February 2, 2023 (Los Angeles, CA) — Miguel A. Santana, President and C.E.O. of the Weingart Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial justice, released the following statement.
“The Biden Administration’s plan to deface Friendship Park by building an unnecessary and unsightly wall is an afront on the spirit of this important landmark and symbol of the centuries- old interconnected relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.
“For generations, Friendship Park has been a gathering place for people on both sides of the border to build good will and unite with family. The importance of this meeting place runs parallel to the increasingly restrictive immigration policies of the U.S. that separate families. Before its closure on the U.S. side in 2020, Friendship Park offered the only opportunity for thousands to see their loved ones through thick metal mesh.
If this plan proceeds, instead of a symbol of friendship, the park will represent division. We join the Friends of Friendship Park in calling on the Biden Administration to halt its plans to destroy this connection between our two countries. Instead of more barriers, the Biden Administration should repair existing fencing and reopen this historic park so it can continue to be a gathering place for families on both sides of the border.”
ABOUT THE WEINGART FOUNDATION
The Weingart Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all. Our vision is a dynamic and effective social change sector that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice. Founded in 1951, the Foundation has to date granted over $1 billion to organizations, strengthening their efforts in human services, housing, health, education, and community power building. In addition, the Foundation builds networks and collaboratives with philanthropic, public sector, and community leaders to advance equity and justice together.