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(Photo: CRLN staff and OCAD members at CRLN Luncheon, Celeste far right) Reflection by Celeste Larkin, CRLN Public Policy Coordinator, Aug 2012 – Dec 2016: The past four and a half years at CRLN have given me a profound and humbling time of learning, fighting, and advocating alongside a beautiful community that envisions a world where human rights are valued over profit—and, for this, I’m deeply grateful. I’ll be leaving CRLN by the end of this month and will take with me that vision and all that I’ve learned from CRLN staff, board, members, and—most importantly—undocumented people and organizers in Latin America who are fighting for their rights, their lives, and their lands.

As many people can imagine, working at CRLN is more than just having a job. CRLN gives people the chance to take risks and interrupt state violence in the service of transnational solidarity and migrants’ rights. I’ve been able to participate in international delegations wherein committed people from my town learn from and build relationships with organizers in other countries. I’ve helped coordinate speaker tours so that Latin American leaders come to Chicago to share their struggles and connect with people entrenched in parallel struggle here in the U.S. I’ve been able to work with CRLN members to hold our elected officials accountable and speak truth to power, making demands that support CRLN’s vision for world where imperialism & roots of forced migration can be named, checked, and—in the long haul—abolished.

In taking those risks and trusting each other, I’ve been blessed to build a community at this organization and I’m hopeful for the future of this work. That sense of hope is directly inspired by the efforts, principles, and labor of people leading these struggles from the front lines of Latin America and the undocumented community. I feel hopeful because of the base here in Illinois that has made CRLN what it is and that commits to the work ahead when the risks feel great and the country barrels forward toward heightened nationalism. I’m deeply grateful for the work of all of you reading this statement, and I hope you all know that, as we continue learning how to do this work better under ever-changing conditions, I’m thankful that you’re in this world and adding your grain of sand to the mountains being built throughout the hemisphere.

If you have questions about foreign policy and need to be in touch with CRLN staff, please contact Sharon Hunter-Smith at shunter-smith@crln.org and if you would like to be in touch about trade policy, please contact Claudia Lucero at clucero@crln.org. You can also call our office for any reason at 773-293-2964.

Celeste, La Coordinadora de Política Pública, Deja su Posición con Gratitud y Determinación

Escrito por Celeste Larkin, Coordinadora de Política Pública de CRLN, Aug de 2012 – Dic de 2016: Los últimos cuatro años y medio en CRLN me han dado una experiencia profunda y un sentido de humildad mientras aprendía, luchaba, y abogaba al lado de una bella comunidad que imagina un mundo donde los derechos humanos tienen más valor que el beneficio privado—y, por eso, estoy profundamente agradecida. Estaré dejando mi posición en CRLN al final de este mes y tomaré conmigo esta visión y todo lo que aprendí del equipo de CRLN, de nuestra junta directiva, de nuestrxs miembrxs, y—lo más importante—de la personas indocumentadas y organizadores de América Latina luchando por sus derechos, sus vidas y sus tierras.

Como muchxs pueden imaginar, trabajar en CRLN significa más que simplemente tener un trabajo. CRLN da a las personas la oportunidad de tomar riesgos e interrumpir la violencia del estado en el servicio de la solidaridad transnacional y los derechos de lxs migrantes. Yo he podido participar en delegaciones internacionales en las cuales gente de mi ciudad aprende de y construye relaciones con organizadores de otros países. He ayudado a coordinar giras de líderes Latinoamericanxs visitando Chicago para que compartan sus luchas y conecten con personas  involucradas en las luchas paralelas en los EE.UU. He podido trabajar con lxs miembrxs de CRLN para hacer a lxs oficiales públicxs responsables de sus decisiones y para que digan la verdad al poder. Al mismo tiempo, exigiendo que apoyen nuestra visión para un mundo donde el imperialismo y las raíces de migración forzada puedan ser nombradas, combatidas, y—en el largo plazo—abolidas.

Al tomar estos riesgos y confiar uno en el otrx , he sido bendecida al construir una comunidad en esta organización y tengo mucha esperanza para el futuro de este trabajo. Este sentido de esperanza está directamente inspirado por los esfuerzos, principios, y trabajo de las personas en las líneas del frente de estas luchas, desde América Latina hasta la comunidad indocumentada. También siento esperanza por la base aquí en Illinois que ha hecho CRLN lo que es y que se compromete a trabajar aun cuando los riesgos parecen demasiado grandes y el país avanza hacia un nacionalismo intensificado. Estoy profundamente agradecida por todo el trabajo que ustedes leyendo este mensaje han hecho y espero que sepan que, mientras seguimos aprendiendo cómo hacer mejor este trabajo bajo condiciones que siempre cambian, doy gracias que ustedes estén en este mundo añadiendo su granito de arena a las montañas de trabajo construidas por todo el hemisferio.

Si tiene preguntas sobre el trabajo de la política extranjera, póngase en contacto con Sharon Hunter-Smith a shunter-smith@crln.org y si tiene preguntas sobre nuestro trabajo en el asunto de los tratados de libre comercio, póngase en contacto con Claudia Lucero a clucero@crln.org. También pueden llamar a nuestra oficina para cualquier otra razón al numero 773-293-2964.

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