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Building Resilience
"Game Changer Enrique Chiu" by CGTN America
Enrique Chiu's art of
resistance on the border
Photo Credit: Tina Shull
Photo Credit: Tina Shull
Volunteers Bring Art To Children In Caravan | San Diego Union-Tribune
Contribute to the #RefugeesWelcome Guide
On Sunday, April 29th, 2018, 200+ migrants made the
final step of a month long journey from southern border
of Mexico, reaching Tijuana, Mexico to seek asylum in
the United States.  Supported by organizations Al Otro
Lado and Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the Migrant Caravan
included refugees from Honduras, El Salvador, and
Guatemala fleeing violence and oppression.
Learn more here.

To mark this, Activate Labs joined Tijuana Based "Realimente Comunidad" a collective of activists and gardeners working as caretakers of the Bi-National Garden at Friendship Park along the Mexican border with San Diego.  Activate Labs brought herbs and vegetables and together with migrant youth we gardened and laid down roots in Tijuana, the land of migration. Our message was a #beautifulresistance: our existence is resistance.
The migrants made their final stop at El Chaparral, a small piece of land at the base of the bridge to cross into the United States.  Activate Labs joined the migrants as they waited to hear if they would be admitted to gain asylum.  Together we received the horrible news that there was no room in the detention center and therefore would not be admitted or processed.  And so all decided to spend the night on the cold cement floor in front of the border.  Activate Labs pitched in to bring blankets to the migrants.  Migrants ended up sleeping for a week outside waiting for the United States to follow international law (signed by the United States) that requires nations to accept refugees fleeing violence and oppression.  We wanted to do more to support them and knew we would be back. On Wednesday, May 2nd, we returned.
Again partnering with 'Realimenta Comunidad' and others, Activate Lab volunteers brought the #BeautifulResistance to the migrant children.  To continue the same project, we provided paint and 70 canvasses generously made available through donations from our supporters and Little Brushstrokes, a refugee kids art program. Our simple project was to give the children and adults a chance to be creative, build community resilience and paint pollenizers: bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, which we would then bring to the Bi-national Garden. 
 
Our message was: migration is natural and beautiful, and yet humans are not free to migrate.
 
Activate Labs has served and continues to organize and advocate for refugee communities in the Southern California region for the past 3 years with the Refugees Welcome Project
A word cloud created from audience responses at a convening of the UC Critical Refugee Studies Collective at UCLA in April of 2018.  Participants were asked to write down their commitments to climate and migrant justice.