The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful art project is led by youth activists in the Bay Area who are creating a visual representation of the migrant children in detention in order to raise awareness and inspire action to end child detention.  The youth started with a goal of creating 15,000 butterflies. Butterflies symbolize that migration is beautiful, and they are all different and beautiful in their own way, just like people. The butterflies are a symbol of support and friendship to all of the migrant children affected by US immigration policies.

Butterflies are being created and displayed in public institutions like libraries, schools, city halls across the US.  Last year, the youth led a rally with 1,000 people at Lake Merritt in Oakland in solidarity with migrant children, and then brought 15,000 butterflies to Capitol Hill in Washington DC. They delivered butterflies to every US Senator’s offices with a request to end child detention. 

The youth have led the creation of over 50,000 butterflies. Their goal is to create 76,020 butterflies to represent the 76,020 children who were detained at the border last year.

The Butterfly Effect youth leaders write: “this year, we are planning to take butterflies down the US/Mexico border and to detention centers to show the kids that we care about each one of them. We imagine a day when all kids are free and with their families.”

Artist Website

On The Artwork

Art+Action commissioned The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful, to be part of its public programs to not only support our efforts to raise awareness and inspire action to end child detention—but also to mirror the ethos of the Census that every child and family counts. The youth leading The Butterfly Effect created this video to encourage their communities to fill out the 2020 Census and demonstrate how to make a butterfly at home. Click here to watch the video.

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