By Blake Hart
Carolina Immigrant Alliance
Rock Hill

If you follow us on Facebook or have visited our website recently you may have noticed a new look. Since the Carolina Immigrant Alliance began, our theme has been opening doors. We strove to open doors for immigrants and for non-immigrants so that all could come together in community. This language served us well and it helped us to identify who we were and what we did, but we felt that it was time to update our image and to update our mission.

It isn’t that there is anything necessarily wrong with the theme of opening doors, but at times that can still seem like a pretty one-sided activity. One person holds the power, they hear someone knocking at the door, and they come and open it. If they choose not to, the door will remain closed. The person needing to enter is then faced with a dilemma, either enter through another less conventional opening, or turn around and leave.

This is a scenario that we have seen play out over and over in our country’s history when we are talking about immigration. Time and time again, when waves of immigrants increase (almost always in response to our need for their labor), we get scared and we close the door on them and attempt to lock them out.

Then problem is that our need for immigration persists, and the violence, oppression, and lack of economic opportunity continues for some immigrants who were trying to get here, and so since there is both a continued supply and demand, immigration continues. It is simply that at this point the immigrants must enter by other means.

We build walls and close borders, but we still need immigrants. So they have to climb, dig, or swim. They must risk life, limb, and freedom on the journey. Then they must live in the shadows, hunted by over-zealous officials and caged, both literally and symbolically. They carry the weight of all our failures as our society’s scape-goats, captured and sent back out into the desert with the door slamming closed behind them.

Seeing how strongly this has played out in our recent history, we decided to reconfigure our logo and our brand. As you can see, gone are the doors. As mutually as we made their opening and closing, they too closely align with walls, with closing others out. Instead we see a community. Beautiful in its diversity, coming together with a shared mission of building diverse and welcoming communities.

We are driven by the truth that we are made whole through our encounter with others, through our embrace of difference.

We hope that this is an image and a mission that many can get behind. We celebrate and honor our diversity, we strive to build equity and equality, and we work to tear down the walls, and the doors, that stand in the way of full participation in our communities.

This is the old logo that featured the doors.

Other versions of CIA’s new logo