I write this message at what I hope is the beginning of a new chapter for our community and for our movement. Though the report you’re about to read highlights our work from this past year, I can’t help but read these words through the lens of our present moment. At time of writing, we await a House of Representatives vote on a bill that would provide critical relief to millions of immigrants and a pathway to citizenship for over 1 million. This comes as the culmination of a campaign that has seen CASA’s members, staff, and supporters mobilize more frequently, more passionately, and in larger numbers than ever before. We stand now at the helm of a tremendous victory for justice.
The roots of this campaign were grown over generations, and this year I had the pleasure of watching them sprout. In the face of continued crises, the steady and unshakable faith of our collective efforts is grounded in the simple idea that things can get better and we, el pueblo—the people—can make it so.
We emerged from 2020 a community united, but battered, tired, and in mourning for the tremendous losses we have endured. Most of us suffered both from the Trump administration and this pandemic, but we need not continue to suffer. If 2020 was a collective defensive crouch, the task we set for ourselves in 2021 was to rise back to our feet stronger than ever. As I think you’ll see in the pages that follow, we were tremendously successful in that effort.
Our services and programs expanded to a capacity we’ve never seen before in order to vaccinate our community, to set our community on a path to recovery, to move our community from surviving to thriving. We provided English classes online, we helped people navigate hard-to-understand tax benefits to get them the aid they needed and deserved, and we answered more calls on our health hotline than ever before. Even as we recovered, we never stopped fighting, teaching, and organizing.
We don’t yet know what the future holds, but what 2021 showed us is that this community has the strength, solidarity, and faith to accomplish anything. When there is no way forward, we make a way. That is the history of our movement and the history of immigrants in this country, and it’s also the story of CASA members over the last year.
Please, enjoy the report that follows, and join our movement for peace and justice for all. As always, together, we are CASA.
Executive Director, CASA
Executive Director, CASA