MEDIA ADVISORY: NC women Fast for Families on March 17 in support of common sense immigration reform

WHAT: Solidarity fast in support of fair immigration reform, as part of Act.Fast: Women’s Fast for Families month of action  
WHO:  Women leaders across North Carolina, representing a collaboration of various groups
WHEN: Monday, March 17, 9:00 a.m.-Tuesday, March 18, 9:00 a.m.

RALEIGH (March 17, 2014) – Act. Fast: Women's Fast for Families is a month of action across the United States as part of the next push to bring a comprehensive immigration law to the finish line and to stop the epidemic of deportations.

On Monday, March 17, North Carolina women and female-identified North Carolinians will participate in a 24-hour solidarity fast for common sense immigration reform, joining individuals from across the country through We Belong Together and the National Council of Jewish Women.

In North Carolina, the fast is being led by a collaboration that includes the North Carolina Justice Center, Immigrants & Allies United for Justice, the Southeast Asian Coalition and MomsRising in North Carolina. You can read profiles of some of these leaders in North Carolina and why they chose to fast today at Several of these leaders, including Emma Akpan, Irene Godinez, Cat Bao Le, Beth Messersmith, and Dani Moore, are available to speak with the media about the fast today between noon and 2pm. Their contact information can be found at this link.

Among the participants from Raleigh are Emma Akpan, a minister fasting because she believes that “all people should live in dignity and without fear,” and Irene Godínez, who as the daughter of immigrants, has “witnessed the struggle and tenacity of my parents striving to give us opportunities that they did not have.” Cat Bao Le, based in Charlotte, is fasting for families torn apart by deportation, “many of whom have already experienced family separation because of displacement, poverty and war.”

"As mothers, we are calling for inclusive immigration reform that strengthens families, and aligns with our nation’s values," said Beth Messersmith of MomsRising.

Dani Moore, director of the North Carolina Justice Center's Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, is from a family with Irish and English roots. "It's fitting that we fast on a holiday celebrating Irish culture and history, since we often do not realize the migration stories of today are not so different than those of past generations, " Moore said.

The Act. Fast. month of actions began on March 8th, International Women’s Day, and builds towards the April 5th national day of action against deportations and a 48-hour fast of 100 women in Washington DC on April 7-9. More than 55 organizations and hundreds of women in more than 20 U.S. states and Mexico are taking part in the month of fasting and action. These organizations and women together represent networks of millions of women who themselves represent part of the nearly 70 percent of women nationwide who support immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.

Participants can join North Carolina’s fast today at this link:  

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dani Moore,, 919.856.2178 (office), 919.533.9203 (mobile); Julia Hawes, Communications Specialist,, 919.863.2406.