No More Deaths and Love Resists

Faith Floods The Desert




This summer, faith floods the desert

No More Deaths / No Más Muertes and faith partners call you to #FloodtheDesert on August 3-6thWe will join with humanitarian aid workers who provide food and water in the desert and together resist government repression of this life-saving work.  Nine No More Deaths humanitarian-aid volunteers currently face federal felony and misdemeanor charges. Nationwide, immigration justice organizers are being targeted by federal agencies. As religious people, we answer to a higher law of love and justice: we know that humanitarian aid is not a crime. Migration is not a crime. So in our direct action this August, we will assert the right to save lives by stocking water caches, and so risk the same charges facing No More Deaths activists. If we are charged, we will contest those charges.

We are called to resist through solidarity with migrating people and alongside humanitarian aid workers. We’ll gather in southern Arizona as Unitarian Universalists and people of faith and courage from all around the country on Friday, August 3rd. We’ll spend Saturday building community with each other and getting oriented and trained by the incredible organizing team at No More Deaths / No Más Muertes along with local faith and justice partners.  We’ll learn more deeply about the struggle against the criminalization of migration and those who resist the crisis of death and disappearance in the US/Mexico borderlands, as well as about how to engage in the fight for immigrant justice wherever you may live. On Sunday, we will flood the desert. Depending on your role, you may hike out into the desert carrying water, you may drive and then place water, or you may support in other ways. We’ll close with a community potluck and blessing. We are particularly seeking people willing to face misdemeanor charges, who are willing to contest those charges on the grounds that saving lives is never a crime.

ATTENTION: Limited travel stipend funds are available to religious professionals (ministers/clergy, seminarians and religious educators). A follow up email with further information will be sent to all registrants shortly.

Registration for this action is now closed. Please follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter to learn about future opportunities.

What level of mobility and endurance is needed to participate?

We welcome a diversity of mobility and ability levels. The desert in the summer is very hot and some of the work of humanitarian aid requires the ability to walk for at least 3 miles on uneven terrain in 100+ degree heat carrying water. Please let us know on the registration form what works for your body and we’ll do our best to match you with a role that works for you.

Do I need to be religious or a religious leader to attend?

This gathering is convened by No More Deaths, the Unitarian Universalist Association and UU Service Committee to bring people of faith and moral courage to witness and act against the criminalization of humanitarian aid. Religious leaders of all faiths and all people of spirit and justice are welcome. People are encouraged to bring vestments and symbols of their religious belonging as appropriate.

Is this a legal action?

During Flood the Desert, we will intentionally place water in areas the government has declared off limits, and where other activists have been charged for water drops. The high number of human remains that have been recovered on this land demonstrate the need for resisting policies that make migration ever more perilous. We therefore risk federal misdemeanor charges for our action, and we are asking that participants contest such charges to defend the higher calling to save lives. That said, the state is unpredictable and we cannot know in advance exactly how they will respond, but we are committed to providing the most accurate information we have about the variety of roles and their risks levels. Learn more at No More Deaths’ FAQ page under Is No More Deaths Work Legal?

What logistics are being arranged?
  • Faith leaders and volunteers are responsible for arranging for and paying for their own transportation to and from Tucson, Arizona. We encourage crowdfunding, congregational sponsorships, sharing airplane miles and other creative solutions!
  • Once in Tucson, No More Deaths, the UUA and the UUSC are coordinating shared rental vehicles, homestays/group housing and some shared meals. Expect humble and loving accommodations. In our approach to logistics, we are prioritizing community and our commitment to patronize local hotel owners, caterers, restaurateurs and other community run businesses.
  • If you do not fill out the registration form, you will not be accounted for in the shared logistics.
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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at and 617-301-4303