Friday, November 6, 2015

There's some changes happening around here!

Dear Friends,

It is our community members who encourage the CU Immigration Forum to reach out and connect in new and meaningful ways. We invite you to grow with the Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum as we have officially become a 501c3 community non-profit.

Please join us for our new CU Immigration Forum meeting format starting this December 2015! (Our November 10th meeting will be cancelled as we are hosting the Immigrant-Friendly Fair & Forum at the Unitarian Universalist Church that evening. We'd love to chat with you there! Also, mark your calendars for The Forum: More Than One Story to take place on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 5pm at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign.)

The CU Immigration Forum was created in order to bring together people who were interested in and working on issues related to immigration. We wanted to share information and resources in the hopes that this would not only increase our individual effectiveness, allowing us to better serve our chosen communities, but also create a space for a mutually beneficial and productive cross-fertilization of ideas to take place.

Over time, however, as we have transitioned from being primarily a communications hub to an active hands-on organization, our meetings have become increasingly exclusive, requiring those in attendance to posses prior knowledge of the topics being discussed or risk being sidelined with no easy point of entry into the conversation.

We are committed to changing this.

We are restructuring our monthly meetings in a way that allows us the space to encourage discussion and dialogue as it fits to our mission, while promoting opportunities for interested members to join a working group and help tackle specific problems and areas that concern them.

To this end, our monthly meetings have now become monthly forums, as we will host facilitated group discussions, and occasional presentations by guest speakers on important topics related to our shared work. In so doing, we work to better our understanding of each other and to lift up and engage each other in our mission to serve and advocate for the progress of immigrant lives.

The discussion of most of the day-to-day operational details will take place in the individual working groups themselves, and from those to the monthly steering meeting for final coordination and allocation of resources. At the beginning of each monthly forum, we will share a brief overview of what is being done by each of these groups so that everyone remains informed.