Saturday, June 15, 2019

Episode 11: "Run for the Border" with Alex Vernon, Immigration Law Professor on the US-Canada and US-Mexico border

Summer running is upon us! Congrats to Dads & Grads... Listen on :  Apple   Anchor   Spotify  
Kicking off our summer series of episodes on Social Justice, Faith and Running; please join us as we explore the dichotomy of the US's Northern and Southern border this week, with runner
and immigration law professor Alex Vernon.  Alex and his family live on the Canadian side of the border in Windsor, Ontario but he commutes each day to teach at University of Detroit Mercy's Law School. He describes his experience "on a living, breathing border", and what it is like to run on each side-- including the experience of the Detroit-Windsor International Marathon route.
However, much of the real learning for me in this episode occurs when he takes us on a journey with his students to the southern border with Mexico in the area along El Paso, on an Ignatian "Encuentro" (encounter). They spend time being educated about the lives of people in the border areas, both on the US and Mexican side, and Alex describes his own experience travelling the border by foot and what the physical geography is like. He provides a short synopsis of the current situation, how things look "on the ground" at the southern border, and why he and his students were surprised by what they witnessed when they arrived just a few weeks ago, for a week-long service learning trip.

Finally, Alex shares his insight into how and why running parallels his passion for social justice...

And about his work "running" an immigration law clinic to educate our future lawyers, lawmakers & judges, and of course serve newcomers to the US and Canada. In this episode, he expands our understanding of what the border is and experience compassion for our neighbors, perhaps even "putting ourselves in their shoes" for a few minutes. 
Links, from episode discussion:
Canada Jesuit Migration Network
Detroit-Windsor International Marathon
ISF Cross Country Running (international youth exchange)

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