We have continued to engage supporters of the Kino Border initiative via Facebook Live Events. On June 17th, we hosted an event including conversations with Graciela, a migrant currently living in Arizona as well as provided music, scripture reading, prayer, and moments of remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the dessert. Watch here. On June 30th, we hosted a conversation with Adriana, a migrant mom currently in Nogales as well as Camila, a high school student in Nogales, Mexico to discuss the context and challenges that specifically youth are facing at the border. Watch here.
Adapting our Services
Given the continued realities of the virus, particularly the alarming increase in cases in Arizona and Sonora, we continue to offer restricted services to migrants and among staff. This includes maintaining social distancing, mandating masks, and offering to-go plates for households. As the situation changes, we will adapt our services and keep you informed. The health and well-being of migrants, staff, and our communities are our foremost priority.
Celebrating Fathers Day
For Father’s Day, each migrant dad was given a carefully designed “shirt and tie” bag filled with various items to help them celebrate.
Virtual Immersion Learning
After hosting our first Virtual Immersion experience in May, last month was packed with Virtual Immersion groups, with whom we facilitated week-long experiences that explored the complexities of migration issues, encouraged ongoing reflection, and provided context to begin brainstorming ways to stand in solidarity with migrant communities. Hosted groups included: Jesuit High School from Sacramento, CA; Bellarmine College Preparatory and Presentation High School from San Jose, California; Jesuit High School from Portland, Oregon; and Gonzaga High School from Washington, D.C.
Farewells and Welcomes
Last month we said farewell to our dedicated and talented Director of Communications, Katie Sharar, who had been part of the Kino team since 2018. With years of previous experience working with immigrant communities along the border, she brought such valuable perspective and commitment to creating a more just a humane migration context. Some examples of her work while at KBI include a compelling op ed of AZCentral as well as our press release denouncing expedited returns of asylum-seekers to Mexico. While we are sad to see her leave, we wish her the best as she pursues her Masters of Arts in Teaching. We know that her compassion and work ethic will carry her far in whatever career awaits her following her studies. Arriving to fill the position of Director of Communications is Sara Ritchie. Originally from Virginia, she has spend the last several years in Guatemala working in community development with primarily rural, Mayan indigenous communities. She is excited to apply her experience and cultural exposure to the mission of Kino and be part of the larger migrant justice movement along the border.