WELCOME THE STRANGER
“We still stand as a nation of immigrants, welcoming those who are oppressed and those who are refugees.” –Bishop Robert McElroy
Inspired by the Statue of Liberty, we will build a monument high above the U.S.-Mexico border, welcoming a new generation of immigrants and refugees yearning for freedom and prosperity.
The monument, an interpretation of Mary as Lady Liberty, will stand tall above the border fence in San Ysidro, California, visible for miles to welcome aspiring new Americans.
The statue will be illuminated each night, ensuring she is always visible for miles as a beacon of welcome to all.
WHY YOUR SUPPORT IS SO IMPORTANT TODAY
In 1884, the U.S. government decided a national declaration of welcome wasn’t a priority and refused to fund the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. In response, more than 120,000 Americans contributed to finish construction.
The time has come for a modern monument to declare our welcome to a new generation of immigrants and refugees, yearning for freedom and shared prosperity.
“Welcome the Stranger” has garnered more than $1 million in support, and we still need your help to raise $1 million more to complete construction.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
Who designed it?
The American immigrant community in San Ysidro, California, where the statue will stand, led the monument’s design to ensure it reflects the modern immigrant experience.
The extensive design process included community dialogue and art therapy sessions facilitated by community engagement muralist and certified art therapist Berenice Badillo. Renowned sculptor Jim Bliesner used the community’s direction to render the final design.
Why Mary as Lady Liberty?
Mary, mother of Jesus, and her family fled to Egypt as refugees shortly after Jesus’ birth. Mary understands the plight of refugees because she was one. She is a symbol of hope and faith.
When are we building it?
We can ignite a flame of inclusion and hospitality by completing construction of “Welcome the Stranger” by January 2020 and by raising at least $1 million.
To learn more, click here to view our full video, which features local faith leaders involved in organizing the "Welcome the Stranger" project.
Will you join us to make history?
Welcome the Stranger is organized by San Diego Organizing Project (SDOP).
SDOP is a 501(c)(3) organization, and your donation to this project is tax-deductible. SDOP is a nonpartisan, multi-issue federation of 31 faith congregations building community power to drive equity and justice in San Diego County. As one of the most diverse grassroots groups in the region, we uniquely bridge racial, cultural and economic divides.
We build community power by training more than 70,000 families to organize and advocate for improvements in the quality of life all families. We are a member of the Faith in Action National Network, which has more than 1,000 member institutions representing one million families in 17 states across the country.