We Are Home: Local and Regional Strategies to Create Safe and Welcoming Communities

From the Muslim ban to the zero tolerance policy of separating and detaining immigrant families to threats to deport dreamers, immigrant families are under tremendous pressure and fear as the federal immigration policy turns more punitive and cruel. Immigrants communities live, work, play and pray in our local communities, making up an invaluable part of our economy and civic life. Local and state jurisdictions are left with the aftermath of families ripped apart. As a result, hundreds of local and state elected leaders are raising their own awareness of what these policies do to families in their communities and are actively developing policies to create more avenues for local jurisdictions to support immigrant in their communities. In our workshop we will facilitate a frank discussion with legal experts and policy advocates to understand the current state of immigration policies and how it is impacting local jurisdictions. We will also provide tools to help us challenge the dominant narrative about the limited role of our local and state laws in this situation and hopefully seed our imagination with new ways of thinking about policies we can create in our own jurisdiction to support immigrant families today. We hope participants come away with some understanding of creative practices and policies that can best serve these underserved and vulnerable immigrant communities and ensure our jurisdictional leadership addresses the stark realities for these communities at this time.

About Raahi Reddy

Raahi Reddy is the Director of Metro's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program. Prior to joining the Metro team, Raahi served as faculty at the University of Oregon where she founded the Equity in the Economy Initiative. She has co-authored several ground breaking reports on the experiences of low-wage working Oregonians including "The High Cost of Low Wages in Oregon” detailing the economic reality for Oregon’s low-wage workers in the post-recession economy. 

Raahi has extensive experience in leading organizations through strategic change, including helping her organizations build inclusive and diverse leadership programs for both staff and members. She also has led large-scale campaigns to help win social and economic justice for workers, including immigrants and people of color. Raahi has passionately advocated for national and local efforts to build diversity within the labor movement and create lasting labor and community partnerships. 

Raahi holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA. Raahi has served in numerous leadership roles during her career, serving as Chief of Staff for an 85,000-member union in Southern California. She has served on several boards including recently completing a board chair position for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO). 

Learn more at www.oregonmetro.gov/strategic-plan-advanceracial-equity-diversity-and-inclusion