A group of Madison citizens are putting together an event that will advocate for refugees being detained at the southern border.
The Rally for Refuge is a fundraising endeavor to support border relief efforts. It will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 1-7 pm at Madison Labor Temple Grounds. Its main organizer, Brenda Tucci, wanted to help in any way possible and thought a rally would be an effective way of doing so.
“I was increasingly upset and angry with the reports that I saw on the news, and decided to take action,” she said. “When the opportunity arose to take action and support immigrants and refugees, I did the research and found that there was a nonprofit that is actively involved in everything that needs to happen for these individuals.”
That organization is the Refugee & Immigrant Center for Education & Legal Services (RAICES), a nonprofit organization that “promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees,” according to its website. RAICES offers assistance on legal support to asylum seekers, representation of unaccompanied children, family unification, residency and citizenship, DACA, and resettlement of refugees and victims of severe trafficking.
All of the proceeds from Rally for Refuge will benefit RAICES.
Rally for Refuge will be a block party with featured entertainment from DJs, Salsa Con Sabor and Ballet Folkórico, as well as family fun activities such as face painting, a photo booth, a bounce house and a silent auction, which will include two tickets to Hamilton at Overture Center. It will also have representatives from local advocacy groups available at an education table, providing information on how to support immigrants and refugees here locally.
There is a suggested donation of $5 for adults, and kids enter free.
In addition to the rally, there will be donation boxes available for request after the event. Their goal is to raise a total of $10,000.
Tucci, who started planning the event six weeks ago, spoke to multiple people about how this event should come together.
“I had a vision of getting our city together to work collectively, with the common cause of supporting human dignity, and fighting for justice,” she said. “One of the DJs is my brother. When I had the idea I called him and asked if he would provide entertainment and said ‘no problem, just name the day.’ One thing kind of led to another. Every person that I talked to in this city was ready and willing to help in any way that they can.”