The First Meeting
On January 6th, 2017 faculty, staff, and students who are in favor of making DU a sanctuary campus met to plan the first march and discuss:
- Why we are in favor of Sanctuary DU
- How DU members who are most vulnerable (e.g., undocumented and international students) are impacted by the recent policies of the United States
- The conversation with Chaplain Gary Brower in which he talked about the word "sanctuary" and supported our cause as not being contradictory to religious and ethical values
- Some possible reasons why the DU administration and board of trustees are weary about embracing the term "sanctuary campus"
- Counter-arguments for the administration and board of trustees
The meeting was very fruitful and initiated important alliances among the DU community that has been fighting for social justice.
The Second Meeting
On January 13th, 2017 the Social Justice Solidarity Community met to make the final arrangengents for the first march and discussed:
- What to expect in the march and how to avoid potential animosity or brutality from DU Safety and police officers, since the #NoDAPL march had evidenced that law enforcement was not there to protect the marchers (DU students, staff, and faculty), but rather the event attendees.
- Counter-arguments for potential rhetoric against the adoption of the term "sanctuary campus"
- How other universities throughout the United States have been struggling to establish Sanctuary Campus and how DU can join the movement
The First Poster-making Session
On January 17th, 2017 several DU members committed to the Sanctuary Campus cause gathered to make posters for the first march. We talked and painted signs, thus building community and releasing stress through art.
The First March
Students, faculty, and staff marched on January 19th, 2017 (Thursday) to ask for DU to become a Sanctuary Campus. We waved signs and chanted "Whose university? Our university!", "No justice? No freedom!", "Immigrants are welcome here!", "Education, not deportation!", and other social justice cries.
Then, we had a meeting with Chancellor Chopp, Frank Tuitt, and Lili Rodriguez. The administration raised concerns about the loose definition of "sanctuary" and the possible implications of publicly announcing DU as a sanctuary campus. Finally, they asked for more time and suggestions from us to apply inclusive excellence at DU.
We believe that:
- Like DU has decided what "inclusive excellence" means to the institution, we can also decide what "sanctuary" means to us.
- If DU really wishes to become "a private university dedicated to the public good" as it announces, then the organization should publicly declare its commitment to protecting vulnerable members from its community, such as undocumented students.
- There is no time. The matter is urgent because the new presidency is making extremely fast and abundant decisions against immigrants, refugees, the impoverished, etc.
- The Black Student Alliance, the Native American Student Alliance, the Latinx Graduate Student Alliance, and other DU affinity groups and task forces have already sent extensive lists of demands and suggestions to the administration. What we need now is application -- action!
We will continue to pressure the institution to take a public stance because, despite good intentions, what matters is the effect: students, faculty, and staff of color feel neither welcome nor safe or well treated at DU.
The notes and documents for this event are available on https://portfolio.du.edu/dugwc under "Tips".
On January 29th, 2017 the Korbel Latin America Center held a workshop with Keron Blair and Blanca Trejo on how to organize a social intervention.
On the same day, Jeanette Vizguerra asked participants in the workshop to join forces against the deportation of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
For more information about Jeanette and her fight, see this report: http://www.coloradoindependent.com/154760/local-mother-jeanette-vizguerra-to-ice-dont-break-up-my-family
Also, for information about a recent sanctuary campaign which Jeanette helped make possible, see this report: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/07/immigrant-mother-children-sanctuary-denver-church/
The Third Meeting
Sanctuary campus meeting
10 February 2017
- Next steps: short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals
- Undocumented students
- Muslim ban
- Form a task force
- Definition of “sanctuary”: create it collectively. A private Google Docs? Workshop with affinity groups and the Social Justice Solidarity Community (firstname.lastname@example.org)?
- Make one private and one public Facebook page: be strategic on what information can be spread to avoid co-optation
- Gather all necessary data, statistics, etc. to present them to the DU administration
- Dealing with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on campus
- We need emergency support if there is police enforcement, arrests during protests, etc.
- Transparency and accountability. For instance, if campus security invites the police to campus, faculty and staff should be notified.
- Educating students, staff, and faculty on how to protest, proceed in case of police brutality or imprisonment, and deal with conservative DU members
- Invite to the task force: data collectors (I.R., I.T., Registrar), legal, administration and financial aid, Human Resources, student outreach, community organizers, support services (counseling, religious and spiritual life, etc.)
