some people questioned that term. Well, for "kids in cages" it is a rotten apple world...but should not be (no matter your politics) in the American world. Thanks for getting us started in ending this unnecessary travesty.

Posted : Jun 20, 2018 12:12


Amanda Brasfield

Thank you!

Posted : Jun 19, 2018 11:40


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