The week of July 6th, 2020 is one that none of us reading this post will ever forget. In 10 years we'll be at the EnglishUSA Networking Reception at the NAFSA Annual Conference ask each other, "What were you doing during that week when the Fall 2020 ICE guidance came out?" The majority of us will likely have the same answer of where we were (HOME, of course!). And given that so many of us got into international education because it's WHO.WE.ARE and not just what we do, I imagine that the range of personal and professional reactions to the release of the ICE guidance for Fall 2020 will also be similar.
At the time this post goes live (7/10/2020), there are still so many unanswered questions on what will happen next to the students and our programs. The students have always been our #1 focus, but then the end of each day comes and we struggle to take deep breaths as we reflect on concerns regarding: (1) the safety and health of our family, friends and colleagues; (2) potential or impending program closures; (3) and fear of losing our job, which has already become a reality for many.
English language programs have often been referred to as being nimble and resilient. This probably doesn't sound very assuring this week. But what should ring positive are the collective efforts of your colleagues across the country to advocate for their students, programs, and industry. We cannot give up hope on the influence we can have in this larger field of international education.
EnglishUSA is so proud and appreciative of the actions that so many members took this week. WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! Let's add to our mightiness and strength in numbers. If you haven't done something on this list yet, put it on your things-to-do!!
- Review EnglishUSA's advocacy resources to help calling, emailing or tweeting your Members' of Congress office (with a quick review of our Joint Statement with TESOL and UCIEP)
- Change your EnglishUSA Engage settings to "Real Time" for the next few weeks so you can contribute to calls for action when needed
- Request from NAFSA form your congressional staffers emails to keep on file
- Fill out TESOL's form to send letters to White House and Department of Homeland Security
- Check out other statements from organizations and institutions all over the country--many are quite inspiring
- Make sure you're on EnglsihUSA's Facebook and LinkedIn groups, along with Twitter
Let's keep adding to this list!!!