Owl and Panther is a group dedicated to helping refugees in the Tuscon, Arizona, area. The Owl and Panther’s mission is help the refugee families that resettle in Tuscon to be able to move beyond the traumas that they have experienced, and enjoy full lives once again. They do this through providing “healing expressive arts experiences” to refugees, and educating the community in an effort to promote acceptance and appreciation for people from all areas of the globe.
The name for this organization sheds light on to what they stand for. The reference to the owl and panther come from the Hopi story of creation. This story says that on the seventh day of creation, only two animals were awake, while the rest had fallen in to sleep.
These two animals were the owl and the panther, who were gifted the ability to see in the dark. This beautiful story is symbolic of “seeing” or moving beyond and through traumatic experiences, or “darkness” that the refugees experienced in their home countries. Refugees that move to areas for physical safety often experience spiritual depression and psychological distress because of the events that they have witnessed. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
The Owl and Panther community is comprised of leaders and volunteers, many of whom have been refugees themselves.
This network of support is valuable to a person struggling to comprehend how the cruelty that they have witnessed can leave room for a full or hopeful life. Expressive arts help to heal the soul of an individual with this kind of stress, tension, and anxiety within. Owl and Panther is a unique organization with value beyond words.
The Owl and Panther organization’s work is supported by the Lacey an Larkin Frontera Fund. This is a fund that was created to help people of all different backgrounds find peace, justice, and equality in the world, and is especially focused on Arizona causes.
The founders, Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin, are two men who advocate passionately for social justice. Micheal Lacey founded the Pheonix New Times while he was still in college, because he saw the overly-conservative reports that news agencies were putting out regarding ant-war protests on the Arizona State University campus. He worked along with Jim Larkin to grow the Pheonix New Times so that it could report an alternative view.
In 20017 Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin were each arrested because of a story published in the paper. A court battle ensued, in which Lacey and Larkin were awarded a settlement to compensate for their unlawful detainment. The two put the settlement towards a fund that would aid in justice movements and help to give voice to those who may be unfairly treated but unable to fight back. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/
The Lacey and Larkin fund now supports many such organizations, and has made an incredible impact on the social justice systems within the state of Arizona.
Their state faces many issues including mass incarcerations, border control laws, poverty, and struggles with safety. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Funds offers up-lifting resources that can be used in order to find solutions to these problems.