CAN Work and Accomplishments
SINCE JULY 2022, CAN HAS:
Trained 250 people on healing trauma through community and faith-based organizing.
Had our advocacy and organizing work highlighted in the news 15 times.
Convened and mobilized more than 30 recently-arrived migrants in our struggle for dignified treatment.
Over the past year, CAN held monthly regional strategy meetings with our members, formed and trained committees in congregations, and held weekly meetings with migrant residents in DC’s temporary shelter program. CAN has also offered training and coaching in trauma-informed care, strategic campaigns, and effective communication for advocacy, as well as educational events online and in person. CAN also convenes, trains, and mobilizes faith communities in the DC metro region who strive for justice, and we focus on building the leadership of immigrants and refugees.
Migrants Bused to DC from TX and AZ:
CAN mobilized faith communities and partner organizations to advocate for local jurisdictions to provide migrants with the emergency services they need, without excluding anyone from long-term homelessness services based on their immigration status. In addition, CAN staff worked with partners to inform and mobilize bused migrants themselves to advocate for DC to meet their needs.
Mobilized to protect DACA:
CAN staff and volunteers were active in response to the court decisions threatening the program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. CAN’s Executive Director was arrested for civil disobedience in front of the US Senate along with 12 other activists and CAN staff and volunteers have participated in efforts to plan vigil with Faith in Action in December of this year with the same goal.
Organizing the Central American Diaspora:
We brought together residents of our region who have roots in Central America to strategize around changing the conditions in their home countries that are forcing so many people to flee. Through our membership in Faith in Action (the largest faith-based grassroots organizing network in the U.S.), we are able to connect those organizing with us with others in Central America and across the U.S. who share these goals. We have been meeting regularly and planning our participation in a visit to El Salvador to learn from and strategize with partner organizations from across Central America. We have also hosted multiple panels about the root causes of migration and the human rights situation in the region, including one in July with a former Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman.
Trauma Informed Care and Restorative Justice Trainings:
CAN staff worked with practitioners to prepare training for members in Trauma Informed Care and Restorative Justice in order to incorporate both practices into our work.
In September 2022, CAN staff and volunteers convened about 50 Central American congregants from a Catholic Church in Arlington, VA for a listening session and heard from the group how their immigration status is affecting them, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future. This was a pilot and will help CAN to conduct similar sessions across our region.