Team Member: Heng Lao
1Love Movement wrote -
1Love formed 6 years ago this Fall. We came together in a basement in Philly to plan a rally, it was the night close friends and family were detained by ICE for deportation to Cambodia. We were a small group of people who believed in doing what’s right and following the call of our community - no matter where, when or what it took. None of us knew then that 1Love would grow into basements, living rooms, and backyards across the country from San Diego to Seattle to Kansas City and more. We also didn’t know that we would connect with hundreds of other advocates, organizers, and groups who would become our national movement family. Together, we brought our fight to City Halls, State Houses, Congress, and the United Nations in Geneva.
Over the years, our journey took us to Cambodia to build bridges in the global movement against deportation, and eventually partner with 1Love Cambodia, a newly formed deportee-led grassroots organization. We built up our collective resilience and courage across borders to launch an international campaign that fearlessly demands #Not1More and the#Right2Return!
For the majority of our 6 years, 1Love was fully volunteer run. And now, even though we are structurally sound with fiscal sponsorship support, we have never been able to support a full-time staff person, and 1Love activities have often been funded by the volunteers and organizers themselves, leaving many of us financially hurting. This situation isn’t for lack of trying to secure funds and grants, it is because as a grassroots organization that centers its work on movement building, sustainable funds are not there for us. Grassroots organizations are caught in a social movement trap. The greatest risks, sacrifices, and victories are expected of us on the ground, while at the same time our failures and mistakes have the deepest and most direct consequences. Without resources, all of this is intensified ten fold. This is the same for community organizations nationwide.
And so, in this moment, we are launching a #1LOVE6YEARS campaign to raise $30,000 within the next two months so 1Love Movement can sustain itself. We are calling on you to support us by donating what you can, and sharing our fundraiser with your networks to advocate for our financial viability on our behalf. In addition, if you have ideas and energy for sustaining 1Love, please join our Fundraising Committee. Email Co-Director, Mia-lia, at firstname.lastname@example.org!