More than 15,000 children spent last night in an American concentration camp. Those are words I NEVER expected to speak, write or read in my lifetime. I’m writing, speaking and reading a whole lot of things I never thought I would these days. This is what I'm thinking about every single time I get to the lullaby in my Music Together classes while I lay on the floor with 0-5 year olds and sing with them and their parents. I hold back my tears as I think about the children their ages and younger (and older) who aren't getting a lullaby at night. Who aren't getting adequate food, water, blankets, beds, baths, toothbrushes, soap or other basic necessities. Who are being held in overcrowded CAGES where the lights never turn off. These are tactics used in torture procedures being used on innocent children. When I see the 5 year olds in my classes I think about children their ages being required to care for infants because the adults in these camps aren't just failing them as caretakers, they are often abusing them in myriad ways. These children are being held under unbelievably cruel policies that deny them even the most basic comfort. There is a no hugging policy in many of these centers. These kids aren't even allowed to comfort each other with a hug of love and support. I think about the irreparable damage that is being done to these children, their families, and the effect that this will have on ALL of us in generations to come. I think about the responsibility we have to do everything we can to help.
I put myself out there as a performer on a regular basis, but I am not a community organizer. I have never felt strongly enough to step out of my comfort zone and ask people I care about for their help in fighting for things that I believe in. I’m not soft spoken about those beliefs and don’t back down from discourse around them, but I am not good at asking for help in general, or even knowing what would be helpful to ask for. I have had the chance to perform at events to benefit a lot of important causes over the years. I’m grateful for it, and for the people who have organized these events and given me the chance to contribute. But I’ve never been someone to step up and rally people around a cause.
I NEED YOUR HELP NOW.
This is different for me for so many reasons. I have no idea what it feels to be in the position that these children and families are right now. I have never had to flee my country in fear for my life or the lives of my family. I have never been forcibly separated from them by a hostile government. OUR HOSTILE GOVERNMENT. Let that sink in.
But I have an experience to extrapolate from...
When I was 8 I was separated from my family for 3 months. I was held in a facility that was clean, safe and I knew that I would be back with my family after a period of time. And even still, it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my young life that still impacts me today.
Right now, there are children as young as 4 months old in these camps. These kids have no idea when (or if) they will see their parents again.
This doesn't stop at children who aren't citizens. Below is just one of MANY stories that are beginning to surface of U.S. citizens of latin descent being detained and held in horrible conditions without due process. It is critical that we do not stay silent. We must raise our voices in dissent of our government's actions. It's not just our right, it's our duty.
August 10th I hope you’ll join us to raise funds for humanitarian and legal aid to do our part to help the children who are spending their days and nights in concentration camps at our borders. Funds will be donated to International Rescue Committee, Freedom for Immigrants and The Hispanic Federation. Each of these organizations is working on this issue at different levels.
I'm so grateful for everyone who has jumped on board in support of this event! Thank you to Suzanna Spring Dan Taylor Jonny Williams Mokai TJ Tyler Laurie Johnson Gallagher and Embodied Wines for volunteering their time, talent and resources to help!
For tickets or more information please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/380091132646795/