Participants in the Border Studies Program have the opportunity to work at a number of different organizations during their time in Tucson. The Field Study is envisioned as a way for you to take part in the life of our Tucson community, and to contribute to the work of justice that is undertaken here in our border city. It is also a way for you to learn and grow as students, work for social and environmental change, as well as develop a more complex and nuanced understanding of the work that is possible for you after you leave college. We are fortunate to have excellent community partners who are committed to providing you with guidance, mentorship, and meaningful experiences at your field-study site.
The schools, non-profit and grassroots organizations we partner each semester vary according to the capacity and need of the organizations themselves. Students have also engaged in research with renowned scholars and authors. The following list is representative of internship sites and projects that BSP students have been involved with in the recent past.
Supervised Field Study Sites
- The Alliance for Global Justice
- Borderlands Theater
- La Coalición de Derechos Humanos
- Colibrí Center for Human Rights
- The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project
- Flowers & Bullets
- Keep Tucson Together (A project of No More Deaths
- Manzo Elementary
- Las Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Garden
- Ochoa Elementary
- Owl & Panther
- Todd Miller
- John Washington
- The mission of the Alliance for Global Justice to achieve social change and economic justice by helping to build a stronger more unified grassroots movement. They recognize that the concentration of wealth and power is the root cause of oppression requiring them to work together across ideologies, issues and communities. The Alliance nurtures organizations seeking fundamental change in international and national conditions that disempower people, create disparities in access to wealth and power, poison the earth, and plunder its resources.
They support locally-based grassroots organizing by sharing political analysis, mobilizing for direct action, monitoring the centers of corporate and government power, expanding channels of communication, and sharing skills and infrastructure. Their commitment to solidarity and to non-hierarchical democratic process enables us to respectfully listen and respond to each other within the movement.
To learn more, visit afgj.org
- Borderlands Theater is a professional theater company recognized nationally and internationally for the development and production of theater and educational programs that reflect the diverse voices of the U.S./ Mexico border region. Although focusing on the Latino/Chicano/Mexicano voice as the core voice to nurture and support, Borderlands works interactively with all voices of the region. The “border,” both as physical and social landscape, is a metaphor for Borderlands’ work. The metaphor allows, invites and even demands, both a regional and an international understanding of what it represents. Border people, in the best sense of the word, are citizens of the world.
To learn more, visit borderlandstheater.org
- Derechos Humanos is a grassroots organization that promotes the human and civil rights of all migrants regardless of their immigration status. Consequently, they fight the militarization of our southern border home and combat the discrimination and human rights abuses of both our citizen and non-citizen brothers and sisters.
In the context of an increasingly militarized border and the criminalization of immigration, Derechos Humanos works to empower those most directly impacted to create change and promote justice, challenging the borders that seek to divide us.
To learn more, visit derechoshumanosaz.net
- The Colibrí Center for Human Rights promotes healing and change by working with families of disappeared migrants to identify and honor those who have lost their lives on the US-Mexico Border. Colibrí works to create a safe, humane, and effective process for families of missing migrants to find answers.
To learn more, visit colibricenter.org
- The mission of the The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP) is to provide free legal and social services to detained adults and unaccompanied children facing immigration removal proceedings in Arizona. These services include, but are not limited to “know your rights” presentations, intakes, and legal representation to unaccompanied children being held in the custody of the federal government. Although the government assists indigent criminal defendants and civil litigants through public defenders and legal aid attorneys, it does not provide attorneys for people in immigration removal proceedings. As a result, an estimated 86 percent of the detained people go unrepresented due to poverty. The Florence Project strives to address this inequity both locally and nationally through direct service, partnerships with the community, and advocacy and outreach efforts.
To learn more, visit firrp.org
- Flowers & Bullets’ mission is to reclaim their cultural roots and amplify them through sustainability, art, and rebellion to heal and empower their neighborhood- Barrio Centro. Flowers & Bullets is led by people of color from the barrio and they work to create an equitable, healthy, empowered and engaged Barrio Centro.
