Tectonica and MyActionCenter proudly present RIACT NOW!
August 02, 2019
Although it prides itself as a nation of immigrants, the U.S. has always had a complicated relationship with immigration. In recent years, we’ve watched with increasing horror as U.S. immigration policy under Trump has grown more inhumane-- instituting racist travel bans, gutting its asylum and refugee system, and aggressively tearing apart families seeking refuge at the U.S’ borders, caging even small children in inhospitable and cruel conditions.
So when, like so many others around the world, Tectonica’s CEO Ned Howey read the story behind the heartbreaking photo of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria lying face down in the mud, having drowned in the Rio Grande as a direct result of hostile U.S. border policies, he felt outrage--and an urgent need to act. For Ned and the rest of the team at Tectonica, advocating for immigrants’ rights is deeply personal: we are proudly immigrant owned and operated and recognize our relative privilege compared to the struggle of others. Fighting against the U.S.’ anti-immigrant and inhumane policies is core to our belief that freedom of movement is a fundamental human right.
Not wanting to lose any time, Ned met with Mar and Auwylee, Tectonica’s leadership team, the next day to discuss how to coordinate an effective response to the crisis at the U.S.’ southern border. They quickly decided to team up with We Are All America, a coalition of immigrant and refugee advocacy organisations in the U.S. that is actively fighting the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies, and with whom Tectonica had won a Reed Award in 2018 for “Best Action Center/Grassroots Website”.
When Ned and Mar founded Tectonica in 2012, they were certain of at least two things: (1) that the digital sphere provides powerful tools that can ignite social movements and effect positive social change and (2) that Tectonica would use these tools to do good. Since its founding, Tectonica has remained steadfast in this committment to doing good--we’ve worked with numerous progressive political candidates and parties to advance democratic movements around the world, with the “Gender Justice League” to advocate for the rights of transgender and gender-diverse people, and most recently, with We Are All America.
Auwlyee, Mar, Ned, and the rest of the Tectonica team agreed that the horrific situation of abuse at the U.S.’ border was exactly the kind of situation for which MyActionCenter could be used to organize an effective response. MyActionCenter is a powerful organizing tool created by Tectonica that allows entities to organize their supporters and turn them into activists by engaging them in numerous actions. We knew that MyActionCenter would be enormously helpful to the We Are All America coalition to centralize their organizing to have a viral and massive impact, and we offered MyActionCenter to them on a fully pro bono basis for six months.
With MyActionCenter, supporters can log in from anywhere, see their personalized dashboard of weekly actions, complete the actions implementing online/offline tasks, win points and badges, and enjoy helping their organization reach its activism goals.
We were certain that with MyActionCenter, We Are All America would be able to mobilize immediate and massive support for immigrants’ rights while also allowing them to maximize their organizational capabilities to raise funds and resources, recruit people to their movement, and make a strong political impact. At this point, the roadmap planning for the app was developing and growing in potential--and our friends began to join us.
Part of the activism that We Are All America wanted to engage its supporters around included contacting their political representatives, which is possible in MyActionCenter through integration with New/Mode. New/Mode is a multi-channel advocacy and public engagement platform that makes it easy for supporters to reach decision-makers with its incredible calling, email, texting, social and letter to the editor tools. Our plan was to help the coalition use MyActionCenter to raise enough funds to eventually upgrade and incorporate New/Mode into the app. But when we rang up our friends at New/Mode to share our idea with them, we were thrilled to learn that they were completely on board to offer their services pro bono, too!
This is how Refugee and Immigrant Action NOW!, or RIACT NOW!, was born. New/Mode and Tectonica joined forces to connect their technology to the NationBuilder nation of We Are All America and create a powerful set of tools that gave RIACT NOW! what they needed to kickstart their organizing and transform their supporters into extraordinary activists.
We believe in the promise of RIACT NOW! to have an enormous impact on immigrants’ rights activism in the U.S., and we want you to help us grow our movement. This is a call to action. We need your help to stop the cruelty at the U.S. border. Join us by signing up at www.riact.org or by contacting Stephanie Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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