2019 Latin America & the Caribbean Workshops

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Organizing on Latin America Issues in an America-First Moment 

This workshop will provide an overview of the Trump Administration’s policies towards Latin America, from immigration to foreign policy.  It will identify opportunities and risks at this challenging moment for activists and interested people concerned with encouraging U.S. policy towards the Latin American region to support peace, social justice, and human rights.  The workshop will focus on what you can do to move towards more just policies.

Build Bridges and End the Embargo:  Navigating the Troubled Waters of U.S. Cuban Relations

The U.S. embargo on Cuba has been a failed and unjust policy that restricts American liberties and hurts Cuban families. Come hear from voices from church partners in Cuba, Cuban Americans, and policy experts on how U.S. policy and travel restrictions take a toll on families and livelihoods in Cuba, and what we can do to change it.

In Harm’s Way: Risking Freedom and Life Defending Rights in Latin America

Human rights defenders working at great peril to themselves describe their struggle to guarantee basic human rights. Joined by a returned human rights accompanier, the defenders, from various Latin American countries, speak of their valiant challenges and of the support we in the US can provide.

Human Rights Struggles in Brazil in the Era of Bolsonaro 

In recent years, Brazil has experienced serious backsliding in the area of human rights, with, for instance, an increase in the number of killings of environmental activists and of Afro-Brazilian youth at the hands of police. Under the new presidential administration of Jair Bolsonaro, who has made threats against activists and numerous historically marginalized groups, there are signs that the human rights situation may grow much worse. At this workshop, Brazil-based activists will discuss how organized movements are addressing ongoing attacks on human rights – including the rights of indigenous peoples, low income Afro-Brazilian communities, small farmers or LGBTI activists – and how people of faith in the US can stand in solidarity with these groups. 

The Refugee Exodus from Central America: Calling for Protections at Home & in the Region

Central American families, individuals, and children have been increasingly migrating to the United States over the last few years, fleeing a mixture of violence, corruption, poverty and insecurity. What’s new is the way in which they do so—more and more by mobilizing into large groups or caravans. This exodus—a shift in the migration paradigm—represents migrants’ own responses to their governments’ failures to protect their rights. It has evoked xenophobia, restrictions to refugee protection, and repressive measures by governments across the region, including the United States. Workshop panelists will address these new dynamics of movement, including how civil society organizations on the ground have been responding, and participants will learn to build a rights-based narrative to call for protections for asylum seekers in their own communities and advocacy.

Forced to Flee: Root Causes of Migration

Over the last ten years, a series of interrelated factors have contributed to a “perfect storm” of root causes that force people to migrate from Latin America to the United States. Panelists will discuss migration push factors, which include political repression, violence exacerbated by gangs and security forces, lack of jobs and access to education, growing food insecurity due to drought and climate change, and the resulting inability of individuals to support themselves and their families in their home countries/local communities. Panelists will also discuss movements in the U.S. and Latin America working to address these factors and to create positive change that enables people to stay and livable communities to grow.

Contributing Sponsors & Partner Organizations