As a former Educator, I relish the stereotype which labels me as someone whom likes to connect others with resources and supports.
Due diligence, am I right?
My recent move to Arizona has helped me to confront my own limited knowledge and understanding of immigration legislation. And, by being intentional, the move has also helped me to connect and become involved with organizations working el frontera.
Okay, obvious statement alert: it has become normative for knowledge gaps in journalistic reporting regarding Immigration to be expected. Not to start an ethics or moral debate regarding the responsibility of the media…but, I do believe that accurate reporting and journalistic excellence requires providing and applying historical and sociological lenses when discussing any subject, including Immigration.
I remember learning in my High School Government class that the average political speech utilized speech-writing that would primarily implement 5th Grade vernacular in order to connect with the largest target audience.
Legislation and Policy writing intentionally utilize rigorous and specific linguistics.
While it is, perhaps, impractical to suggest it is the duty of the media to discern and decode legislative policy for the masses, I do believe the disconnect between legislative policy and the coverage of current events is grevious and irresponsible.
And this disconnect, I believe, often contributes to frenzied, short-term solutions rather than sustainable and effective policies. Too often, longterm grassroots operations become overlooked and legislative bandaids become “landmarks” because, in general, the public still remains largely uninformed regarding historic and current policies.
In one of my favorite Ted Talks, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, author of Americanah, delivers her iconic presentation, The Danger of a Single Story.
Like other topics, immigration ‘news’ often relies on specific narratives, graphics and stereotypes. Volunteering has allowed me to identify and, hopefully, remove some of my own stigmas. So often we paint refugees with broad monolithic strokes. I am hoping that with some of the following resources, I can help remove some of your own lenses by offering new ones.
Below is a list in which I have compiled of borderlands, specifically AZ but not limited to it, immigration resources. This list is not comprehensive. My hope is that those of you whom are not living in the borderlands are able to connect with new organizations, people and communities in order to gain a more fuller understanding of immigration.
Also – for those of you whom attend a church and wish to allocate or partner with organizations – #givingtuesday or #theextraordinarygive can happen anytime.
Hannah Adair Bonner: Introduced through a mutual friend, I have found Hannah’s writings vulnerable and insightful. Curator of The Shout, a community that seeks to reimagine and open the microphone to the prophetic voices outside the walls of the church. From Philly, Bonner holds a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. is an Ordained Elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and is the Director of Frontera Wesley. Bonner is a respected speaker, justice advocate and writer. Her blog, linked by her name and again here is titled: That’s How the Light Gets In.
Borderlinks: A nonprofit organization, Borderlinks seeks to connect divided communities and raise awareness about the impact of border and immigration policies. Borderlinks offers experiential educational opportunities, delegations and workshops for individuals and small groups. Some of these program and delegations include a Legal Immigration Simulation, Border History Timeline and opportunities to visit migrant shelters and immigration detention centers.
Casa Mariposa: Casa Mariposa is a space of solidarity and support for people affected by the immigration-prison industrial complex. Casa Mariposa provides housing and seeks to end detention of people in migration and accompany people fleeing violence and oppression by supporting people currently detained in Eloy and Florence, AZ.
Coalicion de Derechos Humanos – Ningun Ser Humano Es Ilegal: Derechos Humanos is a grassroots organization that promotes the human and civil rights of all migrants regardless of immigration status. Goals include strengthening the capacity of the border and urban communities to exercise their rights and participate in public policy decisions, increasing public awareness of the magnitude of human rights abuses, deaths and assaults at the border resulting from U.S policy, and seeking changes in government policies that result in human suffering.
International Rescue Committee (Tucson): The IRC Tucson works primarily with refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking and survivors of torture. Current programs include resettlement, economic empowerment, community integration and development, health and wellness and protection. In addition, the IRC helps to cultivate agricultural skills while decreasing food insecurity via community gardens.
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest – Refugee & Immigration Services: A nonprofit organization, LSS seeks to promote social justice through faith-based initiatives.
No Mas Muertas/No More Deaths: A humanitarian organization based in Southern Arizona, No Mas Muertas is dedicated to stepping up efforts to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert and to achieving the enactment of a set of Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform. No Mas Muertas focuses on the following themes:
1. Direct aid that extends the right to provide humanitarian assistance
What resources do you have that you are willing to share?