The border is everywhere
Ohio is a border state
The idea for this event emerged in conversations between the University of Dayton Human Rights Center and Immaculate Conception Church in Dayton, OH, and a shared sense of urgency from recent trips to the US-Mexico border.
In May 2018, a team of UD undergraduate students traveled to El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, CH as part of the Moral Courage Project to conduct interviews with activists, organizers, and other individuals from the border community engaged in the work of protecting human rights. That team is currently at work on an exhibit, a podcast, and a website that will serve as platforms for the stories they heard.
In September 2018, Father Satish Joseph participated in a delegation of Catholic priests who traveled to the border as well. Describing that trip as “transformative,” Father Satish returned with a sense of purpose to pursue justice for the abuses being committed against immigrants and immigrant communities.
Despite being moved by the people we met at the border, we are all well aware that militarization does not only impact the southern region. The border is everywhere. Policies of the US government aimed to prevent immigration rely on fear and dehumanization. Strategies of deterrence present a direct affront to human dignity. The policies and strategies tested against frontline communities have spread across the country, including to Ohio, and they will continue to do so—unless we demonstrate that these abuses will not be committed in our name.
This vigil is a collective effort to build the will and assemble the people to stand up for human rights.