“Students in my Women Crossing Borders class initiated the first event,” said Cynthia Bejarano, Regents Professor in gender and sexuality studies. “I wanted to push students to think beyond the traditional final research paper or group work. Tamika Jackson, one of our majors was then interning with the Las Cruces City Council and was working with then City councilman, Nate Small. As a result of her efforts and other students like Diana Lopez, students presented a proclamation recognizing Las Cruces Transnational Solidarity Day. [x]
During the Spring Semester of 2015, a group of students enrolled in Dr. Bejarano’s Women Crossing Borders class, offered through the Interdisciplinary Studies Department within the College of Arts and Sciences, worked to create a transnational day of solidarity. The class was filled with an array of students with different backgrounds, and a variety of educational goals. At the beginning, each student had their own preconceived notions, personal conflicts, emotional connections, and stories that testified to the harsh truths of living in a border city. Through class collaboration and our positive ideas towards creating change, we decided to utilize City Government to spread awareness about hard-hitting issues impacting local and global communities. We did this by creating a Proclamation to promote change coined “Transnational Solidarity Day”. This proclamation supports social justice efforts that recognize femicide, sexual assaults and other atrocities, in hopes to eliminate gender-based violence around the World. The students were joined by the groups Mujeres y Hombres Activ@s RevolucionalRi@s (MHAR) and Aggie Solidarity.
On May 4, 2016, the first Transnational Solidarity Day was officially recognizes and facilitated by students from Dr. Bejarano’s Women & Human Rights course. Students from the spring 2016 Women & Human Rights class shared an array of their work on Transnational Solidarity Day that focus on Gender Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Migration & Gender at the U.S.-Mexico border and Sex Slave Trafficking. Since then, the yearly action has continued with the showing of the documentary The Deportation of Innocence in 2017 directed by Francisco Alarcón, that was followed by a panel discussion by immigration professionals and a poster board session of student projects. The panel discussion included: Rafael Alarcón Acosta, research professor from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, Mexico; Macrina Cardenas Monteño, a volunteer at Casa del Migrante de Tijuana; and Eugenia Hernandez Sanchez, a research professor from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.
See the 2018 Press Release Here