Activate TucsonImmigration Justice
The UU College of Social Justice was jointly founded in the summer of 2012 by the UUA and UUSC, so this year we are celebrating a big anniversary. We are grateful for all of our alumni and supporters who have made our work possible! In honor of of all of you and our...
Don’t just learn about justice — do justice!
This one-week training for high school youth offers interactive social justice education and meaningful work engaging in the pressing issue of immigration justice. Based in the borderlands of southern Arizona, we’ll learn about the issues, and engage in powerful life-saving work like renewing water caches for migrants in the desert. In a program grounded in UU values and practices, participants will develop skills for producing social change through community engagement, reflection on issues of race and class, and advocacy in their home communities.
Youth who attended high school during the 2017-2018 school year are invited to attend.
Upcoming Activate Opportunities
How to Apply
To join this program, you will need to submit an application and a reference form. If you attend a UU or other religious congregation, we request that this reference be your minister or your director of religious education. If you do not attend a congregation, this reference should be an adult who is not a relative, and who can speak to your personality and leadership development. Teachers, coaches, and supervisors are all good options. When asking an adult to be your reference, send them this link with more information and the reference form: uucsj.org/activatereference
Once both parts of your application have been received, you will receive a response within two weeks.
Cost and Financial Assistance
The full cost of the open enrollment Activate Tucson program is $950 per participant. Financial assistance is available by application for those with demonstrated financial need. With financial assistance, this program’s direct cost is as low as $240.
If you would like to be considered for financial assistance, be sure to fill out the relevant questions on the application. Financial aid is contingent on the availability of funding, and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cost includes lodging, food, supervision, and all programming. Cost does not include transportation to and from Tucson.
If you are considering travelling with us as a group, the total cost will depend on the length of your journey. Youth journeys to Tucson generally cost between $700 and $1,000 per person.Our staff will work with you to determine the appropriate program fee before you commit to traveling with us.
Note these costs do not include airfare. Additional expenses may include passport application or renewal and vaccinations.
Financial aid is available for up to 50% of program costs for adults and 75% of program costs for youth based on need and is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Please fill out the financial aid request section of the program application.
- We’ll experience what it feels like to walk through the borderlands, by placing water caches in the Sonoran desert for migrants in need. This powerful, hands-on work will be guided by No More Deaths, a humanitarian aid organization and ministry of the UU Church of Tucson
- We’ll meet with founding members of the Sanctuary Movement, a campaign that began in the 1980s to provide safe havens for refugee migrants, and which continues to this day
- We’ll have workshops exploring our own identities in terms of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and discuss what it means to be an advocate and an ally
- We’ll attend an Operation Streamline hearing and meet with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to understand what U.S. immigration policies look like in action
Accommodations and Supervision
Participants will stay primarily at BorderLinks’ headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., which has dormitory-style housing with bunk beds and provided linens. There is an on-site kitchen where BorderLinks staff will prepare meals for participants.
This is an active program. Participants will be supervised by adult staff overnight and during the day for the duration of the program.
Who is Dayani Cristal?, a film by Gael García Bernal and Marc Silver, which tells the story of a migrant’s own journey to cross the border
Help us spread the word! Check back soon for a downloadable flyer and Facebook image.
Watch this great video that highlights participants’ reflections from 2013’s youth justice training in Boston.
BorderLinks is a binational, nonprofit educational organization at the U.S.-Mexico border. The organization focuses on cross-border relationship-building opportunities, immigration issues, community formation and development, and social justice in the borderlands between Mexico, the United States, and beyond. BorderLinks has extensive experience designing programs, and nearly 1,000 individuals participate annually in BorderLinks learning opportunities.