Category Archives: Video

70,000 people urge New York Times to stop using the dehumanizing and inaccurate term, “illegal”, from news coverage

On Tuesday, April 23, 2013 The Applied Research Center (APC) and The Drop the I-Word Campaign joined with activists, including Fernando Chavez, attorney and eldest son of Cesar Chavez, and Jose Antonio Vargas, award-winning journalist and founder of Define American, to deliver petitions signed by 70,000 people to the New York Times urging them to stop using the term, “illegal” from their news stories when referring to individuals.   Mr. Chavez, Jose Antonio Vargas, the ARC and a coalition of supporters and activists delivered the petitions to Jill Abramson’s office, the executive editor of the NY Times.  The petition was started by Helen Chavez, Fernando Chavez’ mother and widow of Cesar Chavez.

The petitions were delivered only a few weeks after the Associated Press announced their decision to drop the dehumanizing and inaccurate term from describing individuals and would instead only use the word “to refer to an action.”

We feel the term is provocative, dehumanizing, and racially charged.  It is also imprecise and inaccurate.  The term does not take into account the variety of reasons a person is undocumented; many came here legally and have overstayed visas, were brought here as children, or overstayed fleeing persecution.  It creates the stereotyping of a group of individuals, mostly people of color, and centers the immigration debate around border control, when borders are not the issue.  In an interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Rinku Sen, the ARC’s Executive Director and President, said it best.  It is an “imprecise term that is applied in a blanket way,” and we feel it needs to change.

A few hours after the petitions were delivered, Philip B. Corbett, the associate managing editor for standards, who oversees The Times’ style manual, made an announcement that the Times updated its policies.  Unfortunately, it would continue to use the word “illegal” to describe “someone who enters, lives in or works in the United States without proper legal authorization.” It encourages reporters and editors to “consider alternatives when appropriate to explain the specific circumstances of the person in question, or to focus on actions.”

The AP announcement earlier this month was a victory, and we can only hope that more major news sources, like the New York Times and the LA Times “get with the times” and drop the i-word.

For more information, please visit colorlines.com/droptheiword

Advertisements

A Conversation on Immigration

A Conversation on Immigration with Jose Antonio Vargas, Cristina Jimenez, Karen Kaminsky, Rinku Sen, & a performance by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo.

This is “an exciting conversation on immigration policy, activism and art in the context of the upcoming election with Define American founder Jose Antonio Vargas, recently featured on the cover of TIME (along with the story of nearly 12 million undocumented Americans), Karen Kaminsky (New York Immigration Coalition Deputy Executive Director), Iyaba Ibo Mandingo (poet/painter/performer), Cristina Jimenez (United We Dream Managing Director), and Rinku Sen (President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center).” – cultureproject.org/impact-we-people/

A Family’s Story of Migration

Uprooted is about shifting the terms of the immigration debate by encouraging and enabling migrants and their allies to share their stories.  Our video trainings are an integral component of this project, because they allow those without  video production capabilities the opportunity to produce a piece for inclusion in the project.

Check out this piece from one of our interns who learned basic video production while working with us. The piece illustrates the complexity of the double life undocumented migrants often must lead. Descriptions of the difficulties of living in the US without proper documentation– from the labor abuses, to becoming estranged from their country of origin and having limited opportunities here– are juxtaposed with footage of the undocumented doing quotidian activities, like preparing a meal, playing video games and doing homework.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYLNqmoC%5D

Corporate news media often filter migrant justice issues through a nativist lens, reducing the millions of undocumented people in the United States to cultural bogeymen, if not criminals.  As Uprooted develops into a 10-part video series, we will be contextualizing the idea of “opportunity” that is interwoven throughout this piece– why are there more opportunities here than in global south? What social and economic policies have created the opportunities of the developed world and subsequently forced people of the global south to uproot themselves?

Want to produce media addressing migration issues? We can help!

Already have media on migration issues you’d like to see shared with an international audience: submit it to Uprooted for potential inclusion in our 10-part tv/dvd series!

Uprooted Announces Fall Video Trainings!

Part of empowering migrant communities to tell their own stories is giving them the tools they need to document their experiences. This fall Uprooted will be doing exactly that.  Working with four migrant rights groups based in New York City, our team will help them to build their media making capacity through video production workshops.

We will be working with Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM), a community based organization of working class South Asian immigrants in New York City; VAMOS Unidos, Vendedores Ambulantes Movilizando y Organizando en Solidaridad (Street Vendors Mobilizing and Organizing in Solidarity), a community social justice organization, founded by low-income Latino/a immigrant street vendors; The New York State Youth Leadership Council(NYSYLC), an undocumented youth led organization fighting for access to higher education and the empowerment of migrant youth; and with the youth group of The Arab American Association of New York, a social service organization that seeks to support and empower the Arab immigrant community.

Click on the links above or watch the videos below to learn more about the amazing work of these four organizations!

