This work is especially pertinent to GHR’s organizational priorities, as the Foundation envisions a world where all children—especially those at risk of losing or without parental care—are living in a stable, loving, long-term family. Emerging evidence shows that when communities and decision makers support approaches that prioritize families rather than remove children, the relationships children need for healthy development are safeguarded.
June 2018 & August 2019
USCCB/Migration and Refugee Services to support advocacy efforts
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) to offer legal assistance
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (2018) and Catholic Charities USA to provide direct services
Shifting Mindsets on Migration with New Narratives
August 2018-April 2019
Nairobi-based BRIGHT Magazine published a series on family separation at the US border made possible by GHR funding. An award-winning digital publication, BRIGHT covers fresh, relevant stories related to health, education, and social impact. Bringing marginalized narratives to the forefront, and offering human faces to the broader, more sensational stories that circulate widely in the news cycle, BRIGHT pushes the boundaries of conventional journalism. Focusing on “solutions-oriented stories” about social change, BRIGHT brings a rich, creative lens on social good to people who crave more nuanced perspectives on these topics.
Instead of reporting the day's news at the border, we were looking to go a little deeper, investigating questions like what are the root causes of the crisis? What are the reasons people are fleeing Central America? Who is responding to the problem effectively? As part of the series, BRIGHT received overwhelming response to its first graphic novel, “They Returned My Daughter, But She Never Truly Came Home”, depicting the real-life story of a six-year-old Adayanci and her father from Guatemala.
Protecting Human Dignity with New Approaches
The Color Movement, in partnership with Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee) is a bold, hopeful, new initiative first launched in El Salvador—where the seeds of this movement will take root. For decades, the Catholic Sisters of El Salvador have worked on some of the most difficult issues facing the country—things like debilitating gang violence, extreme poverty, and human trafficking that cause people to lose hope and leave home to seek futures elsewhere. The Color Movement unites those Sisters in their joint cause of doing their best by the people they serve, provides them more resources to do so, and shares their stories and impact to the outside world.
Alight, named ‘Most Innovative 2019’ by Fast Company, has been testing the Color Movement concept, deepening its learning of how Sisters in El Salvador strengthen communities and family resilience. Prototypes of the three design principles under the Color Movement umbrella have been launched: 1) a beautiful, hopeful, and unifying brand, 2) bringing real, tangible resources to Sisters through their ideas to make change, and 3) connecting communities, Sisters, and the outside world through best-practice sharing and storytelling. Both Sisters and youth are feeling united by the brand, inspiring creativity and joy through the simple act of bringing the Color Movement to life, together.
The Color Movement project is operational in La Chacra and Apopa and the Sisters, youth and their families are feeling united and inspired through bringing The Color Movement bus, coffee shop and computer lab to life, together. Alight felt the momentum shift when Jefferson Rafael, a 15-year old youth leader in Apopa, said “We are making history here.” Sister Conchy of Apopa told us, “This has already made a huge difference. We are so happy and excited to what the future will bring.”
In September, GHR and Alight gathered thirty-six non-profit leaders, advocates, artists, community members, press and others in Bisbee, AZ and Agua Prieta, MX for an immersive human-centered design experience to learn together, to build new connections, and to protect human dignity at the Mexico-U.S. border. The goal was to see first-hand the incredible work already being done on both sides of the border and co-create new ways for Sisters and the broader network to coordinate action and expand support of children and families on the move. The border design trip was co-convened with Hilton Foundation and Hilton Fund for Sisters and sessions were facilitated by IDEO.org.
Together, we asked ourselves: How might we and our abundant network of partners create spaces that embody the migrants’ dream? Participants listened deeply to and learned from people on the move while honoring their experience, then worked to brainstorm tangible new approaches. What emerged from the co-creative session is not a ‘solution’, but a concept that enables people on the move and those in their service to pause, reimagine the migration experience and begin to understand what more is possible:
‘El Santuario’ is a community of spaces that work together to improve the migrant experience, elevate the work of Sisters and service providers, and create volunteer experiences to further its mission. The sanctuary contributes to migrants’ and asylum seekers’ ability to achieve a future of abundance and choice wherever they settle. It provides safe spaces where their dreams can start to come to life, before they’ve even arrived at—or crossed—the border. It also creates an opportunity to leverage the work of Sisters, volunteers, and a network of actors to serve in sanctuaries.
The partners are in the process of identifying a shelter within the network of border agencies to pilot 'El Santuario' concept for evaluation and iteration. The vision is to scale these spaces beyond the initial location to a series of locations and, eventually, to a network of sanctuaries across different cities and countries around the world as the network of partners, service providers and volunteers expands.