Domestic Exchange Explores Themes of Migration, Government Repression, Land, and Resiliency
We just came out of a powerful two-week International Exchange in Mesoamerica, but we know that not everyone can travel internationally nor be away from home for several days. We also know that we can build relationships of trust and solidarity across difference without having to leave the country. For the first time, Move to End Violence coordinated a three-day “domestic exchange” for Cohort 4 members who were unable to travel with us to Guatemala but who are deeply interested in themes of migration, government repression, land, and resiliency.
This resource captures daily blogs highlighting key learnings from this exchange.
Our small group gathered in Austin, Texas today for a series of meetings with three organizations–Jolt, Youth Rise Texas, and American Gateways– that are focused on Black and Brown communities, building power, and meeting needs while centering arts and culture, healing and resiliency, and self and community care.
Today we spent the afternoon having a homemade lunch with leaders and members of Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT) at Casa Anandrea, their house in Houston that provides emergency shelter for trans, intersex, and queer people, especially those who are undocumented. About 20 people welcomed us, mostly, though not exclusively, Latinx folks from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Some just recently came out of immigrant detention while others have been in the country for twenty years. Antena Houston joined to help us practice language justice in the meeting.
On our last day of the domestic exchange, we hosted a roundtable of activists from Houston who are leading powerful and transformative work in Black and Brown communities in Texas:
- Eesha Pandit, member of MEV’s Cohort 2, co-founder of Center for Advancing Innovative Policy, and founding team member of South Asian Youth in Houston Unite (SAYHU)
- Ana Andrea Molina, director and founder of Organización Latina Trans en Texas, whom we met on Day 2 of the exchange
- Monica Roberts, African-American blogger, writer, and transgender rights advocate and founding editor of TransGriot
- Ola Osifo Osaze, founder of Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP)
- Kelvin Lopez, Organizer at Jolt Houston, and whose Austin office we visited on Day 1 of the exchange; Jolt is a member of MEV’s Cohort 4