Thank you, Buffalo

We wanted to take the time to round up everyone who leapt into action to raise funds for the ACLU on Thursday June 21.

On Monday, June 18, we were beside ourselves over imagery and audio of the suffering being inflicted upon children, stripped from their parents at the southern border.

Not just a cruel policy, it aligned directly with the Trump administration’s plan to dehumanize immigrants from Latin America, calling them “illegals” “animals” and saying they want to “infest” our country. These terms are dangerous in so many ways. When you depict a group of people as less than human, it makes it easier to tear rights away from them.

We’ve seen these patterns play out in recent tragic episodes of world history, from Bosnia to Rwanda, Japanese internment camps in the US, and the Holocaust in Europe. We won’t stand for it any longer, and we believe that legal action and legal representation are the best ways to uphold human rights, due process, equal protection guaranteed to any person on US Soil, regardless of their citizenship, legal status, or how they arrived. We chose the ACLU because of its vast arsenal of impact litigation capabilities, and its aggressive attitude in fighting off these violations of the constitution.

[Updates on total fundraising amounts to come]

Tipico Coffee and Barrel + Brine
Both organizations immediately stepped up, with Tipico’s efforts likely to be the largest of them all, donating 50% of all sales all day Thursday JUne 21 to the ACLU. Barrel + Brine donated a full keg of kombucha, giving 100% of their sales to the ACLU.

City Lights Studio
Erica at City Lights set up shop inside Tipico, providing professional head shots and family photos to anyone in need for only $50, and donated everything to the ACLU. Erica also offered head shots to immigrant and refugee neighbors and business owners free of charge.

Positive Approach Press
A partner of Rise for multiple years, Positive Approach discounted their costs by 20% to allow us to donate a greater amount of money to the ACLU, with 100% of revenue after costs being donated. We’ll be able to set aside $16 from every shirt sold when the online-only, pre-order-only sale ends on June 28.

Purchase a shirt here.


Love in Motion Yoga
Kate and Kath at Love in Motion have the biggest hearts in town, send multiple texts immediately saying “Count us in. We’ll give away everything we receive for every class we’re offering on Thursday.” Which was a huge boost, officially making this a multi-location event around the city, with multiple ways to participate.

Shopcraft and Thin Ice
Wanting to contribute in any way possible, Shopcraft and Thin Ice of Elmwood Ave reached out and provided the funds necessary to promote this very post and video across social media.

Volunteer Lawyers Project
VLP is swamped. Almost always. They’re doing work here in Buffalo and in Batavia for those who cannot afford lawyers for non criminal cases and immigration detention. They still were happy to set aside time to speak to us on camera about the importance of legal representation in hearings for immigrants fighting deportation.

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
Lest we forget our neighbors to the immediate north, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center was eager to also take part in the efforts today. They’re donating 100% of revenue from sales of their magnets, “MUSEUMS ARE NOT NEUTRAL” at Tipico and at their own visitor reception desks in NF.

“Museums are Not Neutral” Magnet:

Museums are not “above” political and social issues – they can be relevant, socially-engaged, and an agent of positive change.  We believe that museums can make a difference and be a force for change in the world. Buy a magnet, display it proudly, and talk about the potential of museums to do good work.  100% of all proceeds will go to the ACLU’s Legal Defense for Asylum Seekers.

Buffalo Rising
Buffalo Rising has a MASSIVE audience here in town, so for them to lend us their blog space, and meet us at 7:30AM at Tipico to go live on Facebook to that audience was such a wonderful boost to this entire operation. Thank you.

The People of Western New York

While we were feeling down and out on Monday, we were bursting with joy to see a line out the door at Tipico Thursday morning, shirt orders coming in about every 5 minutes, hundreds of shares and thousands of positive reactions to the event and its purpose online. Moments like these are just the start. Buffalo and America are stronger in so many ways because of immigration, and we’ll continue to stand up for our neighbors, family and friends together.