In less than two weeks, I will enter the waters of Lake LBJ, in Texas. For 20 miles, I will swim, doing what I know how to do, all the while raising money for and honoring the work of the Texas Civil Rights Project. And for the first time in my swimming career, I am asking for your financial support.
I am swimming for the Texas Civil Rights Project because I believe in the right to vote, and an end to voter suppression. I believe that we must end the mass incarcerations connected to systemic racism and I believe in criminal justice reform. I believe that Families Belong Together, and I believe that we must fight back against the zero tolerance policy.
If you believe in these things too, please join me in raising money for the Texas Civil Rights Project.
The Texas Civil Rights Project understands that “with new and unprecedented threats to civil rights upon us, we [must] use legal advocacy to empower communities and create policy change.” This is work that is critical right now, and it is an honor to support those doing it.
I have freedom that many in this country do not. I can speak my mind without real fear of repercussions. I can vote easily and quickly in every election. And I can travel and support my family without fear that I will be detained, incarcerated, deported, or separated from my family members.
That is why I am choosing to support an organization outside my bubble, one that is doing this work where it needs to be done, on the ground in Texas.
The Texas Civil Rights Project is dedicated to addressing “some of the most pressing social justice problems in Texas — protecting voting rights, advancing racial and economic justice, and reforming our broken criminal justice system.”
They are dedicated to “eliminating systemic barriers which exclude millions of people from the ballot box,” barriers which disproportionately impact those who are young, poor, and people of color.
The Texas Civil Rights Project also works to empower “communities by fighting discriminatory policies that prevent social and economic equity…Our work ferrets out discriminatory policies that restrict access to social and economic necessities and protects the civil rights of historically marginalized communities – including immigrants, people with disabilities, and veterans.”
And the Texas Civil Rights Project seeks to end “mass incarceration by targeting both the front and back ends of our broken justice system…Mass incarceration in Texas is fueled and perpetuated by the over-incarceration of minority and impoverished populations at early stages of the criminal justice system and inhumane conditions of confinement that deprive inmates of meaningful mental healthcare and rehabilitative opportunities during their term of imprisonment.
Over the last 25 years, TCRP has established itself as a leader in litigating to achieve criminal justice reform in Texas.”
Finally, the Texas Civil Rights Project is working to reunite families, “fighting around the clock to reunite the 381 families we represent and to ensure that they get excellent legal representation on their underlying immigration claims. We’ll continue to go to court every day in South Texas to monitor and protect against the ever-changing policies of the Trump Administration for as long as it is necessary. Our lawyers are working to stop family separation permanently in an action against the United States before an international human rights body called the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. At the same time, we are working hand in hand with our partners across Texas and the country to end the Zero Tolerance policy and ensure that no human rights or civil rights violations of the nature we saw at the border these past weeks are allowed to continue, resume, or take place ever again.”
I am not a lawyer. I don’t speak Spanish. I don’t have expertise that feel practical right now.
But what I can do is swim.
On September 24th or 25th (weather dependent), I will swim 20 miles, from Inks Lake Dam to Marble Falls Dam. It’s my way of using the ability I DO have to benefit those who need us now, and I ask you to contribute to assist with the great work done by the Texas Civil Rights Project.
All donations will go directly to the Texas Civil Rights Project and I will cover all costs associated with the swim itself.
No matter how small or how large a contribution you are able to make, every dollar counts. Whether you donate $5 or $500, whether you pledge by the mile or give a random amount, every little bit helps. And thank you so very much.
To donate to my fundraiser specifically, visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/467942410356628/
To donate directly, visit https://texascivilrightsproject.org/families-belong-together-donate/
Should you donate directly on the website, please list my name under the honoree so they will know that you are a part of the swim effort.
And thank you for helping. I am truly grateful.