DRUM- Youth Speak Out Part 1

DRUM- Youth Speak Out Part 2

Georgia 6- Felipe by the New York State Youth Leadership Council:

Balady Presents- Arab American Association of New York:

These groups all represent different sectors of the wide and diverse immigrant community in New York City. They don’t all take the same positions. For example, VAMOS Unidos opposes the DREAM Act because of its military provisions, where as the NYSYLC is fighting for its passage. All of them however, are dedicated to the empowerment of their communities and the struggle for migrant justice.

“Shifting the terms of the immigration debate” means presenting new dialogues and new perspectives. It means that although we may be at odds with one another on certain points, debates should be based on a premise that everyone, regardless of their origin or immigration status, is entitled to respect, dignity and human rights. All of these groups share that mission and work towards it everyday. They strive in their communities to “shift the debate” and to enable their members to articulate an understanding of their rights that challenges the mainstream discourse searching to dis-empower them.

Another thing all four of these organizations share is the work that they do with youth – training the next generation of leaders in their communities. The Uprooted team is very excited to work with these youth and other leaders on media skills: shaping documentaries, video shooting and editing.

By working with them and the tools they already have at their disposal, Uprooted hopes to build their capacity to document their struggles and tell their stories in a way that no one else can. We hope that the video training sessions will provide members and constituents of these groups with the tools to produce their own submissions for Uprooted. We are eager to hear their stories, and to share them with you!

Uprooting Racism, Sowing Seeds of Solidarity

Uprooted is an opportunity to create a media project that highlights the breadth and scope of migrant communities and migrant justice issues. By collecting and curating media made by and for social movements, Uprooted aims to clearly articulate how migrant justice issues operate in and through different systems of oppression.

This compelling video produced by Rights Working Group and the Restore Fairness Campaign at Breakthrough* foregrounds the prevalence of racial profiling and how it affects different communities of color in the US. It allows us to see how a pregnant Latina woman jailed for not having a driver’s license is part of the same system of oppression that enables the TSA to humiliate and force Muslim women to remove their hijabs. This video draws the connection between a Kurdish American male who is pulled over and strip searched for driving in the ‘wrong neighborhood’ to the scores of black Americans who continue to be victims of racial profiling and police brutality.

This video fits well with Uprooted’s goal of creating an alternative to the mainstream media’s narrative of migration issues. By bringing together these diverse personal experiences of racial profiling, this video better enables us to envision interracial and interethnic alliances in the struggle for social justice. Racist, unconstitutional provisions, like Alabama’s HB 56 are spreading like wildfire throughout the US (see embedded map). It is crucial that we continue to form and fortify broader, more inclusive coalitions to combat the onslaught of anti-immigrant legislation that encourages racial profiling.

*The video was shot, directed and edited by Breakthrough.

Uprooted: Turning the Tide from Hate to Human Rights

In our effort to support migrant justice organizers, last weekend, the Uprooted team attended the second annual Turning the Tide Summit in Arlington, VA where hundreds converged and forged new alliances to turn the tide against criminalization. Attending trainings and workshops with some of the country’s most influential and dedicated organizers has reinvigorated our project and has demonstrated the need for media made by and for social movements!

This video by the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), skillfully captures the inspiring organizers fighting against the Right Wing’s strategy of Attrition through Enforcement.

In his letter to attendees, Pablo Alvarado, Director of NDLON explains the importance of grassroots organizing for migrant justice as follows, “By organizing block by block, the affected people become subjects of change…Building to the Turn the Tide means organizing barrio defense committees wherever conditions exist, challenging all forms of police and ICE collaboration and asserting our right to remain in a country that enjoys the fruits of our labor and the wealth of our culture, but does not accept our humanity….It means creating spaces for us to tell our own stories and tirelessly working for legalization from the bottom up.”

Uprooted turns the tide by creating a space for migrants and their allies to document and distribute their narratives. We want to support and amplify your work– connect with us, together, we can build a more just and humane immigration system!

What does building to Turning the Tide mean to you and your community?

Uprooted at May Day 2011 in NYC!

May 1st is commemorated internationally as a day to celebrate workers rights and the labor struggle. Especially within the United States, a large contingent of those who observe the holiday are migrants. There are many ways that labor issues and migrant issues overlap. The Uprooted team attended this year’s May Day demonstration in New York City’s historic Union Square, where labor organizers and migrant activists held a joint demonstration for the first time in several years. Perhaps it was the inspirational outpouring of labor activism in Wisconsin or perhaps a general feeling that it is time for old methods to change, that led organizers to recognize the need to unite their movements.

At the demonstration Uprooted chatted with activist Leilani Montes of the Association of Feminist Filipinas Fighting Imperialism, Re-Feudalization and Marginalization (AF3IRM), a “national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism”. AF3IRM, like Uprooted looks to tie together social issues which overlap and intersect, such as how modern day imperialism leads to migration and to laws that violate workers rights, much like the upsurge in temporary worker programs.

In the clip featured below, Leilani explained her opinion to us about the ways in which labor and migration issues mix together:

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYK5nksA%5D

How do you feel labor and migration issues are related? Share your thoughts!