Unique Coloring Book Fights Against Family Separation02 Jan 2019
Over the past two years, President Trump has transformed the immigration landscape in the United States. At every turn, he has pushed for harsher immigration policies and a greater emphasis on enforcement. Many of his immigration actions have been strongly supported by his base, and much of the Republican Party. But, when it came to light that the Trump Administration was routinely separating migrant children from their parents, the condemnation was swift and bipartisan. Even many of the President’s supporters have trouble defending the practice.
For dozens of professional artists, mere vocal disapproval of the practice of family separation was not enough. Instead, they banded together to create a children’s book that touches on some of the issues that have been raised regarding this vulnerable population. The unique coloring book, entitled Coloring Without Borders, features illustrations from more than 80 artists; but, unlike traditional coloring books, this one features no lines within which the children are expected to color. With dialogue written in both English and Spanish, all proceeds from sale of the book go to the Families Belong Together Coalition. [See Coloring Without Borders: More Than 80 Artists Come Together to Raise Funds in Support of Asylum Seekers by Chantal Da Silva, Newsweek, 18.Dec.2018.]
There seem to be two target audiences for the book. First, the creators hope the book reaches children from all backgrounds to help get families talking about the issues migrants often face. As Managing Director of Spark, a design company that helped to get the book created, Jennifer Sofio Hall says the book can help teach kids compassion and empathy. As she explained to Newsweek, the book can help parents speak with kids about “… why we should want to live in a world that is multicolored and with a wide range of cultural influences. And that because someone is coming from a poorer country doesn’t make them a lesser person.”
Second, the creators are getting copies of the book into the hands of the migrant children themselves. Christian Robinson, one of the artists who contributed to the book, explained to NPR that he was excited by the prospect of being able to provide some moral support and inspiration directly to these kids. Growing up, his own mother was an addict who was frequently incarcerated. “I couldn’t control the world around me, but I could at least control what the world looked like on a piece of paper…I personally know firsthand the power of creativity and being able to express yourself, especially in circumstances where you might feel powerless.” [See Book ‘Without Borders’ by 80+ Artists Lets Kids Color Outside the Lines by Noel King, NPR, 24.Dec.2018.]
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