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West Region Newsletter February 2020

Highlights of work from around the region

Christina and Jorge Zaldivar and family
Christina Zaldivar (left), her husband Jorge (center) and their family Photo: Gabriela Flora / AFSC

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Immigrant Rights Program, Denver

Torn apart by ICE, Colorado family keeps fighting

Christine Zaldivar isn’t giving up now that her husband, Jorge, has been deported from Denver to Mexico. In this interview, Christina talks about the stress of Jorge’s detention and deportation, ongoing work in the courts and Congress, and her involvement with the Not1More Table. This Yes! Magazine piece describes her work with AFSC to develop Crossing South, a resource guide for people returning to Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.


Healing Justice Program, Oakland

Good news from AFSC’s work with the California Legislature

Laura Magnani of AFSC writes: “We received some good news this month when two bills we were involved in drafting found authors to move them forward. Fatimeh Khan of AFSC is working with five other co-sponsors on a Racial Justice Act, which would allow defendants to appeal their convictions if they believed racism was a factor in their being found guilty or in their sentencing. In addition, Sen. Nancy Skinner, who chairs the Senate Public Safety Committee, has committed to introducing the bill that I developed to stop the use of confidential informants for prisoner classification and parole. This issue has been the number one priority of prisoners who were formerly in solitary confinement and now find that the same dynamics are keeping them from moving on.”

                                                                                              Photo: Pedro Sosa

Project Voice Immigrant Rights Program, Oregon-Washington

Celebrating International Migrants Day

Pedro Sosa of AFSC writes on Instagram: “Thank you to everyone who came to our commemoration of International Migrants Day—the families of the workers who shared their story, the community for their solidarity, and the musicians for sharing their talent for a good cause.”


Arizona Program, Tucson

Converging at the Capitol calls for an end to mass incarceration

More than 100 people—including formerly incarcerated people and family members of people in prison—took part in AFSC’s ReFraming Justice Day on January 21 at the State Capitol in Phoenix. Advocates called for the adoption of earned release credits and greater reliance on rehab and treatment programs. Learn more about AFSC’s legislative agenda and catch updates here.


67 Sueños, Oakland

New resource for digital storytelling

This new resource featuring AFSC’s 67 Sueños Program paints a picture of how digital storytelling can support and promote program work. Since the program began in 2010, 67 Sueños staff and volunteers have used digital storytelling to collect stories, develop murals, and build community. The mural projects that are the program’s hallmark exemplify the culmination of this storytelling process. Each mural publicly highlights a facet of the community’s collective story.


 Photo: Patrick Jaramillo

People of the Land Program, Albuquerque

Coldframes benefit farmers, school children in New Mexico

In the final months of 2019, AFSC New Mexico program staff helped the Cabrera family build a passive solar coldframe on their farm in the South Valley of Albuquerque. This most recent coldframe, also known as a hoop house or high tunnel, is the 33rd that AFSC has either purchased and/or helped build in the last ten years of the program. In addition to building the capacity of farmers to provide fresh, healthy produce to the school districts, AFSC has successfully lobbied for legislation at the state level to make more money available for the school districts to buy local food. Read more.

                                                                                                              Photo: Karen Romero Siu

US-Mexico Border Program, San Diego

Protesters call for an end to “Remain in Mexico” policy


On the one-year anniversary of a federal policy requiring asylum seekers crossing the southern U.S. border to remain in Mexico while their cases are pending, AFSC joined others in San Diego and around the country to demand its revocation. AFSC’s U.S.-Mexico Border Program also released Dismantling Asylum, a report analyzing this inhumane policy.

                                                            Photo:Eduardo Stanley

Pan Valley Institute (PVI), Fresno

“Artevism” fellows to use creativity to challenge oppression

In partnership with Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities and Department of Theatre and Dance, AFSC PVI is launching a new fellowship for Latinx and Indigenous youth (ages 18 – 29). The “Artevism” fellows will use the arts to create provocative programming that advocates for the change they want to see in the world. “The ArteVism Fellowship Program project seeks to empower and foster civic engagement and community building through artistic expression among Latinx/Indigenous youth in the Central Valley,” explains Myrna Martinez Nateras, PVI program director. “By recognizing, celebrating, and activating Latinx and Indigenous youth through the arts, the fellowships will help youth challenge the systems of fear and oppression that plague them.” Learn more.

                                                                               photo: Dalit Baum

Economic Activism Program, Oakland

Help us investigate immigrant repression and mass surveillance

AFSC is looking to hire a research fellow to work out of our Oakland office. This is a 4-days a week, year-long, full-benefits opportunity. See the full job description and apply here; the deadline in February 21. The fellowship is designed for a researcher/activist interested in exposing corporations complicit in mass surveillance and criminalization of immigrant communities, the militarization of the US-Mexico border, and immigrant detention and deportation. Learn more about Investigate’s work on borders.

Saying No to “Preventing Violent Extremism” (PVE)

Roots for Peace Program, Los Angeles

Increasing climate resiliency, resisting PVE in California

In collaboration with the Annenberg Foundation, Roots for Peace recently organized a three-day Climate Resiliency Intensive Training for over 20 Spanish-speaking families connected to the South LA Community Farm and All Peoples Community Center. The goal was to share tools, resources, and training that increase climate resilience in communities of color. Roots for Peace has also worked with the #NoPVEinCA coalition to organize California Assembly Members to reject Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) programs and to share negative impacts PVE will have on young people of color in Los Angeles.

Take action

Visit AFSC’s Action Center for resources on a variety of issues including Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Bystander Intervention Tips, Posters for Activism and Changing Systems/Changing Ourselves. Take action for No War with Iran, Defund ICE and CBP, Save TPS and End the Blockade on Gaza.

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