American Friends Service Committee-U.S. Mexico Border Program
Purpose of Grant
For developing and engaging the leadership capacity of immigrant families in San Diego in alignment with the Equal Voice framework.
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that has been working for nearly 100 years to promote peace and social justice in the U.S. and abroad. Domestically, it works through 12 regional offices and the American Friends Service Committee U.S.-Mexico Border Program (AFSC) in San Diego, which was established 37 years ago. Since 1977, AFSC has advanced human rights for immigrants and their families. The core tenets of the program are securing protection of human and civil rights for immigrants and their families in San Diego County and providing training, leadership development, and community organizing skills to build immigrant community leaders who can collectively impact local, state and national policy. By facilitating leadership development, community organizing, providing technical support and resources, and promoting collective action through human rights committees, AFSC engages families and forms partnerships to build a collective vision for change.
AFSC focuses its efforts on immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America and their families, and aims to work with the hundreds of thousands of immigrant families in San Diego County. AFSC’s work covers all of San Diego County, with a particular emphasis on the following cities: San Diego (communities of Barrio Logan, City Heights, South East San Diego, and San Ysidro), El Cajon, Escondido, Vista, Fallbrook, Oceanside, Chula Vista and National City.
Responding to the recent influx of unaccompanied minors and families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, AFSC shifted a portion of its resources toward supporting families in reunification with their children, advocating for local policies to support the care and shelter of unaccompanied immigrant youth, and incorporating this response into existing organizing campaigns.
For many years AFSC has supported and accompanied family members who have lost loved ones as a result of Border Patrol violence, by working with them to organize press conferences, plan community actions, and meet with local and federal officials. Participants in AFSC’s leadership development program learn how to document evidence to make cases, act as spokespeople, and interact with the media. They gain advocacy skills such as policy analysis, convening community dialogues about policy, and proposing recommendations to local, state and national policymakers.