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Immigration Features

Kate Kooyman

Rapid Blog: Fighting for Immigrant Rights...When You’re Not an Immigrant

In this edition of Rapid Blog, local pastor Kate Kooyman explores the issue of solidarity in light of the three U.S. citizens arrested in Grand Rapids who were protesting recent deportation policies. Kooyman writes "there is an important place for non-immigrants in the struggle to ensure that Grand Rapids a place where immigrants can survive, thrive, and belong." 

FaizShakir

ACLU West Michigan hosts National Political Director Faiz Shakir

Faiz Shakir, the new national political director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the special guest speaker at the ACLU of Michigan Standing Together for Justice Annual Luncheon on Thursday, May 11 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Starting his new position in January of this year, Shakir has already made great strides as one the youngest senior staff members of the 97-year old organization. With the goal of implementing grass-roots organizing on a national scale, Shakir aims to reimagine the mission of the ACLU to empower everyone to be an agent for change. 

Chavez

Sí, se puede! Grand Rapidians march to support immigrants, farm workers in West Michigan

Grand Rapidians took to the streets for the annual César E. Chávez Social Justice March, calling for the respect, dignity and protection of all immigrants and emphasizing the driving force that migrant and seasonal farm workers play in the economy of West Michigan and the country.

Tetusa Ndalamba works on reading with his daycare kids.

A place to call home: How refugees are rebuilding lives in West Michigan

As the Trump administration fights to keep refugees from entering the United States, a different story is playing out in West Michigan: one of love and inclusion. In our community, residents are banding together to support refugees who are doing everything from starting their own businesses to working with children from countries torn apart by war.

Graci Harkema

RapidChat: Graci Harkema

Days after being born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Graci Harkema was placed for adoption at a local orphanage. After being given only 12 to 24 hours to live, she was adopted by her (now) parents. Following her move to Grand Rapids as a child, Harkema has gone on to become one of the city's most passionate leaders, fighting for everything from LGBTQ rights to racial equality and more.
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