A Catholic friar from Mexico who advocates for migrants will speak at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Room 163 of the Alumni Memorial Union at Marquette University. It is the initial event of four spring forums sponsored by the Marquette Democracy Project.
Friar Tomás González Castillo, founder and director of La 72, a sanctuary near the Mexico-Guatemala border, is a leader of a Catholic movement to advocate for migrants in Mexico. He spends much of his time traveling Mexico to call attention to the many issues surrounding the migrants.
“As one of the most provocative and outspoken advocates for migrants in Mexico, Fray Tomás will engage the Milwaukee community in thinking about the implications of new federal immigration policies and in planning how to respond,” said Jessica Rich, an assistant professor of political science and co-director of the project.
La 72 was established as part of a Catholic underground railroad to protect migrants on their journey. The organization provides cots, meals and a few days of safe haven to hundreds of young Central Americans attempting to travel to the United States each week.
The Marquette Democracy Project creates a forum for activists to share their experiences with Marquette students, with each other and with people across the world. The project brings international activists to Marquette for brief visits, during which they teach classes, give a public talk open to the Milwaukee community and tell their stories to student journalists and videographers.
The co-directors are Barrett McCormick, professor of political science, and Jessica Rich, assistant professor of political science. The project is sponsored by the Office of International Education, the Center for Transnational Justice, the Department of Political Science and the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.