Win a spot on the main stage at SXSW with Steve Case by sharing your story

Posted by on February 24, 2014.

America has been built by immigrants, and the tech industry is no exception. One of the best parts of my job is meeting members of the tech community at FWD.us events across the country, and hearing from people about immigrants in their company without whom their businesses could not exist. Too often, we get caught in the politics of immigration reform, and forget it is about people: our friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

The goal of Built By Immigrants is to empower immigrants to tell their stories and encourage their friends and colleagues to share these stories with their members of Congress, turning storytelling into advocacy that is personal and powerful.

You can check it out here.

1.     Anyone can upload his or her immigrant story. We encourage every tech company to use this tool to highlight a few of their colleagues.

2.     Share the story with friends. Send the story out to your company email list, and share it at your all-hands meeting.

3.     When someone sees a story, they connect with Facebook, we locate their members of Congress, and they can easily share this story on Twitter, Facebook, by phone and even through a physical letter to a member’s office.

4.     Each communication with Congress generates advocacy points.

And to make it even better, I’m excited to announce that we’re inviting the two contributors with the most advocacy points associated with their stories to join Steve Case on the main stage at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas on March 8th. One winner will be chosen from a company with up to 15 employees, and one with 15 or more.

Built By Immigrants is the result of collaboration across the tech community. The idea came out of a discussion with New York tech leaders including Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures) and Scott Heiferman (Meetup) about how to provide people in every tech company an easy, personal and powerful way to help. Our engineering team and our amazing Code Squad – a group of volunteer engineers who contribute their talents to help pass immigration reform – built this tool.

While House Republicans should be moving forward on passing legislation, we need to keep up the drumbeat that now is the time for reform: there is no better time to submit your story and share other powerful stories with your representatives. Three out of four Americans supports fixing our broken system, and the facts are clear that reform would strengthen our economy.

Immigrant entrepreneurs have already submitted some incredibly moving stories, like Tony, who wrote: “With high motivation, intense drive, and unyielding persistence, I completed my studies near the top of my class and still had a very stressful time finding full-time work on my OPT (F1) immigration status.”

We know there are many more stories of immigrant entrepreneurs living and working in the U.S. who are already contributing to our economy and our country, and we'd love to hear yours.

Make sure to check it out and submit your own story for a chance to join Steve Case at SXSW Interactive on March 8th. 

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