A well-known local cartoonist has gotten a lot of national attention lately. You know his name, and by now you're probably familiar with his controversial illustration. He is the one who made a joke concerning the vulnerabilities of a very large group of people. It was his lighthearted way of saying he did not agree with the temporary solution President Barack Obama came up with for this country's immigration problem.
And because this cartoonist apparently does not personally know any of the people he wanted to draw for his joke, he created characters he thought would represent them. These made-up characters allowed him to convey his fear of having to share his Thanksgiving dinner with people he doesn't know. I get it: If he only has one turkey at his table and uninvited guests enter his home, it could get a little awkward.
But I have good news for him and a possible solution to his holiday dinner dilemma. The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance has organized a Thanksgiving Food Drive to make sure that tomorrow's celebration won't be interrupted. All the collected items will be taken to the St. Monica food bank and distributed to those who find themselves in need of a meal on this traditional day of feasting in the United States.
And that is not all. Because myself and other local artists do agree with the Deferred Action expansion (which is the president's temporary solution to immigration), we have decided to create our own cartoons to share with generous Indy residents. Alas, we are not as ambitious as the famous local cartoonist, so we will not attempt to come up with characters using sweeping generalizations to represent large groups of people. But we'll create some good drawings for a great cause. Participating artists will range from Karla de Juan Romero to my very own sister, who is a talented illustrator in her own right, as well as many members of IUYA.
We will draw any individual who makes a donation toward a fund to benefit immigrant families who qualify for the expansion. This fund will help alleviate some of the foreseen expenses the application process will accrue for many families. Solving this problem is unfortunately not free, but on the brighter side, all of the money from this process will go toward government institutions.
Because, you see, what a lot of people don't realize is the cost to apply is estimated to run as much as $600 per person, which is about as much as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (aka DACA) application costs. That's not chump change by anyone's standards, but especially not for someone scraping by on (or below)a minimum-wage salary. And particularly not if that individual is trying to support a family on such meager earnings.
With all this in mind, Thursday I will be especially grateful to live in a city where so many people live their lives in such a way that there is always room at their table. This bedrock of love and kindness is why our community thrives.
If you'd like to participate by helping us draw, or having a drawing made of yourself or simply to donate food, you can join IUYA and artist volunteers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the corner of Meridian and Georgia streets (where Nordstrom's used to be).
For additional information, contact Karla Lopez Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org or IUYA through Facebook.