Transnational activism: Intersectional identities and peacebuilding in the border justice movement

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Dueck-Read, Jodi
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The transnational border justice movement in Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, MX is responding to violence and death. The U.S.-Mexico borderlands have become burial grounds; the remains of 2,908 persons have been found in Arizona since 2000 (Derechos Humanos, 2015). The border justice movement engages in many different activities to prevent this loss of life. Activists on both sides of the border offer humanitarian aid, protest border and policing policies, and develop advocacy efforts on the militarized U.S.-Mexico border. This ethnographic research in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is born from the peacebuilding experiences of the researcher and explores identities and peacebuilding in a transnational social movement and considers alternative narratives of the border justice movement from the perspectives of women, people of color, and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community. Drawing from diverse voices, this analysis fills in current gaps in social movement literature on transnational social activism in the Sonoran-Arizona border context. Furthermore, this scholarly endeavor illustrates how agency is shared among movement actors to build a more sustainable peace. This study creates new connections in the fields of Peace and Conflict Studies and social movements and draws attention to what is currently under-theorized in peacebuilding—how racialized and gendered power imbalances manifest and operate on multiple levels in peacebuilding activities. This research illustrates the constraints of racialized and gendered peacebuilding in transnational social activism at the U.S.-Mexico border while also highlighting the potential of using ritual and cross-border actors to strengthen peacebuilding efforts.
Peace and Conflict Studies, Peacebuilding, Social movements, Border Studies, Racialized peacebuilding, Auto-ethnography, Ethnography, LGBTQ Studies, U.S.-Mexico border