*This post also appeared in FCNL's interns' blog, "Of Peace and Politics."*
I've been noticing recently how quickly people assume that, because I'm now living in Washington, DC, I must be involved in a powerful national organization working to change policy at the highest of levels. That may be true. It certainly seems that DC symbolizes a certain kind of power. However, I've been learning most recently that our power to effect change does not stem from the position of individual FCNL staff in DC. Our power to effect change is collective.
The small things that we do in our daily lives really do make a difference. Every conversation that you have with your neighbor, on whatever issue you're passionate about, is one instance of awareness-raising that promotes knowledge, tolerance, and action. Every time I talk to my friends about what I'm doing at work, and where the discussion on immigration stands on the Hill, I'm sharing an experience that brings everyone involved to a new level of understanding.
Dialogue is necessarily a two-way street, where in the best of circumstances each person participating in the conversation comes away better for it. This is why I am so excited to hear about all the potluck events that have been going on across the country to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. FCNL has been encouraging communities around the country to host Breaking Bread and Barriers potluck events. These events are opportunities for neighbors to come together to break bread, and break barriers - the barriers that separate us in our daily lives from connecting with one another across our differences, and the barriers that hold immigrants back from integrating fully into U.S. cultures and economies.
FCNL has a new update on the Breaking Bread and Barriers potlucks on our website. This kind of dialogue comes at a critical time, when neighbors can express their thoughts and concerns to each other and their members of Congress, in preparation for what is sure to be a greater debate on immigration reform in the next few months. If you are interested in learning more or organizing one of these events yourself, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see our website.
Enjoy the rest of the week, and keep on talking about what makes you passionate!