David Bacon’s Photo Essay Feat. St. Louis Airport Taxi Drivers

February 22nd, 2016



Read David Bacon’s latest photo essay featuring taxi drivers at St. Louis Airport. The essay includes personal stories of local drivers and highlights the impact a welcoming community can provide for new immigrants.  Read in full here: Taxi Drivers of the back 40

Photo Credit: David Bacon.

Stay Calm: Information About Recent Deportations

January 28th, 2016


Please review and share the following resources (English and Spanish) provided by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. Contact MIRA for more information.



MIRA 2016 Advocacy Day

January 15th, 2016

Join us in Jefferson City on March 9th, 2016!

This is your chance to meet face-to-face with lawmakers to discuss what’s important for immigrants and refugees in your community. RSVP today!
Our elected officials hear all kinds of stories about immigrants and refugees. They hear from national anti-immigration organizations, they hear from reporters on cable news, they hear from politicians in other states, but now, more than ever, your senators and representatives need to hear from YOU!

We will provide all the materials you need, teach you how to get a meeting with legislators, how to talk about legislation, and provide a brief orientation to the Capitol. Carpools will be organized from different parts of the state. A bag lunch will also be provided.

Take Action to Protect Refugees

November 18th, 2015

As politicians in Missouri and around the country seek to turn away refugee families seeking a new life in the U.S., MIRA stands with Gov. Nixon and others who are refusing to discriminate against refugees. Add your voice to those standing up to make Missouri a safe and welcoming place!

For individuals: Click Here to send an email to your state legislators telling them to do the right thing and welcome refugees from Syria and elsewhere.

For organizations and congregations: Click Here to list your organization or faith community as a supporter of  safety and inclusion for refugee families.

MIRA Coalition Supports Welcoming Refugees to Missouri

November 17th, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2015

As politicians around the country call for a halt to resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S., Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates supports Gov. Nixon in his refusal to discriminate against refugee families.  At a time when hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing mortal danger it is imperative that our communities rise to the call to make our state a welcoming refuge for individuals and families seeking a new start in a safe place.

In order to qualify for refugee status to the U.S., individuals are subjected to a lengthy vetting process.  Of the hundreds of thousands of refugees currently awaiting resettlement in camps in the Middle East, only a fraction of those will be admitted to the U.S.  Rather than succumbing to fear-mongering, Missouri and our neighbors must honor the American tradition of welcoming those seeking a better life in this country.

“The attacks in Paris, Beirut, and elsewhere in the past week highlight the danger that is forcing Syrians and refugees around the world from their homes to seek relocation to the United States,” said Vanessa Crawford Aragón, Executive Director of MIRA.  “Rather than politicizing those tragedies, elected leaders in Missouri and around the nation should be following the lead of residents and community organizations and standing up for refugee families.”

For information on the resettlement process and other questions related to the Syrian refugee crisis, please see this FAQ from the International Institute of St Louis: http://www.iistl.org/Syria.html

Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates is a statewide coalition dedicated to making Missouri welcoming and inclusive for immigrants and refugees of all backgrounds.



“Looking Among Us: Cross-Cultural Connections,” Celebrates MIRA’s 10th Anniversary

November 16th, 2015
Maya Angelou by Dail Chambers

Maya Angelou by Dail Chambers

Inspired by a far-ranging set of muses from the Mississippi River to the women of the Bible to ancient Indian painting techniques, the artists featured at our exhibit, “Looking Among Us: Cross-Cultural Connections,” which celebrates the unique cultural heritage of seven Missouri artists and our 10th anniversary.

“Art is a universal language that fosters understanding between people from all walks of life,” said MIRA Executive Director Vanessa Crawford Aragón. “MIRA’s work recognizes the intrinsic value of all people and supports any effort in Missouri to create a welcoming climate for immigrants and refugees.”

The seven featured artists are Dail Chambers, Holly Roe, Pratima Murali, Nicole Cooper, Jeane Vogel, Shilpa Rao and Sukanya Mani.

You can still see it! It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Monday through Friday and Sunday, November 22 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Exhibit on Legacy of Civil Rights Leader César Chávez Opens at St. Louis Public Library

November 16th, 2015
Cesar Chavez

César Chávez at work in the community garden at La Paz in Keene, California by Cathy Murphy, 1976. Photo reprinted with permission of the César E. Chávez Foundation and Cathy Murphy.

One of the great civil rights leaders of the 20th century, Cesar Chávez experienced the hardships of being a migrant farm worker and the sting of racial discrimination. He spent his life advocating for the rights of farmworkers and dedicated himself to community organizing activities and later founded the first farm workers’ union.

On Nov. 12, internationally famed photographer David Bacon opened In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez, an exhibit featuring 38 photographs paired with excerpts from Chávez’s dynamic speeches, interviews, and authoritative writings.

The exhibit will be on display at the Saint Louis Public Library, Carnegie Room, 1301 Olive St., 63103 from Nov. 12 to Dec. 12. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The free exhibit that documents Chávez’s remarkable life and career is also part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of MIRA.

In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez is an exhibition by Humanities Texas, a state affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities. It is available in St. Louis as part of the Missouri Latinos Initiative, a joint project made possible by the Diversity Committee of the St. Louis Public Library, Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), the Missouri Humanities Council and the Hispanic Arts Council. For more information, please visit missourilatinos.org.

Read the full story from St. Louis Public Radio here.

Looking Among Us: Cross-Cultural Connections

November 2nd, 2015



For more details, and to RSVP, Click Here.

Join the Immigrant Service Providers’ Network

October 14th, 2015

For questions, email info@mira-mo.org or call 314-669-1288.

ISPN Kick Off Event!

September 17th, 2015

ISPN kickoff flyer