Borders and Boundaries

Seeing the U.S.-Mexico Border through the Eyes of a Refugee

October 1st, 2019|Categories: Activism, Arts, Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, VOW Book Series, Youth Migrants|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

by Gabriel Mendez In early July, Voice of Witness reached out to me and told me about a protest in El Paso happening on July 5th, where artists would perform, talking about their experiences at the border and how the conditions in detention centers are inhumane. I got really interested because I feel that everything related to [...]

Reader to Witness: Stories of Undocumented Lives

August 2nd, 2019|Categories: Activism, Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, VOW Book Series, Witness|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

by Eliana Swerdlow The human rights crisis at the United States and Mexican border sits at the forefront of my consciousness. As I go about my daily life, I think of the stories of many individuals who are suffering at the hands of the American government. As the media reports, we’re at a dangerous moment [...]

Art and Activism at the El Paso Border

July 15th, 2019|Categories: Activism, Arts, Bold Movements, Borders and Boundaries, Brave Stories, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, Youth Migrants|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

by Ela Banerjee “Thank you for joining us on this glorious day for America!” Hearing these words from our pilot, Solito, Solita narrator Gabriel Mendez and I both stiffened and shared an uncomfortable glance. It’s true that we were traveling from San Francisco to El Paso, Texas on the Fourth of July. Shades of [...]

10 Actions to Support Refugees from Central America

June 20th, 2019|Categories: Borders and Boundaries, Brave Stories, English Language Learners, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Narrators, VOW Book Series, Youth Migrants|Tags: , , , , , , , |

They are a mass migration of thousands, yet each one travels solito, solita, alone, alone. While news of caravans and border walls has been top of mind for months, so rarely do we get to hear from the people most impacted - asylum seekers - about their experiences coming to the United States. Our new [...]

From the Archives: Yogesh’s Story in Underground America

March 25th, 2019|Categories: Borders and Boundaries, Brave Stories, English Language Learners, Immigration, Narrators, VOW Book Series, Youth Migrants|Tags: , , , , , , |

2019 marks 10 years for Voice of Witness as a nonprofit, and in celebration of this exciting milestone, we're resurfacing powerful stories from every oral history book in our series. Though time has passed since these stories were first published, many of the themes and issues they address are as relevant and important as ever. Millions [...]

From Solito to Solidarity

November 27th, 2018|Categories: Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, VOW Book Series, VOW Editor Interviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

By Steven Mayers and Jonathan Freedman Gabriel and Soledad, narrators in Solito, Solita, unfurl the Honduran flag in support of refugees. When we began interviewing youth refugees from Central America four and a half years ago, we never imagined that a caravan of Honduran refugees would arrive in Tijuana the same day [...]

Fighting Words: Stories from the New York Sanctuary Movement

August 28th, 2018|Categories: Activism, Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

by Jon Earle Image courtesy of The New Sanctuary Coalition A bride and groom are married in chains. A mother prepares her daughters for life without her. Two prison friends sing, "Lord, give us a big heart to love, and a strong heart to fight." These are the stories of immigrants facing [...]

Inside an Immigrant Detention Facility

August 15th, 2018|Categories: Borders and Boundaries, Civil Rights and Security, Criminal Justice, English Language Learners, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, VOW Book Series|Tags: , , , , , |

The topic of immigration has been a critical political issue since borders were built, yet immigrant voices continue to be excluded from this ongoing story within the United States. Recently, we've seen a surge of media coverage discussing an appalling scene at our border: refugees are being arrested and locked away in immigrant detention facilities, and [...]

Nowhere to Turn: Hundreds of refugees stuck in Tijuana with no clear path forward

July 23rd, 2018|Categories: Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Refugees, VOW Editor Interviews, Youth Migrants|Tags: , , , , , , |

by Steven Mayers Hundreds gather each morning at El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana                         Crossing from San Ysidro into Mexico on foot, I don’t even need to show my passport. After walking down a hallway for a few [...]

Razan Hussin: An Immigrant Student Inspired to Change Her Community through Oral History

December 26th, 2017|Categories: Borders and Boundaries, Cultural and Personal Identity, Education, Immigration|Tags: , , , , , , |

“There are times that I feel uncomfortable because of how people look at me as I’m wearing my headscarf. I’ve experienced some racism on campus.”—Razan Hussin, 19 Razan is a native Arabic speaker from Jordan who came to the U.S. when she was twelve. Being an immigrant student at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, [...]