Day: February 13, 2020

We shared your love at the border

For last year’s #ReclaimLove campaign on Valentine’s Day, we invited you to write letters of love and solidarity to people who most needed to hear from us. So many of you answered the call. Parents and children, students and teachers, artists and activists, and faith leaders. We were overwhelmed by your handmade Valentines and love letters. We received hundreds and hundreds of cards for migrant families and children in particular.

Today we want to tell you the story of how we shared some of your love at the border this week. Then we invite you to join us as we come together and raise our voices again.

On Tuesday, Revolutionary Love teammates Valarie Kaur and Julianna Piazzola gathered your cards and traveled across the U.S.- Mexico border into Tijuana. They visited Madre Asunta – a long-established shelter for women and children fleeing persecution. The shelter had thirty-five women, most of them mothers, and twenty-five children who were fleeing the most horrific kinds of persecution – traffickers, abusive spouses, and gang members who have threatened to kill them.

As the women and children sat down to eat together, the senior nun La Hermana introduced Valarie and Julianna. Valarie said:

“There are thousands of people in the United States who are thinking of you right now, who care about you. We are sorry for the cruelty of our government and its policies. On Friday, we have a holiday in America called Valentine’s Day, a day of love. So people have written you letters and cards to show you that we love you. And because we love you, we will fight for you. You are our sisters and brothers. Your children are our children. When you feel alone, we hope you can look at their cards and know that you are never alone. We are by your side.”

Credit: Alliance San Diego

A mother in the front of the room began to weep. Soon many mothers wiped away tears. Valarie and Julianna wept with them and passed out the letters and cards. Children took the cards with big smiles. Mothers embraced them and said thank you.

“It’s just a grain of sand,” Valarie said to them.

“But it’s important,” said a mother in Spanish. “It’s an important grain of sand.”

Credit: Alliance San Diego

Valarie and Julianna left the bag of letters with La Hermana, the senior sister of the shelter. The letters are now making their rounds to all the major shelters in Tijuana and they are being delivered to hundreds of mothers, children, and families. It was such a simple gesture, a small offering, and yet more powerful than any of us could have imagined.

Many of these women and children are seeking asylum in the United States. They would typically be going through this process in the U.S. But the Trump administration has implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), otherwise known as the Migrant Persecution Protocols or the “Remain in Mexico” program. Under this program, 60,000 asylum-seekers who have presented themselves at the border have been forced back across the border to Mexico – where they are still in danger and their persecutors can find them. MPP is widely condemned as a horrific policy that has manufactured a humanitarian crisis. Together we all took one small step to show these mothers and children that they are not forgotten.

In the revolutionary love framework, the first act of love is wonder – to draw close to another and hear their stories and grieve with them, because in sharing in their pain, we gain the information we need to fight with and for them.

Scroll down for more information about how to push on in love and solidarity for the parents and children you held in your love this week.

Now it’s time to get loud.

We believe love is the only force powerful enough to protect our communities. And that we build the beloved community by becoming the beloved community. And so we are joining together.

For #ReclaimLove this year, we are focusing on a social media campaign that spreads the message of Revolutionary Love while inviting people to come together to learn and connect.

Valarie Kaur’s book, See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love will be released in June and is available for preorder now.  The book will equip us and our movements with a framework to understand revolutionary love and tangible ways to practice it.

For a limited time, preorders of the book will include an invitation to a series of virtual gatherings lead by Valaire and cohosted by Dream Corps and the Revolutionary Love Project.

Read all about it at ReclaimLove.us, preorder your copy and get your invitation to join the virtual gatherings, then help spread the word.

You’ll find everything you need to join us here.

Ready for More?

And a huge thank you to our friends at Alliance San Diego for organizing this trip and for reimagining what’s possible along our borders with a new border vision. Learn about Alliance San Diego here.