We Can Help Immigrant Families

Los Angeles March for Immigrant Rights by Molly Bloom

Like any parent with some awareness of what’s happening in the world, I have been deeply disturbed by the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that our president and his administration have adopted. Just as he instituted it, he can stop the barbaric, heartless and inhumane practice of separating children, often young, from their parents. He has chosen not to. Instead he is doubling down on separating families and putting children into what are, at best, prison camps and, at worst, concentration camps. I would encourage you to read what former Japanese internment camp prisoner, now psychotherapist, Satsuki Ina had to say about what the current administration is doing and the lasting effects it will have on the thousands of children being held.
We are not helpless. There are things we can do and I wanted to share some resources I’ve come across recently. To be clear, these aren’t things to make us feel better about what’s happening. I would encourage you to remain uncomfortable and disturbed. As odd as that may sound, the moment we stop being emotionally impacted by what’s happening is the moment this practice becomes normalized and accepted. It is not normal and it is completely unacceptable.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Paying for great journalism is one way we can have an impact. I recommend the New York Times, Washington Post or The Guardian. Good journalism takes a lot on money to sustain. Many of the stories that have been written and syndicated about the separation of families and detailed accounts of the prison camps where children are being held would not be possible without the money generated by subscriptions.

The Cut has a great list of things you can do right now to help immigrant families separated at the border. Just today I donated to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Both organizations are doing some of the most important work on the issue.

If you can’t volunteer or give money, there’s an awesome app called 5 Calls that makes it exceptionally easy to call your elected officials. No matter what issue(s) you care about, calling elected officials is a simple and impactful action you can take on your lunch break or any other small window of downtime in your day.

My hope is that this information shows that you can do something. Stay angry, upset, outraged and disturbed, but don’t wonder what action you can take. If there are other things you’re doing, hit reply and let me know. Just like you, I want to help and am trying to gather as much information as I can.

Originally sent to subscribers of Outcome Unknown, an email list focused on parenting.

I’m a parent

I also read a lot about parenting. Not really how-to stuff so much as research and interesting things for parents to know. My friend Pramit and I launched an email newsletter for parents that you might enjoy if you’re a parent. It’s called Outcome Unknown. If you like the latest newsletter, feel free to subscribe. It’s 3-5 links per week delivered to your inbox, spam-free of course.

Sharing As A Parent (A Love Letter To Notabli)


Throughout the nine months that Cassidy was developing in Laura’s womb, I gave a lot of thought to documenting her growth. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to be an early adopter when it comes to technology and share quite a bit on social media. Every time I post something on Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram or wherever it’s a decision. When it comes to posting photos or anything about Cassidy I’m much more hesitant and private. I have some idea in my head about how I think social media will play out in the future and the implications of what we post online. I also know that once something is on the Internet, it can take on a life of its own and it’s extremely difficult or impossible to remove. I want to give Cassidy a choice. It doesn’t mean I won’t post things publicly, but I’ll continue to be thoughtful and deliberate about what I post. What I’ve posted privately with a small group of family and friends is another story entirely.

Shortly after Cassidy was born, my sister hilaryhess made me aware of an app called notabli that was being developed by a friend of hers in Vermont. The premise was that I could share photos, video, audio and journal entries privately. It was a closed network by parents, for parents and it wasn’t long before it became my primary tool for sharing everything about Cassidy with my family and some other friends who were also parents. It also wasn’t long before I reached out to jacksonlatka (co-founder) to see if there was something I could do to help. Over the last year I’ve provided him with feedback and advice and we’ve become friends. I really love what he and sensibleworld have created and whatever very minor part I played in getting their new 2.0 app out to the world makes me proud. You guys really did a terrific job.

If you are a parent, or know of one, let them know about Notabli.

[V]accination is not an individual choice to be made by a parent for his or her own offspring. It’s a public health issue, because the diseases contracted by unvaccinated children are a threat to the community. That’s what public health is all about, and an overly tolerant approach to non-medical exemptions – and publicity given to anti-vaccination charlatans like Wakefield and McCarthy by heedless promoters like, sadly, Katie Couric, affect us all.