2020 got off to a full start at the Kino Border Initiative! We report here on an annual event for high schoolers in the Arizona/Sonora area to fortify advocacy networks among area youth; staff travel to Chicago; a Tucson protest against Remain in Mexico; preparations for the grand opening celebration; and several immersion groups.
1) Walking in Mercy: On Saturday, February 8th, scores of students and staff from eight Arizona high schools and one Mexican high school gathered at San Miguel High School in Tucson for the fifth annual Walking in Mercy event. The day included an art project in which students created mobiles of ribbons with messages to and from migrants. One of those mobiles will hang in the new building, while others will hang at each participating school. Students also led workshops on advocacy, storytelling, and the work of Kino Teens outside of Arizona. The whole group spent an hour exploring root causes of migration from 7 countries through testimonies and stats. They then had the chance to present their experiences to representatives from Congresswoman Kirkpatrick’s office and Senator Sinema’s office. The day concluded with a mass and special commissioning of the seniors at each school. We are grateful to all who helped make this annual gathering possible!
2) Chicago Youth Conference: Joanna Williams, Director of Education and Advocacy, traveled to Chicago in late January to attend the “Shoulder to Shoulder” conference, where young leaders from four Chicago-area faith communities came together to learn how to advocate for migrant rights, including Kino Teens at Loyola Academy and St. Ignatius College Prep. Joanna presented alongside guests of Viator House, a shelter for unaccompanied boys seeking asylum in the U.S.
3) Save Asylum protest January 31: In tandem with the first anniversary of the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols, over 100 individuals gathered in downtown Tucson to continue to resist the danger and cruelty of this policy and to highlight the region’s capacity to offer welcome to migrants. The event featured speakers, music, art, and testimonies from families impacted by MPP. (These testimonies are featured in the migrant stories section of this month’s newsletter.)
4) Grand opening of migrant aid center: The grand opening of our new migrant aid center is Wednesday, February 12, from 12-2PM! There will be a dedication, blessing, celebration, and open house. Limited transportation will be available from the Holiday Inn Express (850 W. Shell Road) to the pedestrian crossing at the Mariposa port of entry. We look forward to blessing the new space with you!
5) Immersion groups: The KBI hosted four immersion groups this month, including two groups of university staff and faculty, one parish, and one group of college students.
|Immersion Group||# of participants||# of days at the KBI|
|Ignatian Colleagues Program
|10 participants||5 days|
|10 participants||3 days|
|10 participants||3 days|
|Holy Family Parish
South Pasadena, CA
|9 participants||3 days|