University of Arizona

Miriam Davidson Papers

Miriam Davidson graduated from Yale University in 1982 with a B.A. in English and later earned her master's degree in international journalism from the University of Southern California. Davidson has worked as a reporter, editor, journalism professor, freelance writer, and author. In 1982 she moved to Texas and worked as a reporter and Lifestyle editor for the Laredo News and later served as managing editor of Third Coast magazine. Davidson was a University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, adjunct professor of journalism, 1988-89. From 1993-1996, she worked for the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Arizona, as a correspondent covering Tucson and Nogales. As a freelance journalist her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, the NACLA Report on the Americas, and The Progressive. Davidson's three books include Convictions of the Heart: Jim Corbett and the Sanctuary Movement (1988), Changing Childhood Prejudice: the Caring Work of the Schools written with Florence H. Davidson (1994) and Lives on the Line: Dispatches from the U.S.-Mexico Border with photographs by Jeffry Scott (2000).

The bulk of Davidson's work has been on the U.S.-Mexico border. In 1985, she moved from Texas to Tucson, Arizona, to cover the Sanctuary Movement and subsequent trial. The Sanctuary Movement originated in Tucson, Arizona, during the early 1980s as a means of aid to Central American refugees, especially people fleeing from the political violence in El Salvador and Guatemala. The grass roots movement soon became a national movement with churches all over the United States declaring sanctuary. In 1985, sixteen activists were indicted, eleven - including Corbett and Fife - went to trial and eight were convicted of alien smuggling and other charges. Although the trial ended in 1986, the movement itself has continued and evolved over the past twenty-five years in its original mission to aid refugees.

Papers, 1979-1989. This collection contains Miriam Davidson's manuscripts and research files for her 1988 book, Convictions of the Heart: Jim Corbett and the Sanctuary Movement regarding the early 1980's Sanctuary Movement, which aided Central American political refugees, and the 1985-1986 Trial held in Tucson, Arizona. Materials include several drafts of the book and Davidson's research materials, the bulk of which include: news clippings, Davidson's trial notes, Sanctuary Movement materials, and cassette tape recordings of Davidson's interviews with various members of the Movement and Trial; the bulk of the interviews are with Jim Corbett. The majority of the material is in English, some is in Spanish.