Billy: Waiting for Change

Explore themes from Billy's point of view as a Unitarian minister and Tucson native. 

A Unitarian Samaritan

Billy is a Unitarian minister, which is a cornerstone of his character. He met his wife Anita making water runs on the border as a volunteer with the church. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson was, and still is, one of the founding leaders of the movement No Mas Muertes (or No More Deaths), which focuses on improving conditions for immigrants near the border and ending border fatalities.

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Volunteers like Billy have been arrested for violating border and immigration laws, ranging from knowingly transporting an immigrant to even charges of littering for leaving water bottles out for them. 

The Unitarian Church issued a call to action for congregants to advocate for humane treatment of all immigrants, regardless of status. 

"My dad’s family has been here since Tucson was Mexico. They didn’t cross a border, the border crossed them."

- Eva, talking about her family at graduation

A Border Drawn and Redrawn

Much of the play is set in Tuscon, AZ for an important reason.

 

Tucson was part of the Mexican state of Sonora until it became a U.S. Territory in 1854. It runs along the Santa Cruz Valley, which historically supports a number of Mexican-American and Indigenous communities. The south side of Tucson is known for its distinctly Hispanic atmosphere, from restaurants and cantinas to street art and the annual Fiesta Garibaldi - 12 hours of music, dancing, food, and drinks. 

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Tucson is one of many cities in the U.S. with a complicated relationship to the border. 

Consider This: Belief & Doubt

Would you break the law if you thought it was the right thing to do?

 

Unpack controversial issues with these two complementary activities from English professor and freewriting pioneer, Peter Elbow

Image by Yasin Yusuf