Into the Blogosphere

Alicia and the Techies, at GiveCamp weekend

Alicia and the Techies, at GiveCamp weekend

Welcome, all Readers, to the Blog-realm of Memphis Immigration Advocates. Before we dive head first into this vast and (largely) irrevocable electronic sea, I thought I’d give a more proper thanks for how we got here—and, also, let you know what to expect from this Blog in days to come.

This is definitely your spot for all news MIA. Upcoming events (see DACA clinic at UM, starting March 11!), fund raisers, staff changes, how to find us—it’s all here, and will be updated continuously in the MIA News category. As time permits, I will also publish substantive immigration law Articles, and I start today with my Intro-to-Dreamers column from the Federal Lawyer. This is not, though, your source for all that’s new in immigration law—for that, you should consult your own lawyer and/or CLE instructor.

But, back to the Blog categories—from time to time, I will post a column for general readership, and that’s what this is. (Incidentally, in this column I will take full-out liberties with English grammar and punctuation, so if you see any technical mistakes you should assume they’re made on purpose.) I will inaugurate this Column with our Full-Out-Thanks for the new MIA website and custom database, both of which were instituted at GiveCamp Memphis last weekend.

It was a loooong weekend. And (if I may speak for MIA), We are Thankful. First off I’ll mention Board Chair Allison Wannamaker, who alerted us to the possibility of GiveCamp at all, and wrote our proposal. Before that happened, Jason Myers, a GiveCamp volunteer, had (I believe) alerted her to the possibility—and then he performed truly Herculean amounts of work when the project commenced. (I do also thank Sponge Bob for his unsung role in this whole scenario, but that’s an inside joke so I won’t go too far into it.)

Next I thank Brian Swanson and Adam Robertson, the executors of GiveCamp Memphis. I was blown away by their seemingly interminable devotion to the our non-profit community. I was also very grateful for the food they kept coming. (Who needs sleep, when there’s an endless taco bar? And it’s a good thing, too, for basically we didn’t sleep.) I thank Jason again for the coding on our site, and for sticking with us when we switched orders after it was presumably finished. (Ok—when *I switched orders after it was presumably finished.) There were pictures taken of this phase in the project. You will know them when you see them.

When our team first got started, Adam dropped in and made certain of our office forms much, much, MUCH more usable. In the immigration world, this is a very big deal. Meanwhile, Daniel Soskel and Michael Cochran spent many hours constructing an online, custom database, for all of our management needs. The *quantity of utility, in this database, is a thing I really cannot express with words. And speaking of unquantifiable values, I will thank our devoted staff attorney Sally Joyner, who spent hours and hours at GiveCamp, and was behind the scenes of all I describe here.

I *can express with words what the original version of our new logo looked like, but I’ve promised designer Lou Griffith I would never do so publically. So instead I will say that the way it turned out in the end was truly spectacular, especially considering that we were throwing out very vague instructions on how we wanted it to look. (‘little people!’ ‘happy little people!’ ‘make the happy little people dance more!’) In addition to our logo, Lou designed a theme for our site from scratch.

Lest I forget, let me mention Mr. James Sanders, who took most of the pictures you see on this website, including the head shots. During our main photoshoot, he helped me tell a very goofy joke about a family of tomatoes. (We were trying to make Sally laugh, unsuccessfully.)

And, then, there were the translations. Board Chair Allison Wannamaker painstakingly went through the Spanish to help make it more readable. Incidentally, she also helped with much of the original English copy. And, finally, last but not least, I must thank my high school bff, Joseph Dunn. In our adult life he has become one of the most prominent French language and culture activists in Louisiana. He translated several sections of our French site–on short notice, with no compensation, and with very minimal razzing about how bad they were, originally.

So, there we are! Up and running. Whether you are a potential client, a fellow non-profit, a fellow attorney, or simply an interested reader, I invite you to tune in at will. And, always, always, feel free to hit the ‘Donate’ button on your way out.

Alicia Triche
Executive Director