2013 March for Immigrant Women

Our Power Up! Summit and March for Immigrant Women events were a rousing success! Activists from all over the country traveled to Washington, D.C. to make sure the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women were heard in our nation’s capital.

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NAPAWF advocates before the Rally for Immigrant Women, Youth and Families

On Sunday, March 17, a superstar plenary of AAPI women leaders in the immigrant rights movement shared their personal stories of strength and resilience, and offered invaluable advice for future leaders. We were humbled to have Deepa Iyer, Pramila Jaypal, Mee Moua, and Ai-jen Poo speak to our over one hundred summit participants — who were at the edge of their chairs, eager to to hear what these fierce role models had to offer. Sunday was also full of workshops on a range of issues important to AAPI women, including immigrant rights, reproductive justice, the AAPI LGBTQ experience, mental health, and domestic violence.

On Monday, March 18, our advocacy day gave AAPI women a national stage. Along with our co-leads at the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, we hosted the “Rally for Immigrant Women, Youth and Families.” Despite snow, 500 people came out! We were honored to have Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) join us to share her own immigration experience and powerfully declare her support for immigrant women and their families. We were also grateful to have Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) address the crowd.

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After the rally, NAPAWF advocates met with Congress members to talk about the importance of including women in the immigration policy reform. Following our legislative visits, we attended a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hosted by Senator Hirono, entitled “How Immigration Reform Impacts Women and Families.” There was such an overwhelming turnout for the hearing that the room could not hold us! Two of our superstar panelists, Mee Moua, Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center, and Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Worker’s Alliance (NDWA), were witnesses at the hearing.

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The advocacy continued on Tuesday, when the We Belong Together campaign, led by NAPAWF and NDWA, brought women leaders from 24 different states to meet with legislators about uplifting the voices of women in the immigration debate. We Belong Together also held a press conference on the topic, attended by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who spoke in support of immigrant women.

By all accounts, our activists and allies left inspired by the strong women they met, motivated by the stories and information shared, and moved to continue the dialogue and advocacy.

Many thanks to all of you who joined us and helped make our Power Up! Summit and March for Immigrant Women possible! To see more photos from the event, click here.