A Day Without Immigrants

February 16, 2017
By Yanique Redwood

I met with Darakshan Raja this morning to discuss the basics—how things are going as a new member of the board and how I might be supportive. The conversation that we ended up having was far from basic. I learned that she had closed her organization The Washington Peace Center in support of A Day Without Immigrants. I had heard about this action in passing, but I associated “immigrant” with restaurants, small shop owners and taxis. When in fact, immigrants are employed everywhere in a range of professions, including leadership of nonprofit organizations.

As an immigrant (I came here from Jamaica when I was 11) leading a staff of mostly immigrants, I am closing the Consumer Health Foundation today to stand in solidarity. I will be missing important meetings, including a meeting of 30 funders who are gathering as I write this to decide on philanthropy’s path forward to advance racial equity in our region. There is no other meeting that is more important than this one, but I am compelled to make this statement of our values and our vision—a region and nation in which everyone lives a healthy and dignified life. And by “everyone,” we mean all people regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, education or income.


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