Following the latest executive order on immigration issued by President Donald J. Trump, a growing list of authors have committed to participating in #Read4Refugees, a read-in aimed at raising awareness of, and funding to combat, refugee issues.
The campaign is hosted by the nonprofit Go Jane Give, whose co-founder, Josie Lauritsen Lee, places emphasis on the importance of actual donations to refugee causes rather than simply supporting them on social media. “Hashtags for refugees are good. Resources for refugees are better," Lauritsen Lee said in a statement. "#Read4Refugees empowers everyday people to take on the refugee crisis from their own homes and contribute resources in a doable way."
The campaign, according to Go Jane Give, "encourages people everywhere to support refugees by donating what they spend on a night out and stay in to read instead." Writers associated with the campaign, to date, include Junot Díaz, Sherman Alexie, Isabel Allende, Emma Donoghue, Anthony Doerr, Jodi Picoult, Ally Condie, and Sue Monk Kidd.
All donations to #Read4Refugees are given to the nonprofit organization RefugePoint, which helps refugees resettle in countries including the U.S., Canada, and Australia. It also provides refugees with healthcare, counseling, business skills training, and small grants.
“I’m happy to be able to turn my passion for reading and writing into a way to support refugees," Condie, the first author to sign on to the campaign, said in a statement. "#Read4Refugees is about more than just sending a message—it’s about getting funds into the hands of refugee-focused organizations that are making a real difference.”
The campaign is one of the latest following President Trump's executive order to involve the publishing industry, including an industry-wide agency call for submissions from Muslim writers in January.