“To me, social responsibility is a responsibility to understand your place in the world and your connections to others. Understanding that connection brings with it a responsibility to make things better.”
As AmeriCorps VISTA Outreach Coordinator in the Immigrants and Worker’s Rights Practice Group, Hannah Shireman acts on this responsibility every day. A former intern with the Protective Order Assistant Project, Hannah came to LAF with a desire to expand her understanding of people’s legal rights and the variety of civil challenges in our country. She became enmeshed in the experiences of a community whose struggles are too often contained in a news ticker; alarming, but swiftly moved off-screen.
“I didn’t know anything about migrant farmworkers before I worked here and now I have a wealth of knowledge from José, Pedro, and Miguel, the staff of the Illinois Migrant Legal Assistance Project at LAF. I don’t know where else I could have learned about migrant farmworkers like I have here.”
We live with connections whether we acknowledge them or not, whether they are hidden or right before our eyes. Hannah is devoted to connecting dots; she works to expose the links between all of us so that we are inspired to action or, at the very least, so that a lack of awareness is one less excuse anyone has to turn a blind eye.
“Migrant farmworkers are a part of so many, many issues; everyone is so connected to them, and yet they’re so invisible. All the food that we eat, we can eat because of them, but nobody seems to be aware of anything that they’re experiencing. I grew up in rural Indiana and I never knew that there were migrant workers. I never thought about it; now I think about it everywhere I go.”