Common Ground on the Border
Faculty leader: Walt Michael
This Jan Term course (January 13-21, 2020) will take an in-depth, interactive look at the realities of immigration in the the Arizona-Mexico borderlands. On campus, a series of films and discussions during the fall semester will precede a January trip to Sahuarita, Arizona, where we will attend the Border Fair and Common Ground on the Border, two simultaneous events that take place at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Students will learn from a wide variety of activist humanitarian border organizations as well as enrolling in a selection of Common Ground on the Border classes, including art, music and dialog. Students will work with the Samaritans in a variety of activities including visiting with immigrants at the border in Nogales and volunteering in the Sahuarita Food Bank. Students will reside in the homes of members of the Green Valley Samaritans.
Students will also visit the US District Court in Tucson where Operation Streamline takes place, sentencing up to 100 migrants daily to prison terms and deportation. Students will have the opportunity to experience the incredible beauty of the Sonoran Desert, which may include a visit to the Sonoran Desert Museum, a day-hike in the Madeira Canyon and visiting one of several Spanish missions. Mexican cuisine abounds in the borderlands and students will enjoy meals reflecting area foodways.
As a capstone, students will work on presentations (writing, film, audio) that will be presented on campus in spring semester in an effort to shed light on the realities of immigration issues.
The class will be led by Walt Michael, Founder of Common Ground on the Hill and Artist in Residence at McDaniel College. Click on this link to read about his experiences in the borderlands. There are two entries ….. scroll down to the bottom for the first entry, then read the entry at the top.
Participants must be comfortable with a fair amount of walking, exploring the Sonoran Desert. Participants must be mentally and physically able to handle high stress situations. Knowledge of Spanish is desirable but not a prerequisite.
LOCATION AND ITINERARY
Location: Sahuarita, Arizona
Students will gather very early on Monday morning, Jan. 13th and fly to Tucson, AZ, returning to BWI on Tues., Jan. 21st.
Highlighted Itinerary Activities
Jan. 13: Leave from BWI, arrival in Arizona, dinner, orientation
Jan. 14: Visit Sonoran Desert Museum and US Federal District Court, Tucson.
Jan. 15: Tour the Sonoran Desert Visit a migrant memorial in the desert
Jan. 16: Visit the Commodore, a Jesuit migrant care station in Nogales.
Jan. 17: Common Ground on the Border events: music and craft classes, evening concert featuring blues artist Scott Ainslie.
Jan. 18: Common Ground on the Border events: music and craft classes, key note speakers and a concert of a variety of Southwest musicians.
Jan. 19: Tubac Presidio Concert with Teodoro Ramirez, Tucson’s Official Troubador and John Coinman, Musical Director of Dances With Wolves and the Kevin Costner Band. Shopping at the Tubac Presidio outlets.
Jan. 20: Sight Seeing
Jan. 21: Return to Maryland
HOUSING AND MEALS
Students will stay in the homes of church members and Green Valley Samaritans. Meals will be provided at the Common Ground on the Border event, and other meals will be taken in restaurants. All food costs are covered by the total fee.
Course objective: To gain a full understanding of immigration issues in the Sonoran Desert, while working with the Green Valley Samaritans and attending Common Ground on the Border and the Border Fair.
Students will view several films during the Fall semester at a time convenient to all participants. Instructor will give an orientation and group panning session.
Students will write a reflection paper and make a campus presentation in the second semester, utilizing cell phone videos and pictures, interviews, etc.
HOW TO APPLY
Maximum capacity: 6
Click "Apply Now" above and follow the prompts to log in. Participants will need to speak with Walt before being accepted.
Note: Registration in a study tour does not guarantee participation. The faculty leader for the study must provide final approval for all registered students to participate.
Application deadline: Oct. 1, 2019
Last day to withdrawal: Oct. 15, 2019