The Welcome Pledge aims to "commit to a future where everyone has the right to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness"

April 28, 2021 05:31 AM
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Don Cheadle and Rosario Dawson
Don Cheadle, Rosario Dawson
| Credit: getty images (2)

Hollywood's finest are pledging their support for tolerance now and into the future as well.

Rosario Dawson, Don Cheadle, Ben Stiller and more have put their name to paper, signing Amnesty International USA's Welcome Pledge recognizing "recognizes Biden's commitment over the past 100 days to people on the move and people seeking safety — asylum-seekers, immigrants, refugees, migrants, people who are displaced, including people who are undocumented," according a statement by Amnesty International USA.

The pledge also aims to "commit to a future where everyone has the right to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness, no matter their immigration status, and everyone has the right to seek safety in the United States."

Also among the signatories of the pledge, which coincides with President Joe Biden reaching his 100 days in office, are Angélique Kidjo, Angela Kang, Alysia Reiner, Amber Tamblyn, Cara Santana, Debra Messing, Folake Olowofoyeku, George Takei, Gloria Calderón Kellett, Isabella Gomez, John Leguizamo, Lea DeLaria, Nik Dodani, Rafael Agustín, Rosa Salazar, Tanya Saracho, Todd Grinnell, Tom Morello, Sophia Bush, Yvette Nicole Brown and more. 

In an Amnesty International USA video about the pledge, Takei, who was detained in Japanese internment camps as a child, opens up about maintaining his faith in the United States.

"When our country views any group as 'other,' we risk dehumanizing whole communities, which can then lead to egregious wrongs," Takei, 84, says. "My own family and I lived through such a wrong during the Japanese American internment. Today, it is our immigration policies, made all the more painful by the prior administration, that have cast our neighbors to our south as 'other' and led to immense suffering and division. Now, we have a rare opportunity to correct this ongoing wrong, and I am proud to be a part of a collective effort to forge a different, humane path." 

The pledge, published by Amnesty International USA and partners, the Haitian Bridge Alliance and RAICES, utilizes nudge theory, which uses the idea that by motivating people to sign on to a pledge, they become more likely to take action on important issues.

"The Amnesty International movement, which campaigns on behalf of people's human rights around the world, was founded 60 years ago with a candle as a symbol of hope and a powerful tool to shine a light on injustice," the executive director of Amnesty International USA, Paul O'Brien, said in a statement. "With this pledge, we share this candle with everyone to shed light on our long history of immigration. Together we can bring reform to make this country a new place of welcome, community, and diversity." 

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden
| Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

"President Joe Biden should use every tool at his administration's disposal to give our communities in the United States the freedom to work with dignity and respect and to live free — from detention and from deportation," Jonathan Ryan, the Executive Director of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), said. "The president made a promise to our communities and we will work tirelessly to make sure that promise is fulfilled."

"A movement that celebrates and welcomes all people with dignity — whether it is our Blackness, our resilience, our queerness, our magic, our contributions, our love, our full selves— is a movement that cannot be stopped," Guerline M. Jozef, co-founder and executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said. "If we rise up for one another, no more will we see peoples' very lives placed in unnecessary danger. We will hold president Biden and his administration accountable to the promises made to our communities --- Anpil men, chay pa lou!"