- An immigration clinic with staff from the DU Law School to serve communities from both inside and outside DU, with full-time positions
- Build alliances/coalition with communities outside DU
Questions and discussion points
- In some professors’ opinion, the problem with the term “sanctuary campus” is that DU is not a sanctuary at all, in the sense that it does not protect its students of color. If DU adopts the term, won’t it be just used in a shallow sense but without putting it into action?
- Chancellor Chopp’s letter about the word “sanctuary” being religious: Chaplain Gary Brower said there is no religious problem in embracing the term “sanctuary” because this is ultimately a moral issue
- It is the board of trustees that does not want DU to become a sanctuary
- Denver as a sanctuary city?
- Because DU is a private university, campus safety has the right to change rules as they please. As a result of the No DAPL protest, campus safety prohibited loud noise too close from buildings.
- If DU becomes a sanctuary campus, it’ll open a pathway for Denver schools to follow.
- There would be no federal penalties if DU became a sanctuary campus because it is a private university
- AAUP (American Association of University Professors) is already supporting the cause. Let’s hang the AAUP sign on our doors: “Every campus should be a #SanctuaryCampus” (aaup.org/sanctuarycampus)
- There are many DU members who are supportive of the sanctuary campus idea, but how far are they willing to go for the cause?
- 10.6% of DU students are international, most of whom pay full tuition because their home countries’ governments are paying for their studies. What if we make DU administration realize that they would lose money by not protecting their students?
- Problems with this idea: 1. How about national students of color? Would they be less valued than international students? 2. It is immoral to define human beings as money bags.
- Justification for this idea: what the board of trustees cares about is money, and we need leverage.
The Fourth Meeting
On February 24th, 2017 the Social Justice Solidarity Community met to discuss the next steps in the Sanctuary DU movement.
The Fifth Meeting
On March 27th, 2017 the Social Justice Solidarity Community divided into task forces to organize for the next steps in the Sanctuary DU movement. The groups are:
- Art installation
- Digital working group
- Teach-in group
- Outreach group
- Presentation at the Internationalization Summit on April 14th
Each group will meet separately and then all task forces will gather to discuss our weekly advancements.
The Sixth Meeting
- Letter updates?
o Sent letter to chancellor, Lili, and Frank on Sunday, April 2nd
♣ Finalized version of the letter is on google docs
o No response from them yet; but will email them tonight (Monday, April 10th) to see if they have any updates and also to invite them to our presentation at the internationalization conference on Friday
♣ Chris Lasch with the Constitutional Campus Working Group has two updates for those of us who support sanctuary campus and sanctuary cities (more info on both to come)
• April 27th 6-8pm, location TBD, Community Event
• May 9th 1-4pm, Downtown Sheraton, panels of law professors who study sanctuary city policies
- Working group updates?
o 1) Art installation?
♣ Wooden box structure: reaching out to affinity groups and see if they’re willing to work on art in league with DU Sanctuary
• May be able to put art installations in the buildings, just need to get approval from the dean
o Materials for wooden box:
♣ $4-$5 per stud (16 studs)
• Claire will reach out to affinity groups
♣ Banner: each affinity group does its own banner in support of sanctuary (how many groups are going to do it?)
• Banners on Driscoll Bridge?
♣ Museum installation: contact Esteban in anthropology about how to get that museum space in Sturm
♣ Library: t-shirt campaign?
o 2) Digital working group?
♣ DU Immigrant Rights Facebook page; contact them and connect
• Can this group make a petition with the short term and long term goals to be circulated around campus?
o 3) Teach-in group (May 5th)
♣ BIGGEST CHANGE!!!! Switching teach-in to Friday, May 5th (2-4pm?)
• Chris has offered to serve our panel
• Jeanette has offered to Skype in with panel
• Hanz Meyer is Jeanette’s lawyer
• 1) Have a teach-in with intro/keynote (maybe Chris)
• 2) Having a panel that includes Jeanette, Hanz, Jordan Garcia, others
o Undocumented students and/or parents?
o Former students at DU so there’s more protection?
• 3) Closing event would be Jeanette speaking
o Aaron has ok’d $150 for food
♣ Potential locations?
