The UCLA Labor Center’s Global Solidarity Project believes that in a global economy, unions, workers, and communities must work together across borders and continue to “build a culture of cross-border solidarity” that is, to support mass political mobilizations across borders and of the U.S. and Mexican communities (Bacon 2011, 3). The Cross-Border Solidarity Network (CBSN) is an initiative engaging in the education, research, advocacy and exchange of ideas between multiple sectors of civil society, government, media, and the academy serving the migrant community at the U.S.-Mexico border in a moment of crisis. In the tradition of the UCLA Labor Center’s Global Solidarity Project, CBSN will continue to build multi-scale bridges of transnational solidarity, foster alliances between multiple stakeholders both locally and globally, and bring networks of civil society closer together.
Every day we build transnational partnerships among community leaders and scholars and conduct key research to improve living standards and working conditions of people on the move during moments of crisis and throughout the globe. Multinational corporations and multilateral policy agreements know no boundaries and can dodge labor, environmental, and human rights regulations. Migrant workers and their families pay the price. Only through joining together around our common interests can we challenge border violence, corporate domination and unilateral development initiatives and projects across borders.
Therefore, the UCLA Labor Center’s CBNS is invested in:
1. Raising public awareness of the rights of immigrants and workers in communities in North and Central America.
2. Promoting a reflexive and critical debate on the organizational strategies and lessons learned from advocacy leaders of cross-border workers and immigrant rights.
3. Fostering transnational collaboration, research, advocacy and community-engaged scholarship between cross-border immigrants and workers’ rights and campaigns in the U.S. and Mexico border region.
We accomplish these goals through the following research projects:
1. Cross-Border Labor Observer Laboratory (in partnership with the Colegio de la Frontera Norte).
2. Multilingual (English, Spanish, and/or Kreyol, Portuguese, Maya K’iche’) cross-border solidarity digital archive, offering open-access and multi-sectoral resources on research and advocacy, news and media, events and programming, popular education and community-engaged scholarship, and the history of our project.
3. Multi-sectoral and transnational programming of events and spaces for convening and dialogue between cross-border support networks and stakeholders.
The UCLA Labor Center’s CBSN is one of a kind and the first university initiative to bridge, foster, and interconnect diverse sectors of civil society, research, media, and government agencies serving immigrant communities at the U.S.-Mexico border and in the era of border crisis. CBSN expands the efforts that the UCLA Labor Center and the Global Solidarity Project have been doing since the mid-20th Century, advocating for social justice and solidarity across borders. Since 2018 the UCLA Labor Center has begun renewing these efforts by drawing attention to the experiences that migrants and displaced people on and beyond the U.S.-Mexico border during a moment of humanitarian and immigration crisis. Thus, in 2019 the Cross-Border Solidarity Network officially materialized in order to continue to promote the practice of and building a “culture of cross-border solidarity” and paying attention to the current context of humanitarian and U.S.-Mexico border crisis.