#the10things (YOU CAN DO THIS!)

Houston prides itself on its diversity in culture, economic prowess, and intellectual capacity. Of the more than 6.4 million people living in the Houston metropolitan area, 1.4 million were born in another country. Houston's culture should be strong, curious, and welcoming to all who wish to call it home.

Immigration and its complexities can't be ignored. It's a matter that touches so many of us in a personal way. The development of an immigrant detention center for youth ages 0-17 is not authentic to our culture as a city. Here are #the10things we can do to stop this from happening in our backyards.

  • [ ] Ask David Denenberg and other real estate companies in Houston to not lease to operators who earn their living by the imprisonment of others.
  • [ ] DO NOT SUPPLY LABOR OR RESOURCES to SOUTHWEST KEY initiatives, including construction, employees, food services, supplies, and/or security. Ask your community to boycott the development and/or sustainable operation of the detention of immigrant children separated from their families while under duress.
  • [ ] Mandate that we pioneer new solutions that do not oppress, suppress, or enslave people who are not able to defend themselves. We have 13 colleges and universities in the Houston-Galveston area. NOW is the time for them to step up and provide our community with solutions for the 21st century. This is a call for integrity to their learning and solutions platforms.
  • [ ] Consider taking a stance by practicing peaceful civil disobedience. "We have a moral responsibiilty to disobey unjust laws." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Use your actions, not just your words to show that you will not obey what you know is wrong. CONTACT US if you've got questions about how to do this with love and respect to solutions and for community.
  • [ ] Ask your TX representatives why we need to open new centers in Texas if we’ve stopped the practice of separation according to the Supreme Court.
  • [ ] Confirm your elected official’s stance on the separation and detainment of children in Houston. Immigration is an issue we must get dirty to discuss. Children shouldn't have to bear the burden of advocating for their own freedom. We will NOT punish children with a penal system that has oppressed and suppressed so many people of color for too long. This child immigrant detention center is at the intersection of 2 historic communities of Black and Hispanic residents. DISTRICT I and DISTRICT D are represented by Hispanic and African American men, Council Members Robert Gallegos and Dwight Boykins. Ask them to #STANDUP on their own and show you how they'll be proactive about not allowing a private prison to operate in their district. Once private prisons enter communities, they do not leave. Mayor Syvlester Turner is not the only leader responsible to Houstonians. We are all responsible to each other, and the solutions are up to all of us. (**NOTE: As a woman of color, I'm exhausted and saddened with men of color telling me how they want respect but aren't proving they're willing to #STANDUP to protect me or work with me to do it. We're watching and doing. Let's GO.)
  • [ ] DO NOT PARTICIPATE in the oppression, suppression, or enslavement of children. Encourage your friends and family members to not work for Southwest Key Systems or any other organization that practices the detainment of children separated from their families upon entering the United States of America. Houston is a city of people who can do anything. We can find other ways to sustain our livelihoods other than the oppression and suppression of children in duress.
  • [ ] Meet your neighbors and talk about what this means for us as Houstonians. Every fifth person in Houston was born in another country. Migration is a natural phenomenon in the human journey and has been occurring since the beginning of time. It is not illegal to be a human being, and we must be honest about our language and intent. CLICK HERE to have a less threatening conversation about immigration. It's an easy start you can give a try.
  • [ ] DO NOT EXAGGERATE THE TRUTH. We don’t have to exaggerate suffering to make a point. Listen to the stillness inside you. Ask yourself WHY a human is willing to risk their lives and those of their children to come here. Ask yourself why we’d need to separate them from each other and open new centers to detain them after it’s been decided it’s inhumane. The truth is simple here. Children who are separated from their parents adds pressure to our resources now and in the future. The emotional and physical duress endured during this process creates an unhealthy rapport with the United States in the future, and we must be accountable to our actions NOW. CLICK HERE
  • [ ] Support local organizations that work towards an inclusive and equitable future for Black, Hispanic and indigenous people in Houston. Houston is a majority/minority city, and the allocation of resources has historically been biased against these populations. Your support helps you achieve the life you're supposed to live. #DoIt
  • [ ] EXTRA: Spread the word. Use #SpeakUpHouston and #ActionsNotWordsHTX to show your community that you're willing to speak up to do the right thing.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.