• Anderson Academics Special Events
• Driscoll Gallery
• Open space in Morgridge
• Lindsey Auditorium
• Craig Hall Community Room
• Women’s College Garden Room
o 4) Outreach group?
♣ Two confirmed task force members: Chris Lasch (immigration law) Lisa Martinez (protection of student/staff/faculty info)
♣ In the process of reaching out to other task force nominees
• Meeting Jenn Paz (human resources/staff/service workers) Tuesday, April 11th
• Meeting Tapha Ly (Muslim student/staff/faculty advocate) Thursday, April 13th
♣ Next steps for classroom outreach? Media? Opinion piece for DU newspaper? Shoot it to local press too (Contact people at the Westword, maybe more so than Denver Post; contact Cesar in law)!!!
• Right a brief for SSN and they can send it out to media channels (contact Rebecca)
o 5) Internationalization group?
♣ Presentation: “Higher Education and Surviving the Executive Orders”
• Logistics: Friday, April 14th, 10-10:50am, Ruffatto Hall 122
♣ Internationalization Conference format:
• Email invite to chancellor, Lili, and Frank
• Begin on the theme of surviving the executive orders (5mins)
• Protestors enter with signs, shift to presentation on short term and long term goals of #DUSanctuary
o After panel is over people file out and set up in open space of Morgridge for each session (need participants!!!)
♣ Session three: 11:05-11:55am
♣ Session four: 1:45-2:35pm
♣ Session five: 2:50-4:30pm
• Melody approaches people from CU Boulder and CU United
o Contact: American Friends Service Committee; forward Melody contact info
- Next meetings and steps:
o Meeting Wednesday, 4pm at Ruffatto Hall for walk through and presentation
o Meet Friday at 9:30am in Sturm 200 to pick up posters
o Next meeting: Monday, April 24th, 2pm, location TBD
2017 Internationalization Summit
On April 14th, Dr. Armond Towns, Dr. Daniel Olmos, and Jessica Johnson (president of the Graduate Women's Council https://portfolio.du.edu/dugwc) presented at the Internationalization Summit. We had the chance to have a productive conversation with students, faculty, and staff about the Sanctuary DU movement.
The Seventh Meeting
- Chris Lasch with the Constitutional Campus Working Group has two updates for those of us who support sanctuary campus and sanctuary cities (more info on both to come)
o April 27th 6-8pm, location TBD, Community Event
o May 9th 1-4pm, Downtown Sheraton, panels of law professors who study sanctuary city policies
♣ He sent RSVP’s for us via email
- Working group updates?
o 1) Teach-in group (May 5th)
♣ Teach-in to Friday, May 5th (2-4pm; the Forum, first floor of Sie; booked)
• Melody will be in the room at 1:15 for tech issues
o 1) Lisa facilitates event; asks for people not to record
o 2) Gary as welcoming events
♣ Elizabeth reaches out to Chaplin
o 3) Jeanette does the opening remarks via Skype
♣ Reimbursing Jeanette? (Price? Can we set it up as an honorarium? May be hard to do an honorarium because of the paperwork; can we do Visa gift cards? Can CME contribute? Can we make a donation through the church to her?)
• Funds from LGA? LASA?
o 4) Student panel (Rebecca will take lead on contacting students); Live stream the presenters in!
♣ Each student speaks for 10mins
• I'll reach out to Tapha for MSA
o 5) Summary of event: Chris has offered to serve our panel
o 6) End with a call for action!
♣ Can we get the student groups to do the call for action? (LSA or Multicultural Student Alliance?)
♣ Crystal will contact them?
♣ Jordan Garcia?
o 6) Aaron has ok’d $150 for food ($20 from BGSA!)
♣ We need to get fliers that can define what we mean by sanctuary
♣ Ask people not to take pictures or video; phone drop at the door?
o 7) Campus security? contact Johanna and have her contact them? Ask her to have campus security on stand-by
♣ If university is serious, they have authority to prevent cell phones from being used
♣ Students trying to record lectures; this is a lecture; intellectual property argument!
• Ask CME and chancellor, Lili, Frank, and Chaplin for invites for audience members!!
o 2) Art installation?
♣ Four student groups: Shades of Brown, BGSA, MSA, Women’s Graduate Council (posters up by Friday)
• End of the week all posters will be on Driscoll Bridge
o Could we make a poster ourselves?
o 3) Digital working group?
