Julie Schwietert Collazo has always found unique ways to help people. She knew she wanted to be a writer, and as a student at Emory, she realized she could help people through that art. After graduation, Schwietert Collazo earned her master’s in social work and became a creative arts therapist. Five years later, she shifted to freelance journalism.
In 2018, her life changed. Schwietert Collazo and her husband were inspired to help those detained at the southwestern border under national immigration policies. After hearing a news clip about a lawyer providing pro-bono assistance to detainees, they began fundraising to assist his efforts. This inspired her to start a nonprofit, Immigrant Families Together, to reunite and support immigrant families separated at the US-Mexico border.
Immigrant Families Together has posted bond for 130 detained parents, grandparents, and older siblings separated from children, and has supported thousands more asylum-seeking families through its border and detention support programs. The ongoing work of Immigrant Families Together involves providing support—housing, legal counsel, health care, and other necessities—as families proceed with their immigration cases. Along with one of the mothers supported by Immigrant Families Together, she is coauthor of The Book of Rosy, which Kirkus named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2020.