Wednesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day, and in the United States, debate around immigration is coming to a head. Late this afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order ending his controversial family separation policy; meanwhile, national #FamiliesBelongTogether protests planned for June 30 will continue with the aim of putting pressure on Trump to do more.
Teachers are responding on Instagram and Twitter with the trending hashtag #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom. The campaign was started by Jennifer LaRocque of The Multicultural Classroom. “Refugees, immigrants and ALL students are welcome in my classroom!” LaRocque writes, calling on other educators to share their messages of support.
Instagram teachers were quick to rally around the hashtag. Below is just a sampling of the many posts popping up on Wednesday afternoon.
LaRocque’s post that began the campaign:
Today is World Refugee Day! Refugees, immigrants and ALL students are welcome in my classroom! You can celebrate World Refugee Today in a number of ways: 1️⃣ Donating to an incredible organizations such as @refugeeone and @girlforwardgram 2️⃣ Taking a picture with one of these signs on bright colored Astrobright and posting on your social media with the hashtag #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom. Click the link in my profile to print out the signs. https://goo.gl/8Po93t The bright colors show different colors is what makes us beautiful. #worldrefugeeday #worldrefugeeday2018 #immigration #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom #loveis
“As educators, it is our job to create a safe space for our students.”
Today is #worldrefugeeday and this is a message that NEEDS to be spread. What is happening at this very moment in our country is unacceptable, inexcusable, and downright inhumane. We have dehumanized other populations of people to a point where the leadership in our country thinks separating children from their families is OKAY. Newsflash: IT’S NOT. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you fall. This is not a political issue. This is a human rights issue. No child, no parent, no family should have to go through this, regardless of circumstance. ••• As educators, it is our job to create a safe space for our students. That means no matter who you are or where you’re from school is a place for you. As I sit here on our last full day of school and look around my classroom and am unable to hold back the tears as I think about the students I have been so incredibly lucky to have called mine this year. But I also think of the possibility that this could have been so many of them going through this, had circumstances or timing been different. I think about their families, their parents who sat in conferences with me just this past week trying to find the words for the gratitude and pride they feel for their children and who have worked so hard to get them where they are today. I worry about what could happen to them if things in our society and government do not change. No one deserves this. We need to take action. Continue to contact your politicians, donate to organizations aimed at helping those affected, and to simply speak up! If not any of these things, we can all simply make sure that our students [regardless of race, background, sexual orientation, etc] have a safe space in our classrooms. All students are welcome here and immigrants and refugees deserve a place in our community. ••• I’m sorry for the lengthy caption, but my heart is so heavy and this is just a bit of what I am thinking. I don’t understand how we got to this point, but I am so hopeful as I see others sharing their thoughts and taking action. Thank you to @themulticulturalclassroom for this encouragement to share! #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom
“We can do better than this.”
Today is World Refugee Day, and this year’s theme is "Now more than ever, we need to stand.” The United Nations has just released a new report stating that a record 68.5 million individuals have now been displaced worldwide due to war, poverty, persecution and other events. Then we have the mess that is our country’s immigration policy. So today, and every day, I say, I welcome all children into my classroom. I love each and every one of you. You matter. We can do better than this. #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom To find the link to free posters from @themulticulturalclassroom , visit Jennifer’s page, or see my stories. Also linked the digital handlettered image you see on my iPad to save if you’d like. Tee from the wonderful @thedesignerteacher
“My immigrant students have told me harrowing stories.”
I have the honor and privilege of working at a very diverse school. With more than 20 different home languages spoken by students and their families, a fair share of my students are immigrants and, possibly, refugees. I’ve created an open and accepting culture in my classroom, and my students have told me harrowing stories about their lives here in the US where grown people have yelled at them to go back to where they came from. They’ve also told me about escaping from violence abroad as young children. Today is World Refugee Day, and it is critically important that all students, regardless of their nationality, citizenship status, race, and religion are welcomed and loved in my classroom. Today is a day to come together to help the children and families who are suffering because families BELONG together. If you are looking for tangible ways to help the refugees and children, visit this website, which is also linked in my profile. https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/money/5314428/how-to-help-immigrant-children-parents-border #teacher #teachers #iteachtoo #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom #teachersofinstagram #worldrefugeeday
“The beautiful thing about a public school is that any child from any walk of life can show up in your classroom.”
The beautiful thing about a public school is that any child from any walk of life can show up in your classroom. We need to boldly stand up as anti-racist teachers and love our kids through our speech, our curriculum, our pedagogy. Every human deserves this. Today is #worldrefugeeday. Everyone inherently has worth. If possible, everyone deserves to be with their family. #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom ✊🏼 Thank you, @themulticulturalclassroom for giving us a simple platform to show our solidarity.
“No matter their skin color, their nationality, the language they speak, they are my kids.”
The arbitrary enforcement of the immigration policy by the White House is reckless. Former presidents have been down this path – Jackson with Native Americans, Arthur with the Chinese, Roosevelt with the Japanese, and Eisenhower with Mexicans. The context of each situation reveals the scope of America’s fear of foreigners. This nation is built on the backs of Americans, immigrants, refugees, and others who embraced the “city on a hill” philosophy. We need to work on reform that uses empathy as a core value – not this hardline bullshit. No matter their skin color, their nationality, the language they speak, they are my kids, and they are all welcome in my classroom. Today is World Refugee Day. You can celebrate and support refugees by donating to organizations such as RefugeeOne, or by texting TOGETHER to 21333 and telling your senators to support the Keep Families Together Act. #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom #keepfamiliestogether #familiesbelongtogether #stopseparatingfamilies
“This teacher was once a refugee, too.”
Today is World Refugee Day, and this is my story. 30 years ago my family and I sought asylum and were granted refugee status to immigrate to the United States. I know for sure that my life’s story would not be possible if it wasn’t for the generosity of the United Nations, the United States, and Catholic Charities. Hearing audio and seeing images of children being separated from their family indefinitely while all they want is to seek asylum breaks my heart into a million little pieces because I know those children could have been me. Please speak out for these children as they are all of our children. Separating them from their parents is inhumane and immoral. This is not a partisan issue. This is a humanity issue. #allchildrenarewelcomeinmyclassroom #worldrefugeeday #worldrefugeeday2018 #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom
We’ll be chatting more about World Refugee Day and how teaching intersects with immigration in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook—come join us.