Won’t You Stand With Us?

Posted by Christina Fialho

I had the wonderful opportunity to lead one of three breakout sessions for the 29th Latin American Encuentro Conference, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Southern California Unit.  Jan Meslin, Coordinator of the Orange County-based visitation program, Friends of Orange County Detainees, organized the conference.  Speakers included Blase Bonpane, Director of the Office of the Americas; Gustavo Arellano of the O.C. Weekly; and Norma Chinchilla, Professor of Sociology & Women’s Studies at Cal State University Long Beach.

A large group of individuals expressed interest in starting a visitation program at Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County and/or the Mira Loma Detention Center.  Exciting things are happening!

I personally was really moved by one of the songs sung at the event, called Stand.  It made me think of all the men and women in the visitation movement who have persisted against all odds to start visitation programs, to offer friendship and love to men and women in immigration detention.  Despite the injustice we see every day as visitors, “No fear nor sorrow can turn us back.”  And as we continue to build momentum to end the isolation and abuse of men and women in immigration detention, “We will reach as we have reached before / For there is no stranger in this our home.”

Stand was written by Singer Songwriter Amy Carol Webb.  Amy was preparing music for a worship service at UU Raleigh, with the Rev. Tom Rhodes. His topic: What could we accomplish if we really stood together? Amy hung up the phone and this song exploded. 

Here is a version of it on the web and the words are reprinted below.  Enjoy!

STAND!
© 2008, Amy Carol Web

CHORUS
I will stand with you – Will you stand with me
And we will be the change — That we hope to see
In the name of love — In the name of peace
Will you stand, will you stand with me

When injustice raises up its fist
And fights to stop us in our tracks
We will rise and as one resist
No fear nor sorrow can turn us back

CHORUS

When pain and hatred churn up angry noise
And try to shout down our freedom song
We will rise in one joyful voice
Loud and clear and ever strong

CHORUS

When broken hearts come knocking on our door
Lost and hungry and so alone
We will reach as we have reached before
For there is no stranger in this our home

CHORUS

In the name of love – In the name of peace –
Will you stand, will you stand with me