11 May Creating space for innovation, rest, and resilience
The leadership team of our VIVX and SolidariLabs programs (pictured above at a gathering in Cali, Colombia earlier this year) have begun a month-long residency in Woodstock, NY thanks to the Silver Sun Foundation, a family philanthropy dedicated to providing support for professional creative artists, cultural organizations, educators and social change makers. The retreat will allow our collaborators from Colombia, Guatemala, México and the U.S. a peaceful location to connect with each other, continue planning for the strengthening of VIVX, and a respite from the near constant threat of violence that rights defenders face in Latin America. Stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and an invite to a special event later this month!
Asylum seekers speak out against MPP
The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” requires political asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases are being considered in the U.S. The conditions in Mexico are squalid, dangerous, and demoralizing. The Biden administration put an end to the program, but the state of Texas is challenging the moratorium and Biden v. Texas is currently being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Maya-Ixil environmental and human rights defender Kaxh Mura’l (Gaspar Cobo) was invited by our allies at the International Mayan League to speak at a rally outside of the Court sharing how he was personally impacted by MPP. Unfortunately Kaxh wasn’t able to get approval from ICE to travel to Washington, D.C. on short notice, however a Maya-Ixil compañero (pictured above) read Kaxh’s testimony on his behalf.
Watch Kaxh share his testimony here:
Watch Daughter of a Lost Bird on America ReFramed
Brooke Pepion Swaney’s film about Native adoptee Kendra’s multiyear exploration of her heritage, Daughter of a Lost Bird, premiered May 5, 2022 on America ReFramed and is now available free to stream. Read my interview with Brooke on the Skylight blog.
Spotlight on Skylight Alumni
In a new monthly feature, we’ll be sharing highlights from our talented Skylight alumni. This month we celebrate Sofia Geld, who served as impact producer on our feature films Rebel Citizen and Disruption. Sofia produced, with director Rebeca Huntt, the feature documentary Beba. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival is an official selection of the 2022 Tribeca Festival and will be distributed by NEON in U.S. theaters later this year.