♣ DU Immigrant Rights Facebook page; contact them and connect
♣ Should advertise on website
♣ Can we create fliers too?
• Danny will be in charge of doing fliers; Crystal and Salman makes Facebook site
o What goes into fliers: dates; places; working definitions of sanctuary
o 4) Outreach group?
♣ Announce in class
♣ Driscoll Bridge: group meets with fliers?
• Darsella will contact them about table!!!
o 25 Live to get a table on Driscoll!!
♣ Monday – Wednesday, noon-2
• Monday: Santhosh and Armond
• Tuesday: Santhosh, Diego, Armond
• Wednesday: Danny, Armond, Salman
- Next meetings and steps:
o Meeting next week (Monday, May 1, 6pm, to iron out teach-in?)
♣ We will do art on Monday too to make a poster for the event
The Eighth Meeting
On May 1st, we touched base about the "Teach-in and Conversation" event to be held on May 5th, and made more posters about Sanctuary DU to be exhibited at Driscoll Bridge.
Teach-in and Conversation
In this Cinco de Mayo, various members of the DU community came to talk about Sanctuary DU. Our guests discussed:
- The religious origin of the concept of "sanctuary" and how it has been adapted to the current political climate
- The history of Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary Campuses in the United States since the 1980s
- A testimonio from activist Jeanette Vizguerra to fire up our visitors into action
- Testimonios from 6 undergraduate and alumn students at DU who are in positions of vulnerability (undocumented, DACAmented, refugees, Muslims, etc.) and in desperate need of urgent action from the institution
- Q & A and a conversation to establish next steps
We are sending our profound thanks to the guests who, despite being in extremely vulnerable positions, took the risk and bravely spoke up about the fear of losing DACA, the possibility of being deported or having relatives be deported, the difficulties in getting financial aid and renew DACA every two years, being unable to see their parents for years, lack of support from the administration, faculty, staff, and fellow students, etc.
If you DU care, join us!
Money raised for Jeannette's movement
- Graduate Women's Council: $200
- Korbel Latin America Center: $150
- Department of Communication Studies: $50
1st meeting of Fall 2018
Social Justice Solidarity Coalition meeting
September 18, 2017
- Vote for 3 possible events
- Divide into task force groups with specific deadlines
- Contact undergrad, grad, staff, and faculty affinity groups for each one to send at least one representative to every Social Justice Solidarity Coalition meeting
- DACA, undocumented, refugees
- Mental health
- Gender, Title IX (especially De Vos)
- Steps DU can take to protect undocumented members of our community
- Stories of anonymous undocumented students, consciousness-raising
- Faculty and staff trainings (also mental health for undocumented members)
- Informational updates
- Phone banking: meet reps
- Sanctuary: meet with board of trustees, alumni, parallel groups
- Coordinate to attend protests (see transportation options)
- Power analysis, mapping of DU groups
- Workshops, campaigns
- Link to gentrification issues / N. Side
- Student debt and tuition
- Adjuncts, staff, employee issues
- Voter registration (CCESL?)
- Get people to our meetings
- DACA, immigration
- Racism on campus
- So many things going on on campus. How to centralize or coordinate?
- Same group of people showing up to events
- Very reactive campus
- Burden on students of color to teach and explain inclusivity
- Lacking diverse faculty and student body
- Training for staff. What are resources for students?
- Better coordination with GSA and student groups
- Some kind of system? Map? Focal point?
- Calendar shares (25 Live?)
- Organizer Training, part 2: from solidarity to allyship
- Coordinating with other campuses
- Inviting speakers from Denver area to talk about local issues
- Storytelling: a gathering for DU members to voice their traumatic experiences related to DU racial climate and the national political situation
- Picket new student tours: to talk about the DU failure in offering sanctuary
- Point out lack of action but a lot of talk about action: One DU
- YouTube videos: about the Social Justice Solidarity Coalition; about racial climate at DU; information about the need for sanctuary; explanation about why DU is not a sanctuary, contrasting the administration talk about inclusive excellence and the reality
- Art exhibit: a large wall in a very visible and busy place; or a video screening (using video projector) about the Social Justice Solidarity Coalition, Sanctuary DU, DACA, racial climate, etc.