An interview with Chieko Phillips, Immigration Justice Giving Project member.
Why did you sign up for a Giving Project?
Immigration has never been “my issue” and given the increased political attention to the immigration issues, my lack of knowledge started to feel more like ignorance. I decided to join the Immigration Justice Giving Project not only to learn more about our immigration system but also to support local organizations already involved in the immigration justice movement. I wanted to support the movement but not being involved to this point seemed like a barrier. I didn’t know where to start. Social Justice Fund NW allowed me to enter the work where I am, learn, and bring my network of supports along on the journey as well.
What were one or two meaningful experiences or takeaways for you from this Giving Project?
I had an absolutely amazing site visit to an organization in Woodburn, Oregon. In addition to getting to learn about the moving and deeply impacting work of the women of Mujeres Luchadores Progresistas, I had the opportunity to commune with one of my fellow project participants who I had not previously spent time with. My life moves so fast these days that I cannot remember the last time that I had the pleasure or spending multiple days with a near stranger.
“The will of the group” is a phrase I will take with me. I appreciated the consensus building tools SJF project managers Rebecca and Karen taught us that allowed our giving project to make decisions in a way that felt very respectful and intentional.
How do you hope to stay connected to Social Justice Fund NW and/or to the grassroots organizing you supported in this Giving Project?
I have already been connected to the Gratitude Committee. One of my donors sent me a picture of the handwritten thank you she received after her donation and it meant so much to her. I hope to share this feeling with other future donors to SJF.