Binkley’s Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in the US

This statement was published in the Raleigh News and Observer and Durham Herald Sun on March 8, 2020, by the 30 organizations listed.

An earlier version was published on September 8/9, 2019 by Binkley Church in the N&O, DHS and UNC Daily Tarheel.

Humanitarian Crisis Response

The Binkley Humanitarian Crisis Workgroup has been moving forward on a number of fronts:

  • The Workgroup was established in the fall of 2019. Since then we have sponsored several events at Binkley and have numerous ongoing activities (see Current Activities below).
  • A Steering Committee to help guide the work of the Binkley Humanitarian Crisis Workgroup has been established. Ginger Clifford and Dick Clifford, co-chairs; Lynn Calder, Abbie Dickinson, Alice Glover, Megan Highsmith, Susan Ketchin, and Ashley Nissler are current members.
  • If you wish to be included on the Workgroup email list, please contact Dick at dickclifford@mindspring.com.

A Humanitarian Crisis Community Group, now including more than 35 organizations, has been established to work together.  Publishing the statement above jointly with the 30 organizations which had signed on at the time was a way to:

  • Speak up with a strong, united, visible voice on behalf of marginalized people
  • Urge others to speak up whenever they see or hear people being treated inhumanely or unjustly

Since the publication of the statement, a number of other organizations have joined with us in this work.  Now we have a group of organizations that can:

  • Respond as a unified group quickly and visibly to injustice in our communities and nation,
  • Support each other in initiatives providing direct support to people in need,
  • Share requests for funding for urgent situations for individuals and organizations, and
  • Identify ways that we can use our joint strength to address injustice and inhumane treatment.
Current Activities
  • Binkley Black Lives Matter Vigil began the week after the murder of George Floyd. We meet at the main entrance to the church. Starting Saturday, Nov. 21, we are changing our day and time to every Saturday from NOON – 1:00 PM. We will again hold the vigils along Fordham Blvd./US 15-501).  We have signs with the names of black men, women and children who have lost their lives at the hands of police and other civil law enforcement agents.  The vigil varies in size from 50 to 200 people, with local community members and individuals from other churches in the area.  A few other churches in the area have now started their own vigils at this same time.  We observe strict rules on wearing face masks and social distancing at these vigils. We will be glad to speak to anyone in your organization about how our vigil is organized.
  • Meeting with Binkley Leadership to suggest possible ways that we as a church might respond to systemic racism.
  • Promoting and encouraging people to read How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi even if you were not able to join one of the Binkley book groups.
  • Reaching out to connect with other organizations such as Justice United, NC-NAACP, and Poor People’s Campaign/Repairers of the Breech.
  • Continuing our work with refugees and immigrants through writing letters to officials and assisting with initiatives with our partner organizations. We recommend the series Immigration Nation on Netflix, especially Episode 4, which specifically talks about the pressure ICE has been trying to exert on sheriffs in North Carolina
  • Continuing to communicate with our congregation through: articles in the Binkley Beacon, Friday News, the HC webpage and Word from the World. We also send regular emails to our Binkley Humanitarian Crisis Workgroup.
  • Continuing to communicate with our HC Community Group to support each other’s projects, initiatives, and ideas. Finding ways to use our collective voices to advocate for people who are marginalized in our society.
  • Placing banners along Fordham Blvd. (US 15-501) which reflect Binkley’s values.
Ways to Donate and/or Volunteer

Because of the pandemic, in addition to the organizations below, please consider these two possibilities.

  • Using all, or a portion of, any federal stimulus money that you may receive to support those who have been directly harmed by this pandemic.
  • Remember hourly/service members whose services you may have discontinued (Ex., housekeepers, hairdressers, gardeners, repair men/women, massage therapists). Many of us continue to be paid even if we are not able to go to work.  How about providing for others in the same way?  If you can pay them what you would have anyway, or even a portion of what you would have paid them, it would be one way of helping in these difficult times.

Al Orto Lado (https://alotrolado.org)

A Binkley member volunteered with this organization where she assisted in helping immigrants and refugees wishing to enter the US. They have a Border Rights Project in Tijuana and donations can be made directly to that project.

511 E. San Sedro Blvd. #333, San Ysidro, CA 92173

Binkley Baptist Church

The Humanitarian Crisis Fund at Binkley devotes all of its funds to support our mission to address marginalization of people in our society and inhumane/unjust treatment of these people.  Make checks out to Binkley Baptist Church with Humanitarian Crisis in the memo line and mail to Binkley Church, 1712 Willow Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or- give through our secure online option (go to Give, then to the Humanitarian Crisis option then enter your donation amount and enter Humanitarian Crisis in the space provided and complete the donation).

1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill NC 27514

Community Church of Chapel Hill offers shelter and support to asylum seekers and ask what you can do to help:106 Purefoy Road, Chapel hill, NC 27514.

C3office@gmail.com

El Centro Hispano (http://elcentronc.org)This is a Latino non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the community, building bridges, and advocating for equality and inclusion for Hispanics/Latinos in the Triangle Area of NC. Among their many programs they provide legal assistance. Donations can help offset the fees associated with applications or renewals or when our neighbors are detained by ICE.

El Refugio (https://www.elrefugiostewart.org)

Serves those detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. Men who are detained in Orange County, NC along with men from other states may be sent there. Binkley Church sent a delegation to El Refugio with toiletries, clothing, and other supplies for loved ones visiting detainees. El Refugio runs a hospitality house offering food and much needed lodging at no cost.

Immigrant Solidarity Fund, Church World Services (https://cwsrdu.org/immigrant-solidarity-fund/)

This fund has been opened up temporarily to support undocumented community members who are experiencing hardship due to ICE activity or to COVID-19 job loss.  This community will not be eligible for most of the relief that others in our community can access.  Attn: Ellen Andrews, 112 S. Duke St., Suite 4B, Durham NC 27701

Justice United (www.ocjusticeunited.org)

For the past 10 years Justice United has been a force for change in Orange County – fighting for rural sewer infrastructure, against unjust court fees and fines, and holding slum lords accountable.

NAACP Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chapter (https://www.chapelhillcarrboronaacp.com/)

Our local branch is quite active with a number of ongoing projects.  You can donate to help support their work or by becoming a member and participating directly with them.

Repairers of the Breach (www.breachrepairers.org)

A National Call for Moral Revival. This national movement fights to end systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and environmental destruction. It also seeks to end the injustice to children, women, immigrants, refugees, and LGBTQ people.

PO Box 1638, Goldsboro, NC 27533-1638

The Southern Poverty Law Center

(https://www.splcenter.org/issues/immigrant-justice)

Please designate Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative on your contribution. This project provides legal representation to detained immigrants being held in the South.

400 Washington Ave., Washington DC 36104