America the Borderland


America the Borderland is a multiplatform storytelling project that shines a light on the changemakers who are having a positive impact in their communities along the border between Mexico and the United States. At a time when immigration is at the forefront of a volatile and polarized national debate, the stories of these changemakers, shared in their own words, provides a nuanced and authentic perspective that is so often missing from mainstream coverage of the issue.

This year, following the success of our first effort, “Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame,” the Moral Courage Project iterated this model of first-person storytelling and distribution by shifting the lens south. In May of 2018, a team of University of Dayton undergraduate students traveled to El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, along with faculty members and practitioners. The student team was selected through a competitive process and were trained in interviewing techniques, fieldwork and documentary ethics, and border politics and history.

On the ground, the team collaborated with grassroots organizations, immersed themselves in immigrant communities, collected testimony from everyday changemakers and documented the experience through photography. Upon return, the Moral Courage Project produced a podcast series, a zine, a website, and a traveling exhibit.