New statue of liberty at mexico border

This past Friday, the first of a series of grassroots events began to crowdfundan ambitious project: a reimagining of the Statue of Liberty, erected near the U.S.–Mexico border, visible for miles as a symbol of compassion. The campaign kicked off with an art installation at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the San Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego, California, which overlooks the border. Residents gathered to write the names of loved ones who had been affected by U.S. immigration policy on ribbons, and tie them to a fence. The installation was planned by the San Diego Organizing Project (SDOP), which comprises 31 faith-based congregations.
Though the word “crowdfunding” only entered our vernacular in 2006, the original Statue of Liberty’s history was actually an early example of sourcing funds from the general public. While the statue itself was a gift from France, the U.S. government failed to fund the base upon which it would stand. In 1884, publisher Joseph J. Pulitzer put out a notice for a fundraiser to pay for the base. It’s estimated that up to 160,000 people donated, three-quarters of whom contributed less than a dollar.
Nearly a century and a half later, this community in California hopes to accomplish a similar feat. The idea for a monument was suggested by churchgoers at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in hopes of starting a meaningful initiative in this time of turmoil, as America enters its sixth month under a zero-tolerance immigration policy that impacts migrants and asylum-seekers alike. It was important for the design to come from the immigrant community, so SDOP tasked artist Jim Bliesner with conceptualizing the monument based on the ideas of local residents.


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