This week, a delegation of eight ministers and members of All Souls are in Arizona to gain first-hand experience of what’s happening at the US-Mexico border. The participants are Brian Barger, Megan Calvert, Carmen Carrera, Rev. Rob Hardies, Rev. Rob Keithan, Serena Lowe, Marleise Pastore, and Carl Proper. Led by the Tucson-based organization BorderLinks in partnership with the UU College of Social Justice, the group is witnessing Operation Streamline (the US government’s no-tolerance program for rapid deportation), walking through the desert to see exactly where people are crossing—and dying, and meeting with local organizations and activists. Each day ends with theological reflection on the experience and what can be learned from it.
The group engaged in a process of education and self-reflection before the trip. They invite everyone in the All Souls community to join in the education process. Below are some of the recommended resources. Rev. Rob Keithan will reflect on the journey in his November 18 sermon, “The Empire Has No Clothes.” There will be a longer debriefing workshop with trip participants in early 2019.
- This video provides background about the action Faith Floods the Desert, which took place in Ajo, AZ, this summer, in conjunction with the organization No More Deaths.
- Peter Getzels and Eduardo Lopez’s hour-and-a-half-long film, Harvest of Empire, is a crash-course on the impact, both here and there, of the US government’s interventions in Latin American nations. Not surprisingly, people from the countries we harmed the most—including Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador—still represent the largest groups coming to the United States.
The Complexity of Identity: “Who Am I?”, by Beverly Daniel Tatum, is a concise and powerful overview of how dominant and nondominant identities are shaped differently.
Last May, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) partnered with SHARE-El Salvador and Sisters of Mercy to send a faith solidarity delegation to Honduras to accompany and hear directly from Hondurans facing political repression and violence. They share their findings in The Struggle for Human Rights and Transformation in Honduras. Other resources from the UUSC include a blog post, Four Facts You Should Know about the Central American Migrant Caravan, and a two-minute video, Testimonies of Human Rights Violations in Honduras.
Books (both published by the UUA’s Beacon Press)
Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, by Aviva Chomsky, explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, a New York Times bestseller by Robin Diangelo, explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged that serve to maintain racial inequality.