“Access to information means access to justice; access to knowledge and the tools necessary to mobilize that knowledge and lead to integration”.
With this affirmation the co-directors of FCJ Refugee Centre received the Pioneers for Change Award in Literacy and Access to information 2013.
During the ceremony they highlighted that access to information means access to justice; access to knowledge and the tools necessary to mobilize that knowledge and lead to integration; in only one kind of integration and is called successful integration. It means access to equity; access to civil society, wherever is defined by them; access to social services and diverse arenas of support; access to fair and sustainable housing; access to healthcare. And despite the progress that has been made in the past, avenues to access have become increasingly narrowed, particularly with the disturbing changes that have taken place over the past year.
Also they mentioned that the access to Information for the diverse populations needs to be underlined with ideas of self-determination and self-identification. Pathways to access need to be paved with anti-oppression and Positive Spaces. “Information needs to be readily available for members of diverse communities-whether someone identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or straight, information and dissemination of information needs to reflect the multiple needs and intricate fabric of our identities” said Loly Rico during her participation at the ceremony.
Francisco Rico mentioned that as the doors close, and our society seems to be moving in retrograde, precarity increases for many newcomers. At the FCJ Refugee Centre we have always served anyone seeking assistance, regardless of their immigration status. And with recent changes, such as the addition of designated countries of origin (called by the media “safe” countries… is Mexico safe?), new gradations of status are emerging, and putting people at greater risk. And as the number of precarious migrants is steadily on the rise- we are talking about non-status people… What they called “illegals”), we need to be steadfast in our response.
They finished their participation thanking for this recognition: “we feel that this award is a symbol of the work we’re doing, and support to continue our walk with uprooted people. At moments like this, the words of Antonio Machado come to mind… “Traveller, there is no road; the road is made by walking.” Thank you for helping us makes this road.”