On-campus students may have recently noticed a large, cardboard box asking for mask donations in the atrium of Peirce Dining Hall. Members of Kenyon Sin Fronteras, a student group committed to supporting immigrant communities, organized the drive and will send the donated masks to immigrants who are essential workers in rural Ohio.
Sin Fronteras implemented the mask drive in solidarity with the Immigrant Worker Project, an organization dedicated to supporting rural immigrant workers from Latin America.
Currently, there are two drop-off locations for masks: the Peirce Dining Hall atrium and the Harcourt Parish Episcopal Church. Sin Fronteras asks community members to donate either an unopened box of disposable masks or a sealed plastic bag of clean cloth masks. Community members who are not currently on campus or who do not have extra masks are encouraged to donate to Sin Fronteras’ Venmo account, @ksinfronteras, with the caption “mask drive.” Donations will be accepted through Nov. 16, at which point R. Todd Ruppert Professor of International Studies Jennifer Johnson will send the boxes to the Immigrant Worker Project.
Along with their peers, Sin Fronteras members Johanna Fickel ’21 and Claire Sears ’21 founded the organization after a spring 2019 trip to the United States-Mexico border in Arizona. The trip was part of the coursework for Borders and Border Crossings (SOCY 237), taught by Johnson.
“[After] seeing a lot of aspects of immigration and the way that borders impact our lives… we didn’t want to just have a short discussion about it after we came back,” Fickel said.
Since the organization’s inception, Sin Fronteras has hosted discussions, sponsored webinars and sent informative publications out to the Kenyon community. “We wanted to generate empathy for a variety of people who are affected by borders,” Fickel said.
All of the Sin Fronteras leadership members are seniors and not currently on campus. However, this has not stopped them from executing successful programming. “We managed to get some wonderful first years on campus who were willing to put up flyers and put out donation boxes. From what I’ve heard, there have been quite a bit of donations to the box in Peirce,” Fickel said. “It’s been wonderful to hear, especially since, as seniors, we aren’t able to actually see the progress on campus.”
Sin Fronteras is holding virtual meetings throughout the semester to sponsor programs, plan future events and continue the conversation about immigrant experiences. The organization can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.