The Problem: Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise in the United States.
Our Solution: Empower university students to influence their campuses to create empathy for immigrants.
How: Students will hold events on campus, manage video competitions within their university, and post to our blog. The Exodus Institute will use funds raised in this campaign and provide resources to aid the students.
When: Each student receives $14,000 to cover the cost of the programming, student time, and overhead per 1 academic year.
$42,000 for programs at 3 universities (per program goal: $14,000).
Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise in the United States, underpinned by fear: fear of the other, fear of being stereotyped, fear of deportation, fear of being associated with the “wrong” side, fear of persecution, fear of retaliation, fear of isolation, fear of losing one’s status, job, family, etc.
The need to respond is critical. University students represent the next generation. In the fight for an America that recognizes and embraces the value and contributions of those seeking refuge from violence, poverty, discrimination, and environmental degradation to the fabric of our culture, society, and economy, their voices must be heard and amplified. Empowering university students to take action is a critical lever for combating this rise in anti-immigrant sentiment and the underlying fear that currently afflicts our communities and nation. This is an opportunity for university students to get involved and have their concerns heard about the current negative narratives around refugees and immigrants.
The Exodus Institute is creating a movement of strong voices at the national and grass roots levels, fighting the war on forced migrants with facts. We seek to combat anti-asylum/refugee rhetoric and legislation through grass-roots and national advocacy and strategy partnerships.
We ask you to join us in this work.
Anti-refugee and anti-asylum rhetoric does lasting damage. These policies have ripped families and communities apart, targeting those who are fleeing for their lives. It has eroded the principles and legal protections on which our country was founded and diminished our standing in the international community. History has shown that immigration is part of our tradition and has defined and refined our democracy. Through an understanding of the economic, political, and social drivers of immigration in the past and present, students can develop an appreciation of immigration today.
The Exodus Institute will support action by university students across the nation to combat anti-immigrant sentiment. Our program will include the following major components, which support the Exodus Institute’s mission to educate, advocate and facilitate:
1. Awareness-raising events
• The student with support from The Exodus Institute will organize and execute events at their university, including panel discussions, film showings, policy round-table discussions, and other events, in order to increase awareness of the relevant issues among university students, as well as engage the broader university community;
a. Student must conduct at least 6 events throughout the school year and send a summary detailing the attendance and points discussed to Exodus following each event,
b. The student should create a blog opinion posting bi-weekly (2x per month) regarding the topic;
c. The student will conduct a video competition on campus where students create a short video as to why the United States should welcome refugees and immigrants. These videos play a critical role in our public education and outreach work to educate and raise awareness.
• The student with support from Exodus will partner with university staff and relevant student groups to host the events;
2. The Exodus Institute Student Engagement Fund
• Exodus will establish and capitalize a fund to cover the cost of programming, the student time, and overhead at $14,000 per academic year;
• The Exodus Institute and the university will establish milestones for the program in order to measure success;
3. Monitoring and Evaluating
• Exodus will provide assistance for students, such as helping create materials and website content for university events, community engagement, social media and promotion of Exodus Institute and Exodus Institute resources;
• The university and Exodus will provide oversight, collect data, and conduct a monitoring and evaluation framework to track the performance and success of the Exodus Institute Student Engagement Fund;
• Based on an agreed upon program criteria, this program will expand and continue on campus in the years following the pilot.
Using available funds, the Exodus Institute would cover its costs associated with student time, programming, technical support, website, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting.