Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CUIF Seeking Nominations for Immigrant Welcome Awards

*Nominations are now being accepted through September 25th*

The Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum is hosting our first annual Immigrant Welcome Awards! Immigrant Welcome Awards recognizes the contributions of individuals and organizations that have created a welcoming atmosphere for immigrants in the Champaign-Urbana community. We are seeking nominations for individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions, taken risks, and have provided leadership for the wellbeing and success of immigrants in Champaign County.

Submit your nomination TODAY!  Submit a Nomination On-lineOr you can download your nomination form and email the form to or mail to Channing Murray, 1209 W. Oregon Street, Urbana IL 61801, Attention: Welcome Awards.

Selection and Ceremony - A committee of community representatives will select awardees.

Please mark your calendars:
Immigrant Welcome Awards Celebration
Oct 4, 2014 from 2 to 3:30pm
Urbana Lake House
206 W Park Street, Urbana
All community members are invited to the awards ceremony.

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

Please email if you have questions. We look forward to seeing your nominations!

Thank you!
CU Immigration Forum

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rhizome of Ixil: Video Game Launch Party

When: Saturday, July 19th 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Where: Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center
 202 S. Broadway, Urbana IL 61820
Admission: Free

About the Event:

We are pleased to announce the launch of Rhizome of Ixil, a non-profit video game created by artist Daniella Pavlic. A launch party will be held on July 19th, 2014 at the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center. Sponsored by the UC-IMC and Urbana Arts Grant, this launch party is free to the public and the whole community is invited to participate.
This event will showcase the video game and provide a chance for dialog around the current Latin American politics, specifically the Maya Ixil Community. There will be a short screening of ‘How to Nail a Dictator’ followed up by a demo of Rhizome of Ixil. A panel discussion will be held for questions regarding the game design and history of the Ixil community. The last portion of the launch will be open to the public for play-testing the game and giving feedback. Beverages and snacks will also be available.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Immigrant Friendly, immigrant proud; our towns are doing it. Come listen how Chicago is too !

Working to Make Chicago the Most Immigrant Friendly City in the U.S.
Adolfo Hernandez, Director, Chicago Office of New Americans
When: Friday, March 7, 2014
Where: Latzer Hall at the University Y, 1001 S. Wright, Champaign

In 2011, Adolfo Hernandez was appointed by
Mayor Emanuel to serve as the Director of the newly created Chicago's Office of New Americans.
The Office of New Americans was created by the Mayor to make Chicago the most immigrant
friendly city in the country by better leveraging the contributions of immigrants through
enhanced collaboration between city government, community organizations, academic and
faith based institutions, and the private sector.Hernandez, who is the son of Mexican immigrants
and was born and raised in Chicago's Little Village community, has worked to develop
and implement policies and strategies that support the creation and expansion of immigrant-
owned businesses, that develop, attract, and retain talent and expertise from other countries,
and that bolster Chicago's status as a vibrant and welcoming international city.
In September of 2013, the White House recognized Adolfo for his work in Chicago as one of
ten local heroes who are "Champions of Change" and that work tirelessly to effectively
integrate immigrants civically, linguistically, and socially into the fabric of their neighborhoods by
bringing all residents together to create welcoming communities.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

News Release: This Sunday, Town Meeting On Immigration With Candidates

Press Release:
For Immediate Release
February 11, 2014

For media inquiries, contact: Megan Flowers, Event Spokesperson

Town Meeting on Immigration With Candidates
Congressional, State Rep Candidates and
constituents meet to discuss immigration

[Champaign, IL] The CU-Immigration Forum and other co-sponsors announce an upcoming community meeting and candidates forum about the issue of immigration reform on Sunday, Feb 16th from 3PM to 5PM, at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green Street, Champaign.

Candidates or their representatives from the 13th congressional district will join the community in a discussion on the issue of immigration and what they support. State representative candidates from the 103rd District have also been invited since there will be some state legislation that will also impact immigrants. The CU Immigration Forum and co-sponsors encourage all community members to attend this public event to meet representatives and to share their stories and concerns about the issue of immigration. There will also be an opportunity for community members to ask candidates questions they may have. No registration is required to attend this free, public meeting.

“Now is the opportunity for us to talk to our representatives about immigration,” says Ben Mueller, community member and member of the CU Immigration Forum. “We are concerned with how immigration legislation will impact us locally.”

Background: The CU Immigration Forum comprises of a broad cross section of community members, students, and local service providers. They meet once a month regularly to talk about immigration and serving the immigrant community. As the House considers immigration legislation, community members would like the opportunity to keep the conversation about immigration going and talk to district and state representatives.

This event is sponsored by the CU Immigration Forum, ACLU of Champaign County, Planners Network, La Colectiva, Graduate Organization of Latina/o Students, Alpha Phi Sigma, CU Citizens for Peace and Justice, MECHA, GEO, Lambda Theta Phi, SEIU Local 73, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, University YMCA.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Save this afternoon! Feb 1, 1-4 PM for the annual retreat on immigration

On Saturday, February 1st, please join us for the 2014 C-U Immigration Forum Retreat

We sometimes need a chance to catch up each other on the issues and the news, and to discuss, prioritize the resources, and plan out strategy to meet the challenges. This year, there yet may be reform at the national level but we have the opportunity of very willing state and local governments to be immigrant friendly; we have learned that when we organize, the contribution and plight of immigrants can be changed positively. 

