Our right to make art, eat yummy food and be safe in our community

03efc-19956049_10154647836880848_7828069828798169783_o.jpgArts Bridging the Gap was honored to host a very special event this past Saturday in the home of our founder and Executive Director, Georgia (me :))

For the past two years we have had a summer bbq to bring families together to celebrate love, family and sharing with art and food. This year was no exception, although we added two very meaningful and important elements.

The first was a fun sharing of art and empathy with the children in Uganda from Integrate Bayouth Dreams. Families and guests were invited to add to our oversized postcard to the children as well as make their own individual postcards to the kids. We ended up with a very diverse and colorful poster to send them. We are excited to see it up in their community. The conversations and perspectives the kids have when creating the art continue to amaze us and prove why being to connected with other children living in other parts of the world is an essential way to grow awareness and empathy in our kids.

The other element that was truly the most important part of the day was a sit down question and answer session with two visitors from the Legal Aid Pop Up Clinic. They came to share information, resources and dispel fears around immigration and to ensure that our families know their rights. We were surprised by our families concerns around coming to the event and were sad that so many didn’t make it – which is very unlike them. This experience showed us how large of an issue this is for our community and how much fear is stopping them from knowing all the info that would give them some comfort.

The families that did attend spent over an hour and a half asking the guests questions and would have kept going if we didn’t bring it to a close.

The most valuable piece of info from the session for the families were:

  • There is a form you can get (for free) that gives someone you nominate the right to look after your child in your absence. This is not legal guardianship but rather a safety precaution.
  • You do not have to open your door to anyone who says they are the police. You can ask if they have a warrant. If it is the LAPD they will say LAPD but ICE will just say ‘police’. ICE have never been known to actually have warrants. If you do not let them in they will go away. You can also call the LAPD to tell them that ICE is trying to get in to your house.
  • Do not carry an ID from another country. You should not have any documentation on you that says you were born somewhere other the the USA.

We have plenty of fliers, red cards and information sheets for anyone who would like to learn more. Please contact me at georgia@artsbridgingthegap.org and we can send them to you.

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