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May 2009 Roots of Migration delegation to Mexico

Southeast Region
Regional Organizer:  Gail Phares
States:  NC, SC. SV. VA, KY, TN, MS, Al, GA, AR, LA, FL

Roots of Migration Delegation to Mexico Feb. 17-27
In response to a rise in immigration raids and anti-immigration ordinances, Ajamu Dillahunt –NC Justice Center and Gail Phares led a group of 20 North Carolina leaders to Oaxaca, Mexico where many immigrants in NC are from.  The group included a congressional aide, the directors of several high profile North Carolina organizations, and labor and faith leaders.  This group will travel to Wash. DC May 20 to meet with Congressional Representatives and Senator Kay Hagan as well as with the Congressional Black Caucus, the White House Office of Faith Initiatives as well as with Liliana Caparo Arizal from the U.S. Dept of State.

Members of the delegation have published opinion pieces in Hickory and Durham, NC and letters to the editor in the Raleigh News and Observer as well as in Burlington, NC.  We received front-page coverage in the YES Weekly in Greensboro, NC.  In coalition with the NC Community Development Corporations, the Teamsters Union, the NC Justice Center, the Conservation Fund, El Pueblo and other groups we hope to have an impact on immigration policy at the national and state levels.

Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace April 5-10
In April, activists marched 100 miles across North Carolina to advocate for immigrant rights and fair trade as part of the 23 annual Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace.  The Pilgrimage, with participants representing 33 organizations and churches, brought their message of tolerance and understanding to many towns, communities, churches along the 100-mile stretch, generated media attention throughout the state.  The group received extensive media attention at a creative nonviolent direct action at a jail where immigrants are held in detention.  The marchers received front-page coverage in several Hispanic newspapers as well as in the Chapel Hill Herald, the Burlington News and the Raleigh News and Observer.  Frank Stasio on WUNC Radio on “The State of Things” which is heard statewide also covered us.

Teen Delegation to Nicaragua July 14-28, 2009
We are recruiting 25-30 teenagers for the annual teen delegation to Nicaragua this summer.