Two years ago I was watching the news in our hotel in Florida. Top of the cycle were stories about immigration. Immigrants were struggling to get across the border but the access was getting harder by the minute. The president, calling them "rapists and criminals" declared that he would build a wall from one end of the US-Mexican border to the other. Even people with sick children who needed medical treatment in the United States were being denied entry.
I tried to process my tears and heartache about what was happening by writing a song about it. This song, Heart-Shaped Key, started out quite differently than it ended up, but that's part of the process. When I finished it, I sang it at some open mics and people began requesting it. I decided to share it with others by making a music video of one woman's story of trying to immigrate from El Salvador with her baby, something that reflected what I had heard in the news.
The illustrations in the video are simple, as if this complicated story is being told by a child. I engaged my neighbor, Eleanor, age seven, to color the images in her own imaginative way. The result is a three-minute piece that I hope will compel people to donate to immigration services. Or at least to think about what is happening with a little more compassion. Click this link to see and hear.