Dear PAGE activist,
This week, the human impacts of the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies became all too clear. We learned of one father, separated from his family, who committed suicide out of despair. Jose, a 5 year old from Honduras, was taken away from his father and is living with a foster family in Michigan, crying and moaning every night until he falls asleep. A 19 year old Iowan man was killed by gangs in Mexico, just weeks after being deported. And a man died from an easily preventable cause when ICE failed to provide treatment.
Jose’s drawing of his family
While we mourn these tragedies, we celebrate the life of Anthony Bourdain, cook and travel writer, who we tragically lost this week. Bourdain was known for his sharp wit and the respectful, thoughtful way he celebrated different cultures through cuisine. Bourdain was also known for being an ally, for speaking out about the #MeToo movement, immigration and latinos in the food industry, racial disparities in Pittsburgh, and more. His legacy provides lessons for us about what it means to ground travel and activism in curiosity.
This week we aim to ground our activism in this deep spirit of curiosity. We’ll learn more about the Muslim holiday of Eid, get inspired by its message of generosity, and give to good causes. We’ll also learn more about the complicated mechanism behind something which might seem simple –food aid – and what needs to be done to improve it. Finally, we’ll call on US representatives to recognize the humanity of immigrants.
As always, our actions are curated for US Americans abroad and global citizens. If you’re new to PAGE, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website and updated toolkit. Please help us spread the word about PAGE by forwarding this email to friends, family members, and like-minded acquaintances, where they can join our community by clicking on this link to our sign-up sheet.
PAGE Global Coordinating Committee
Ramadan Kareem, Eid Mubarak! (“Have a beautiful Ramadan, happy Eid!”) Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that began on May 16th this year, lasts one complete lunar cycle, usually 29 or 30 days. Muslims around the world fast from sun-up to sun-down and use the month as a time of reflection. It will end this week with the feast holiday Eid-al-Fitr, around June 14-16, depending on the country and moon sightings. Learn more about the traditions and practices around Ramadan and Eid here.
Send greetings for Eid! First, find out when Ramadan ends near you. Then check this website and/or watch this video for memes and greetings, and send them to your Muslim friends, colleagues and family members - or just share on social media!
Get inspired by Muslim generosity and give Zakat. Zakat, or charitable giving, is the third pillar of Islam and is especially valued during Ramadan. Donate to a Muslim charity or organization, like Islamic Relief USA, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), or Emgage USA, an organization dedicated to supporting political participation of Muslim Americans.
Support the Muslim blue wave (via Wall-of-Us). More than 90 Muslims are running for public office in across the country this year, according to the Washington Post. One of four Muslim women candidates could be the first in Congress: Nadia Hashimi in Maryland; Sameena Mustafa in Illinois; or Fayrouz Saad and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan. Check them out, and see how you can offer your support whether by donating, voting, or sharing on social media!
Modernize American food aid to reduce waste and feed more hungry people. This year, a terrible hunger season in the African Sahel region is causing acute suffering among millions of poor women, children, and families. Parents are going without meals and boiling leaves to have something to give their young children, who are growing sick and dying from lack of food. Each year, the U.S. spends $2.4 billion per year on food aid, but much of this money is wasted. 1954 food aid legislation requires food aid to be purchased from U.S. farmers and that 50% be shipped via U.S. shipping companies. Changing the shipping rule, along with other inefficiencies, could free up enough funds to feed an additional 9 million starving people at no additional taxpayer expense, according to the sponsors of legislation to modernize U.S. food aid.
Learn more about the problems with the current food aid system, including how “Maintaining the 100 percent U.S. sourcing requirement … no longer increases the prices U.S. farmers receive for their produce, but costs the program hundreds of millions of dollars annually in unnecessary shipping and handling expenses that could otherwise be used to help even more hungry people.” (You can also learn more by watching this video.) The Food for Peace Modernization act (H.R. 6276), a bipartisan bill introduced in March alongside a Senate bill sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (D-TN) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), aims to fix some of these issues.
Call your Members of Congress and tell them you want to see the Food for Peace Modernization Act passed!
Do you live in a region affected by famine? Consider writing a short letter to the editor to your hometown newspaper, or working with other PAGE members to write an op-ed arguing for the the importance of working on this issue. We can help coordinate - let us know at email@example.com! You can also publicize the hunger and suffering of people on your region in your social media feed, showing your followers that you refuse to look away.
Donate to an organization that is providing food aid in the Sahel, such as CARE, Save the Children, or any others you may know of. If you live in this region and know of a local organization doing great work in this area, who we can support directly, please let us know.
Keep Getting that Vote Out. Did you know that only 12-14% of U.S.-Americans abroad vote in Presidential elections, with less than 4% voting in midterm elections? Yikes! We have a lot of work to do - especially since there are signs that November’s “blue wave” may be faltering. Winning back at least one chamber of Congress is critical to stopping the Trump agenda until 2020.
Write an op-ed encouraging fellow U.S.-Americans abroad to vote! Our friends at Action Together Zurich have got the statistics and the arguments to encourage every U.S.-American abroad to vote, as seen in this op-ed. They’re working with PAGE members and voters abroad to exercise their right to vote. If you’d like to write an op-ed of your own, get in touch with ActionTogether-Zurich, and they can help support!
Join our Global Get Out the Vote Efforts! Join fellow US-Americans abroad to Get Out The Vote for November elections! Share widely with friends and on social media, along with a link to VoteFromAbroad.Org. Don’t forget to use this form to organize and track the number of people you register to vote and tweet us @PAGEofdemocracy to tell us about your efforts, using #NotTooFarAwayToVote!
Primaries are kicking into full swing. Postcards for voters has put together a helpful list of primaries and ways that you can send postcards to voters in states with primaries happening soon. If you haven’t already, take a look and learn about when your next election is coming up!
Write for PAGE! Do you love to write? Do you like staying engaged with progressive politics? We’re looking for 1-2 more writers and editors to support with our weekly actions. This flexible commitment is generally about 3-5 hours/month; writers get connected with a global network and receive training on digital communications. If you or someone you know is interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Thank you for your progressive action!**