#GivingTuesday: Colibrí Standing Strong with our Community

11-29-2016

Dear Friends,

If you are receiving this email it is because you are a part of Colibrí’s inner circle: our close friends, family, and community members. You sustain us and empower us to continue our fight to end migrant death and suffering, and to recognize, respect, and honor the lives of migrants and immigrants. We are grateful for each and every one of you.

As many of you know, today is Giving Tuesday, a day when we are encouraged to donate to causes we care about. I hope you will consider giving to Colibrí to show your continued support for our work.

At Colibrí we are still trying to make sense of the election results from earlier this month. It is a deeply troubling time for us, as it is for our country, for people of color, for women, for Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and especially for the families we work with, many of whom are undocumented. The racist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant rhetoric that helped elect Donald Trump is nothing new, but the legitimacy this sort of hate speech has gained as a result of his election is unprecedented. Now more than ever it is important that Colibrí can count on your support as we continue our fight to end migrant death and suffering.

In the words of Audre Lorde, “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.” Although we did not feel ready to face a Trump presidency, the reality is that we as a community are well prepared to battle his racism and anti-immigrant policies. Everything he has proposed is deeply unoriginal, building off of a racist history of immigrant exclusion that goes back generations. Border militarization in particular has been robbing people of their lives, tearing communities apart, and disappearing mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and daughters and sons for over two decades. Border communities know better than most the true impacts of such policies, and more importantly, how to contest them.

Although we are deeply concerned about what this new administration will mean for migrant communities, we are also feeling profoundly grateful for our continued ability to do our work to combat injustice. In the spirit of hope and continued resistance we would like to share a few exciting updates with you. In the past six months Colibrí has:

  • Launched our DNA Program! We have worked hard to raise funds over the past three and a half years, and are finally at the point where we are able to launch our DNA program. Over the next three years we will be traveling across the US, sampling hundreds of people who have missing loved ones that may be among the unidentified dead on the border. Nothing like this has ever been done in the US. This is an incredible step towards bringing healing and justice to the families of the missing and dead, and Colibrí is deeply honored to be trusted with such an important task.
  • Successfully Expanded our Database! We recently hosted a meeting of our closest partners in order to strategize around common issues and train them how to integrate their data into our database. It was a huge success and one more important step towards centralizing the information on the missing and dead on the US Mexico border.
  • Grown Our Team! Colibrí is now a team of 5 fulltime employees! We are pleased to announce the hiring of our new DNA Coordinator, Mirza Monterr Mirza is a Forensic Anthropologist from Guatemala with experience in identifying the victims of the country’s 36 year-long civil war. She is a fantastic addition to our team and we are so grateful to have her!

We hope these updates will remind you that despite the devastating news from November 9th, there is still so much to be hopeful for. Audre Lorde also wrote, “Without community, there is no liberation.”  We are so thankful for you, our community. We are standing, we are ready, and we are right here with you in the struggle for a better world. Colibrí is not going anywhere.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Chelsea Halstead

Deputy Director

Colibrí Center for Human Rights

 

 

 

 

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