We need your help to plan and execute programs for making Champaign-Urbana the most immigrant friendly community in Illinois. With you, we can make it happen. 

When: Saturday, February 1st from 1-4 PM

Where: University YMCA
1001 S. Wright St.
Parking is available behind the building. Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP at the link below:

We have now drafted the agenda and it includes:

-Updating each other in the national debate on immigration reform

-Figure out some of the possible policy proposals that we can prepare for

-Tweak the way we have been helping people with their paperwork for driver licenses, youth brought as children, and on becoming citizens; help people advocate for themselves

-We will also be forming new working groups to smooth out communication, provide for new leaders, and help our monthly meetings be more streamlined

This is a good time to come, get more informed on one particular topic and get involved in another facet of the immigration debate or service to immigrants

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Driver Licenses for immigrants now a reality

  • We see the new law as a positive step towards the safety of all 
  • The general population will benefit from more insurance coverage 
  • Local police departments and sheriff will have a way to verify people's driving eligibility and insurance coverage 
  • We do not know how many people are affected locally, but they include many ethnicities and it includes students. 
  • Everyone benefited will have to pass a written and a practical test and pay regular fees. 
  • The bill will take effect on November 27th and the rules are not out yet, people should check 
  • We will hold trainings on the driving regulations through IF 
  • The cooperation involves the governor but all legislators, including our own senator and assembly people supported the bill and we thank them for the reasonable support. 
  • This measure makes sense for driving issues in our state but a better solution is to support immigration reform at the national level, much as the federal legislators and president are talking about 
  • IF is composed of...and we meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month, at the University Y

Faith Allies and October Immigration Justice Month is October 2013

Faith Allies and October Immigration Justice Month

In an effort to foster greater dialogue about immigration within our congregations, the Allies of Faith of the CU Immigration Forum have launched the second annual Immigrant Justice Month for this October. Events are planned throughout the community, in congregations and public forums, to raise awareness of issues surrounding immigration and the immigrant experience. The calendar below offers the community opportunity to join in conversations approaching the immigration debate from a perspective of faith and justice.

5:00 pm Sunday, October 6 at UniPlace Christian Church, 403 S. Wright St., Champaign.
Beginning of 8-week seminar on Understanding Strife in the Congo. This class will meet weekly on Sundays and will increase understanding of Congolese immigration to our community. Open to the public. Go to unip for more information.

6:30 pm Monday, October 7 Harvest of Empire: film screening/discussion at Channing Murray Foundation, 1209 W. Oregon, U. This new feature-length documentary, "Harvest of Empire," examines the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Monday, October 14 Fast Day Called: The Allies of Faith of the Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum have called for religious leaders and others in the community to join in a day of fasting as we pray for successful Comprehensive Immigration Reform for the sake of justice in our community.

7:00 pm Monday, October 14 abUSed: The Postville Raid: film screening/discussion at Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, 309 W. Green, Urbana. This film weaves together the personal stories of those directly affected by the largest, most brutal and expensive Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in the history of the United States. This event took place in Postville, Iowa, in 2008. The documentary presents the human face of immigration, the socioeconomic forces that fuel it, and serves as a cautionary tale against government abuses.

Saturday, October 19 at First Mennonite Church, 902 W. Springfield, Urbana 61801. Food Security Forum: Food for Today, Food for Tomorrow, Food for All. Program is free and includes an evening meal. Interactive shopping and cooking on a Food Stamp Budget begins at 10 am. Information and discussion sessions run from 1:00 – 7:30 pm. Details and meal registration at

7:00 pm Monday, October 21 at Channing Murray Foundation, 1209 W. Oregon, U.
Justice in Motion: Responding to Changing Needs with Nicaragua’s Poor Presentation and Craft Display. Craft items will be available for sale.

12:30 pm Sunday, October 27 Food will be served from 12:30-2:00 pm at our Immigration Justice Fair held at University Place Christian Church, 403 S. Wright, Champaign. Faith groups and civic organizations will highlight ways they welcome the stranger and show hospitality to immigrants in Champaign-Urbana. A great networking event. Reserve an info table through

2:00 pm Sunday, October 27 Interfaith Worship Service at University Place Christian Church, 403 S. Wright, Champaign led by faith leaders from many distinct congregations. It will be a moving conclusion to a month-long effort to lift up the needs of our immigrant neighbors today even as we celebrate the immigrant history of our past.

6:00 pm Wednesday, October 30 University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright, Champaign. Dia de los Muertos celebration with live music and light refreshments. A festive celebratory event lifting up immigrant contributions to our community.

7:00 pm Thursday, October 31 “Our View From the Border,” an interactive presentation at
Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, 309 W. Green, Urbana. Desert aid workers Kate Morgan-Olsen and Ricky Cheney from No More Deaths will offer firsthand accounts of trends in migration; human rights abuse documentation in Nogales, Sonora; migrant support in the Sonoran desert; and allied movement building in communities throughout Arizona with emphasis on a model for organizing that can be replicated in Champaign-Urbana. No More Deaths is a ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson.