Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Positive and Non-Violent Rebuttal to Refugee Ban

Public domain photo by Circe Denyer

Oxfam America sent an email Friday asking supporters to sign a petition urging the president to rescind his executive order to ban refugee admissions into the country for 120 days and bar U.S. entry for 90 days for travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries.It also paid for social-media ads to promote the petition.

"The refugees impacted by your decision are among the world’s most vulnerable people — women, children, and men — who are simply trying to find a safe place to live after fleeing unfathomable violence and loss," the petition states.

On Saturday, the aid charity resent the email to people who had not signed the message.

"It’s been by far the best performer we’ve ever seen for an action," said Amanda Peña, who leads Oxfam America’s digital campaigns. She said about 33,000 people had signed the petition by around noon on Monday.

Oxfam also sent an email appeal Sunday with the goal of gaining more monthly supporters. The missive had already been scheduled, but it was updated to include a reference to the Trump order and noted that a big donor had pledged to triple people’s initial contributions.

Oxfam brought in $77,000 through the weekend, with the petition generating about $30,000 in donations — much more than usual for a message that is not explicitly a donation appeal, Ms. Peña said.

On social media, Oxfam sought to share real stories of people affected by the order, linking to news articles and videos, Ms. Peña said. It also posted graphics with messages like "I stand with refugees and immigrants," and "No matter where you’re from, you’re welcome here," that people could share online.

"We wanted to reach everybody out there who also cares about refugees, but maybe they hadn’t heard about Oxfam," she said.

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