Mickey Bronstein (HS '06) has spent her time during the pandemic working on immigration and anti-racism action. Mickey volunteers with the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, a nationwide non-profit organization which seeks to aid undocumented immigrant children who have crossed the border by themselves by providing them with a social worker, an attorney, and a caseworker to help with safe and legal integration into the United States. "The idea is to build a strong relationship of trust with the children," Mickey explains. "The volunteers act as extra eyes and ears, and write case notes after each meeting, so that the people in charge of making decisions for the child can make the best case for them." Through this work, Mickey says that she has learned a lot about the complexities of the immigration system, and has gained a further understanding of the importance of advocacy for those who have others making decisions for them.
She has been working with the same teenager for one hour a week since February, completely remotely since the onset of the pandemic. "We spend a lot of our time doing geography quizzes. He loves ancient history and he's really competitive," Mickey says. "One of the challenging things is that he's turning 18 very soon and he'll no longer be considered a minor. He'll be moved to another facility, like an adult detention facility where the conditions are very poor, so there's some anxiety there, but he's got a great case worker so we're hopeful."
Mickey has also been engaging in anti-racism teachings and facilitations. Through working with fellow alumni from her alma mater, Colby College, Mickey spent time learning and gaining tools to teach her family and friends the essential work of anti-racism advocacy and education. This includes collecting resources on anti-racism, and unpacking terms like white privilege, microaggressions, and appropriation. "We had a really great conversation," she says.
For anyone interested in volunteering for the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights or learning more about facilitating conversations on inclusion and anti-racism, feel free to reach out to Mickey at firstname.lastname@example.org.