Sophia is an educator, artist and activist in San Diego, CA dedicated to using the arts for both social change and healing.
For the past six months she has crossed the border to Tijuana weekly to volunteer with Dreamers Moms Intl. – Tijuana, a self-organized group of moms and dads who have been deported from the U.S. and are fighting to be reunified with their loved ones.
These parents have endeavored to write their stories as children’s books as a way to explain to their kids the circumstances of their separation and to show their enduring love. Not only will these books be gifts for the kids, they will also serve as artifacts that document and share the marginalized stories of family separation.
The goal is to publish this work as ten individual, illustrated children’s books.
Project organizers already have ten children’s stories written by ten dedicated parents. They also have beautiful illustrations made by bilingual children of the Sherman Heights Community Center summer camp. All the work done thus far has been volunteer work.
However, $2,000 needs to be raised in the next month in order to publish five color, hardcover copies of each of the ten children’s books.
These will be self-published through Blurb. Why 5 copies?
Copies will go to: the children, the parents, DreamersMoms/Border Angels archive, project lead’s archive (that’s me), and a lending library from which the books can be lent to schools, non-profits, etc.
$35-40/hardcover book x 10 books x 5 copies = $2000
If the goal is surpassed project organizers will expand their lending library and lend books to organizations working with separated families and/or they will create an online digital archive of the stories to make them accessible to more people.
Through the cuentos, children who were very young when their parents were deported will have an accessible and non-threatening way of understanding what happened to their families.
Not to mention, parent-authors will experience the joy of seeing their hard work come to life, hopefully fueling their ánimo and resilience as they fight to reunite with their kids.