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Voces Fuertes Benefit Concert: “We See You And We Care”

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Voces Fuertes - Band


“For the past two years, we’ve heard from clinicians all over the country variations on this theme, which is ‘my patients are experiencing increasing levels of fear and stress; the families that I work with are feeling increasingly isolated, and confining themselves to their home and work; families are no longer feeling welcome in their communities,” said Jillian Hopewell, Migrant Clinicians Network’s Director of Education and Communication. “MCN has always stood firmly for health justice, for immigrants, for the mobile poor, for other vulnerable populations. For over 30 years, we have spoken loudly and consistently about the need for health care access, for human rights, for worker health and safety, and for family togetherness.”


Jill speaking at Voces Fuertes concert


Hopewell was addressing hundreds of Bay Area supporters who had filled the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California for Voces Fuertes, a youth-led benefit concert of young musicians supporting Migrant Clinicians Network.

The Voces Fuertes core organizers, all Berkeley-area high school students, had gathered dozens of their talented friends and schoolmates for an impressively professional concert, which included violinists, vocalists, instrumental accompaniment, and a full choir. Many hailed from the Oakland School of the Arts; all donated their time and talents to the effort.


Voces Fuertes - guitar


“By putting on this amazing event... I hope that the musicians and organizers come away from this experience understanding how powerful they are in this moment in time, and moving into the future,” Hopewell said, to applause, adding that the event wasn’t just a fundraiser, but a ray of bright hope. She concluded with gratitude to the organizers, and with hope that after the concert, participants would leave feeling “just a little bit better about our shared human experience, and who we can be as a human community.”


Voces Fuertes - violin


Voces Fuertes raised over $14,600 for Migrant Clinicians Network, substantially surpassing their $10,000 goal. The funds will go to Medical Review for Immigrants, MCN’s initiative to help migrants who are detained but who have urgent medical needs. Through the initiative, MCN links pro-bono attorneys with clinicians who can review medical records and provide documentation demonstrating that the migrant needs medical attention. Once a migrant attains humanitarian parole through this process, Health Network, MCN’s bridge case management program, will assure that the migrant can quickly get the care he or she needs, which is often very difficult as a result of their lack of documentation status and the urgency of their needs.


Voces Fuertes Organizers

(Voces Fuertes Organizers Ruby Chan Frey, Grace Connallon, and Dakota Dry)

The tone of the concert was one of urgency; the organizers emphasized the precariousness of the situation as thousands of asylum seekers struggle to get basic health care while in detention, a situation that the organizers noted was hard for them to fully imagine, coming from a perspective of privilege. During the concert, Grace Connallon, one of the core organizers, was asked by a news reporter what she would like children and families on the border to know.

Her response: “We see you. We see you and we care."






Donate to the Voces Fuertes fund to help immigrants in detention with urgent health needs.


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