Saturday, December 5, Damayan closed 2015 with a holiday party and fundraiser. Around 130 members and allies attended to sing, dance and celebrate Damayan’s advances.
The program opened with Damayan Board member Annie Bello who shared statements of solidarity with all undocumented workers, in Damayan’s membership and in allied communities, who remain undocumented and in the shadows while Obama’s Executive Action remains held up in courts and no new paths to legalization have been created. Statements of solidarity extended to Syrian refugees and Muslims who face violence and racism in the wake of terror attacks. Finally, the program recognized the injustices and violence committed against our Black brothers and sisters due to racism, police violence and white supremacist vigilantes.
Damayan Executive Director Linda Oalican and Chairperson Juana Dwyer gave an overview of successes and accomplishments from the past year. Damayan Cleaning Cooperative member-owners Emma Serafin and Jean Llanto spoke on behalf of the cooperative which was launched on September 2015.
Damayan member and trafficking survivor Len Ramos shared her experiences as a guest worker in Florida and her recent victory of receiving T-visa for herself and T-visa derivatives for her husband and three children. Board member and trafficking survivor Judith Daluz also narrated her story of being reunited with her four children in early 2015.
Damayan member Tess Tamsac performed a Christmas carol and a song, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) organizers Amanda Altman and Rachel McCullough serenaded the crowd with “The Greatest Work of All” (their spin on Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All”). Board member and organizer Lydia Catina-Amaya gave a closing that focused on moving forward into 2016.
The members contributed sumptuous food and drinks, and around 30 members participated with the gift exchange.
To donate to #20DaysForDamayan and help us reach our $10k goal by December 20, please click here.
For photos of the event, please click here.