‘Imagine this for the child you were’: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay inspires others to share childhood photos in protest of family separation policy

Imagine this for the child you were.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay wrote these words on Twitter Tuesday night, and shared a childhood picture of herself and her mom, inspiring thousands of others to do the same in protest of the Trump Administration family separation policy. 

“I look at myself as a girl and imagine having to travel unsafely in a quest for safety,” she wrote. “Be forcibly separated from my mother. Caged with people I don’t know and who don’t know me. Alone in a world I don’t understand. Imagine this for the child you were. We cannot allow this.”

DuVernay’s tweet refers to the new “Zero Tolerance” policy, which separates families who cross the border illegally in order to prosecute the parents. The children are then sent to shelters … alone.

Within minutes, people began sharing their own pictures and stories on Twitter in response to DuVernay’s tweet. 

Some stories are about how their parents or grandparents immigrated to the U.S. for a better life. Others shared their thoughts on the policy that has torn children as young as infants away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

All had the same sentiment. They could not imagine being separated from their families. They could not imagine becoming who they are now without their parents. Some say they would have never survived.

Dr. Carmen Rojas wrote on Twitter that she was inspired by DuVernay and posted a picture of herself and her mom. 

“This is me & my mom. She immigrated alone in her late teens. This was the greatest sacrifice. I can’t imagine not knowing where she is today when I’m 40. I would not have survived being torn from her at 4. #FamiliesBelongTogether”

Rebecca Ford wrote, “My mother moved from Jakarta to the US to go to college when she was just 18. Her bravery is the reason I get to live the life I do. She was (and still is) my world. I can’t imagine being separated from her at this young age.”

Another Twitter user wrote, “I can’t imagine myself at this age being ripped away from my mom and thrown in a cage surrounded my men with guns, staring and telling me to stop crying. My hearts breaks for these precious kids who only want to be with their families! 💔”

Since the White House implemented the policy in May, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their families, according to the Associated Press.