The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan is working with several organizations to define and develop a plan of action to end bigotry and the ethnic divide.
This partnership comes after reports of intimidation and rude language at some schools in Michigan and elsewhere across the country directed towards minorities after the Donald Trump's election win.
In conjunction with many community leaders including the Grand Rapids Public Schools, the Hispanic Center wants to confront these disturbing events and work towards solutions to rise above obstacles and barrier. Executive Director Roberto Torres says it's imperative that West Michigan continues to be a community that values diversity and eliminated inequities.
Although Trump said he wanted to deport 2 million to 3 million immigrants immediately, there are rules in place to prevent that from happening, Torres said.
He adds we're experiencing a knee-jerk reaction to his comments.
DACA and DAPA, deferred action plans, are still in effect today as it relates to undocumented immigrants. Torres says Trump will need to go through Congress to succeed in implementing any new legislation.
Torres also made mention of the recent reports of threatening and intimidating behavior in schools:
“It saddens me deeply to have received several reports with in the past six days of ethnic intimidation in our schools and throughout our community," he said. "These incidents of aggression and intimidation based on ethnicity, indeed, any hate crime, does not reflect the values of our community, city, state or nation."
HCWA, along with other community leaders, will be defining and created a plan of action to combat incidents like these at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22, at LINC UP, 1167 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids.