Letter writing events show support for international students

Rebekah Alvey

In response to recent national and state policy changes, a WKU staff member is planning an event to discuss immigration and refugee rights and write letters to legislators.

2K Letters KY is a movement around the state coming to Bowling Green today at the main branch of the Warren County Public Library from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The purpose of the events is to write 2,000 letters in two weeks to federal and state lawmakers regarding immigration and refugees.

The event was brought to Bowling Green by WKU staff member Aeryn Darst. Darst, program support specialist for the Center for Citizenship & Social Justice, received an invitation to the state-wide letter writing event in Frankfort. After seeing how many cities were participating she decided to organize one in Bowling Green.

Darst has been involved in social rights and specifically immigrant and refugee rights for a while. Recently, she participated in the post card writing party for the women’s march in the District of Columbia, which she also attended.

“It was powerful to see people come together to campaign for women’s rights,” Darst said. “It’s obvious people care.”

To put on the 2K Letters KY, Darst reached out to Carol Jordan, an instructor and department adviser in the department of theatre and dance, who helped organize the postcard event.

“It is very important to make sure in KY especially that our voices are heard,” Jordan said. “It’s not just an East Coast or blue state issue.”

Jordan attended the women’s march in Lexington. She stayed in Kentucky rather than go to D.C because she believes, “it is important as a Kentuckian that people are concerned about human rights.”

Before coming to WKU, Jordan was a K-12 teacher and had several international and refugee students. which she said motivated her to become involved with rights advocacy.

“They are amazing people,” Jordan said. “Opening doors is important to all Americans.”

Jordan said the event is an opportunity to come together to draw attention to problems and issues while also planning future advocacy events.

“Education is really important at this point,” Darst said. With several new policy changes going on, they are hoping to create a comprehensive list of every current change relating to international and refugee rights.

Jordan said donations will be collected at the event for the International Center of Kentucky, which is located in Bowling Green and helps with refugee resettlement.

During the event Darst and Jordan plan to encourage people to go to Frankfort on Feb. 16 in a state-wide 2K Letters KY.

“It’s important to strengthen and engage with the international community,” Jordan said.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].