May 4, 2015 — The Kino Border Initiative (KBI), a Jesuit ministry on the U.S.-Mexico border, was honored with the “Legacy of the Martyrs” Award from the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) on April 29.
Given in recognition of KBI’s ongoing commitment to affirming the dignity of migrants through accompaniment, advocacy and education, the award was presented at KBI’s Migrant Outreach Center in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Founded in 2009, the KBI is a bi-national organization located in Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, offering aid to migrants and working to improve border and immigration policies.
"Each person who comes to Kino comes with a story," said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, at the award event. "These are stories of despair, stories of a desire for a life filled with more dignity, stories of hope. Kino’s response is not only the immediate needs of food, clothing, and housing but also through analysis of the situation and engagement in advocacy that can cause changes in the hearts and minds of those with power to create a hemisphere with more justice, with more humanity."
Jesuit Father Sean Carroll (second from left), executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, accepted the "Legacy of the Martyrs" Award with members of KBI's staff and board of directors from Chris Kerr (far left), executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
“We are very honored to receive this award from the Ignatian Solidarity Network,” said Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, executive director of the KBI. “This recognition motivates us to continue to serve as a humanizing presence on the U.S.-Mexico border and to foster bi-national solidarity on the issue of migration, through humanitarian aid, education and research/advocacy.”
“The Kino Border Initiative is doing tremendous work to respond to the needs of those marginalized by our current border reality in U.S. and Mexico,” said Kerr. “Like the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, KBI is striving for a more just world. Their commitment to not just meet the immediate needs of those who migrate, but also to engage in advocacy that can bring about systemic change is so important as our country grapples with the need for comprehensive immigration reform.”
Other winners of the “Legacy of the Martyrs” Award have included Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts as well as Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación and Radio Progreso, Jesuit human rights ministries in Honduras. ISN recently collaborated with America Magazine and the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States to produce a documentary on the reality of violence and injustice in Honduras, featuring the staff of Radio Progreso.
The 2015 award was part of ISN’s yearlong commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Jesuits’ deaths, which kicked off with a delegation to El Salvador comprised of Jesuit institution representatives from across the U.S. [Source: Ignatian Solidarity Network]