A national organization aimed at reframing the narrative of the U.S.-Mexico relationship this week launched a Southeast U.S. chapter from Atlanta.
Mexico’s Undersecretary for North America Carlos Sada convened a regional group of civic and business leaders from as far away as Oklahoma at Atlanta’s Mexican Consulate General to kick-start the American Mexican Association’s regional presence.
The idea behind the nonprofit, which got its start in Dallas in April, is to galvanize Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and “friends of Mexico” to tell a broader story of how close ties benefit the neighboring nations.
With NAFTA under fire, Mexico fresh off a historic presidential election and the Trump administration still keen to build a border wall, it’s a tense moment to try and change minds. But advocates say the relationship is more multifaceted than is commonly appreciated.
“There is a lack of information in many cases and a need for that information, because the relationship is very complex,” said Alejandro Coss, president of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, who is helping lead Southeast chapter. “It’s not only about immigration, business, trade, tourism or border security. It is all of those things and more.”
The AMA is a national organization that seeks to be a “network of networks,” with six regional chapters overseeing on-the-ground groups in cities and states within their territory. Some 40 cities have joined up so far.
The American-Mexican Association is holding its first #Southeast regional meeting in #Atlanta, GA. We welcomed participants from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. AMA has now expanded its membership to over 40 cities across the #US. #JoinTheAMAmovement pic.twitter.com/GKuOv47TeG
— AMA-USA (@AMAUSAOrg) July 20, 2018
The group has already begun posting papers and documents about the North American trading relationship, videos about Mexico’s global competitiveness and press releases condemning what it called the U.S. government’s “inhumane” immigration policy, which led to many mostly Central American families being separated at the border last month.
The organization says it is independent from the Mexican government and that it won’t be limited only to Mexicans or Mexican-Americans. Mr. Coss said any person interested in the flourishing of the bilateral ties can join as an individual. AMA also seeks to build connections with community leaders and “influencers.”
Learn more at https://ama-usa.org.