A group of Fordham faculty will participate in a faculty immersion program at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona/Nogales, Sonora, during this year’s spring break, March 17-22, 2019. The program is described below.
This is not a fundraiser for ourselves or our expenses, which are being paid by the Office of the Vice President for Mission Integration and Planning. Rather, on our arrival we plan to make a purchase of toiletries, clothing, and other necessities for those we will be accompanying at the border. We will purchase whatever the organizers of the Kino Border Initiative tell us is most needed at that moment, and as much as your donations allow us to purchase.
The group includes: Dana Alonzo (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Service); Glenn Hendler (Professor of English and American Studies, Acting Chair of English); Carey Kasten (Associate Professor of Spanish); Mick McCarthy (Vice President for Mission Integration and Planning, Associate Professor Theology); James McCartin (Associate Professor of Theology, Acting Associate Provost); Marciana Popescu (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Service); Jacqueline Reich (Professor and Chair, Communication and Media Studies); Diane Rodriguez (Professor of Curriculum and Teaching, Graduate School of Education); Falguni Sen (Professor of Strategy and Statistics, Gabelli School of Business); and Ian Weinstein (Professor, Fordham Law)
This faculty immersion program is designed to deepen faculty engagement with Fordham’s mission and to foster understanding of and solidarity with marginalized people. Participants will gain an enhanced critical perspective on the complex challenges related to migration at the U.S-Mexico border and the global crisis of migrants and refugees today. The program is part of a two-year pilot faculty development initiative, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Mission Integration and Planning, which also includes an array of topical seminars and retreats for faculty.
The trip will be coordinated and led by Mick McCarthy, S.J., Vice President for Mission Integration and Planning; Jim McCartin (Theology); and Jackie Reich (Communication and Media Studies). Both Jackie and Jim have participated in a similar immersion program through the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
Our host will be the Kino Border Initiative (KBI ), a binational organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus, which provides humanitarian assistance to migrants and offers educational programming for scholars and others interested in learning about local, regional, and national immigration policies. This program will be based out of a hotel on the Arizona side of the border. Each morning, we will serve migrants and deportees at a cafeteria on the Sonora side of the border, during which there will be opportunities to hear their first-hand stories. Throughout the week, there will also be opportunities to learn about immigration from multiple perspectives, including from officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Immigration Court, as well as from social service providers and legal advocates for migrants. Participants will spend one afternoon hiking through an area of the desert frequently traveled by migrants. In the evenings, there will be time reserved for group reflection and discussion about the day’s activities.