A group of USC faculty is utilizing GoFundMe to raise enough money for a Los Angeles Times ad to support immigrants. In four days, the campaign has raised more than half of its $32,000 goal.
Ariela Gross, a professor of law and history, started the campaign to combat a negative environment for immigrants. Other faculty involved include sociology professors Jody Vallejo and Manuel Pastor, and William Tierney, professor of higher education.
"The ad is an effort of USC faculty from across the university to show our support for immigrants and other vulnerable people in our community in response to the immoral and unconstitutional executive orders of the Trump administration," Gross said.
She said that after months of discussion, the group aims to buy a full-page ad in the Sunday Times.
"We really began working together as a faculty right after the election. We published a letter in support of our DACA students in the Daily Trojan," she said, "and we've had a number of meetings talking about the best ways to support our students and other members of the community who are at risk."
The GoFundMe campaign description lists the group's support for the core values of academic freedom, openness and inclusion. It also mentions support for members of the community who engage in civil disobedience and protest "if members of the academic community are harmed or deported due to targeted state actions."
"We are committed to protecting the human rights of our students, our fellow faculty, staff, and all members of the USC community, irrespective of their race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, nationality, or citizenship status," the draft ad reads.
The faculty members hope to raise the remaining $17,000-plus by promoting the campaign on social media.
"We've been communicating to other faculty groups, email and word of mouth, and the response has been great," Gross said.
The Los Angeles Times declined to comment on the ad since it is still in the works but said "the Los Angeles Times accepts advocacy and opinion-based advertising in its pages."
Updated at 1:25 p.m. PT on March 6 with comment from the Los Angeles Times, and at 5:30 p.m. PT on March 9 to show an increase in the amount of money raised by the GoFundMe campaign so far.