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Articles by Michael Seifert | Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network
Education Success Happens When Parents Come Together

Education Success Happens When Parents Come Together

Lourdes Flores is the executive director of ARISE, a grassroots organization in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She knows that education is key to a community’s development. Her son is a bright, hard-working student who, last year, was in the eighth grade. Lourdes is a mother who understood the recent changes in Texas’ graduation requirements, and, [...]
What Would Jesus Say About How We Treat Families?About a year ago, things had begun to settle down for the federal government. Nearly 60,000 Central American children and parents, fleeing rape, torture and death from the drug wars in their countries, had come to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas last spring and summer. The children and their moms had come to surrender themselves [...]
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At the U.S.-Mexico Border, It’s Time for Deeper ThinkingThe auditorium was packed at the human trafficking conference in March at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. Most of the audience were students; most of the presentations were by academics. The PowerPoint presentations and the discourse tended to be long on statistics. While the earnest professors kept the jargon to a minimum, the language [...]
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The Need for Water Unites Us AllThe Rio Grande Valley is bounded to the east by the Gulf of Mexico, to the south by the Rio Grande River and to the north and west by an enormous desert of thorny shrubs. It is along the eastern edge of America’s southwest border. There are two highways that cross this border region. About 80 miles [...]
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Life-Changing Moments Require Courage and WisdomA few weeks ago, my wife and I, while on a late evening walk through downtown Houston, came upon an outdoor ice skating rink. We stopped and we watched. The scene mesmerized me. The rink was crowded. The gentle coordination and the accommodation of the skaters to each other amazed me. While most of the [...]
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Texas Residents Paint a Mural – to Welcome EveryoneEarly on an evening at the end of July, dozens of community members from Brownsville, Texas came together to begin to design a mural for the community clinic’s wall. The clinic’s pediatrician laid out the evening’s task. “We want to create a mural that says ‘welcome’ to everyone. What things should we think about painting?” [...]
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And Then There was Joy on the Border – for OnceA few months ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I was reading a book and wondering if it would ever, ever rain again in Brownsville. In this arid land, some older people believe that rainfall is a measure of the quality of dialogue between God and God’s creatures. I was convinced that someone in this [...]
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A Gift for the Kids From HondurasThe children from Central America continue to find their way to our southern border. There are fewer of the young people than a few weeks ago. But then again, this is the hottest time of the year, the worst time to cross Mexico. The situation has politicians in a huff. The more mean-spirited among them [...]
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What’s Driving Migrant Kids to Flee? Take a GuessSara is from San Pedro Sula, a large city in Honduras. She has wiry hair and a four year old who has figured out how to knot one of her bags to her small backpack. I met her in Brownsville, as she was waiting for a bus to take her to New Orleans. After visiting [...]
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Unaccompanied Kids at Border: ‘Nuisance’ or Blessing?On Christmas Eve, 1991, I was preparing to celebrate Mass. I was at Casa Romero, a hospitality center for refugees set up by the Diocese of Brownsville in response to a massive number of Central Americans fleeing violence by heading north to the United States. Because I had some time before we were supposed to [...]
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