To learn more, visit flowersandbullets.com
- Keep Tucson Together is an all-volunteer project that has been working side by side with community members who are in immigration removal proceedings to assist in getting their cases closed.
Keep Tucson Together is an outgrowth of the We Reject Racism campaign. It was designed to provide legal support to members of protection networks and the community at large. Their primary purpose is to stop deportations. They work with a volunteer attorney to try and close cases through asylum claims, prosecutorial discretion, and as a last resort, launching public political campaigns to stop deportations.
To learn more, visit nomoredeaths.org
- Serving the Barrio Hollywood community on Tucson’s west side, Manzo Elementary School is a local innovator in using gardening and ecology as tools for place-based experiential learning while fostering social and emotional growth. Teachers and students utilize on-site ecology resources including vegetable gardens, chicken coop, greenhouse, aquaponic system, tortoise habitat, pollinator gardens, and composting and recycling programs as the basis for classroom instruction. The Ecology Program at Manzo presently serves as a model for 11 other schools in the Tucson Unified School District in the process of developing garden-based instruction programs and Manzo hosts student interns from the University of Arizona interested in learning from and contributing to the Ecology Program. The objective of the Ecology Program at Manzo is to utilize on-site garden and ecology resources as tools for place-based experiential learning while fostering social and emotional growth.
To learn more, visit gomanzo.com
- Las Milpitas an urban farm in southwest Tucson comprises 20 acres of land in which the local neighborhoods (predominantly immigrant and low-income communities of color) take ownership and responsibility over the land. It partners with the Tucson Community Food Bank and aims to create an inclusive and participatory community-run farm where local residents can reclaim a farming heritage and promote food justice, nutrition, and self-sufficiency in their own communities. Las Milpitas aims to bring residents from all areas of Tucson together to build community and create strong leaders who can create and advocate for a resilient, sustainable local food system. It is a project with a broad base of community support.To learn more, visit communityfoodbank.org
- Ochoa Elementary is located in South Tucson in a predominantly working-class, Latinx neighborhood that serves students in grades pre-K through five. The school implements a Regio-inspired model for their education that emphasizes art, parental involvement, and student driven objectives. BSP students that are placed at Ochoa work with local families and school officials on the school’s garden that teaches Ochoa students to grow food in their community garden for student’s families.
To learn more, visit tusd1.org/ochoa
- Owl & Panther seeks to find a balance of peace and harmony between all cultures and among refugee children and their families. They offer refugee families opportunities for personal expression, enhanced self-esteem, validation of self-worth, and ways of connection to others. Owl & Panther is a multi-faceted program that partners with a constellation of teaching artists and organizations to provide innovative, ever-changing activities to its participants through expressive arts programming, service learning, and trips into nature. The Tucson branch of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) recommends new arrivals for the program.To learn more, visit owlandpanther.org
- Todd Miller has researched and written about border issues for more than 15 years, the last eight as an independent journalist and writer. He resides in Tucson, Arizona, but also has spent many years living and working in Oaxaca, Mexico. His work has appeared in the New York Times, TomDispatch, The Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, In These Times, Guernica, and Al Jazeera English, among other places.
Miller has authored four books: Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders (City Lights, 2021), Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World (Verso, 2019), Storming the Wall; Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security (City Lights, 2017), and Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security (City Lights, 2014)
He’s a contributing editor on border and immigration issues for NACLA Report on the Americas and its column “Border Wars”
To learn more, visit toddmillerwriter.com
- John Washington is a freelance journalist and translator. He is a frequent contributor to The Nation, The Intercept, and Vox where he writes about immigration and criminal justice. He has authored The Dispossessed: A story of Asylum at the U.S Border and Beyond (Verso, 2020). He has also translated numerous books, including Anabel Hernandez’s forthcoming Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing Forty-Three Students.
To learn more, visit jblackburnwashington.com