To mark International Migrants Day on Wednesday, December 18, Families Belong Together — a coalition of near 250 organizations working to end the detention and separation of families — will be distributing 500 copies of its new children’s coloring and activity book Coloring Without Borders to children in a Mexico shelter as part of a holiday meal. And, they are ready to share it with families everywhere.
Created with the contributions of professional artists from around the world, the book invites children to complete the unfinished illustrations on their own — removing the lines, or borders, which can corral their imaginations. Families Belong Together also intends the book as a tool for kids in any community to engage in compassionate conversation about different cultures and the issue of family separation.
Available online for $25, with all proceeds going to Families Belong Together, Coloring Without Borders features bilingual text (Spanish & English) with a foreword by the organization’s co-founder Ai-jen Poo, and a dedication by Roma writer-director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban). Jennifer Sofio Hall curated the 176-page book from illustrations provided by 80 international artists, including title designers Karin Fong (Counterpart) and Michelle Dougherty (Stranger Things), motion designer Giovana Pham, BAFTA-nominated director/animator Steven Small (Mr Bean) and acclaimed animation artist/writer/director and illustrator Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life, El Tigre).
“I’m from Mexico. A lot of people warned me that if you keep making art about your culture, you’re going to have a hard time finding work … I was told, ‘The only person going to hire you to make Latino artwork is you,’” Gutierrez told Fast Company. “… I always talk about ‘the window’ — whenever a creator presents work, we’re creating a window through which kids can see a different culture, and realize that window is basically a mirror, and all those things you’re seeing are just like you. We all have the same life experiences. They might look different, but they feel the same.”
Further supporting the project, Winter Water Factory is offering a selection of organic cotton children’s shirt featuring sweet characters from the book, illustrated by Jacob Grant, Robin Rosenthal and Steve Small.
Supporters can also donate to Families Belong Together directly here to help the org take swift action to aid parents separated from their children with legal support, mental health services and more.
H/T Fast Company.