The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful

2020 YBCA 100 Honoree

The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful is led by Kaia Marbin & Lillian Ellis, now 12 & 11. Their goal was to make 15,000 butterflies to represent migrant children in detention, raise awareness, and inspire action to end child detention. They’ve made over 55,000 butterflies. They chose butterflies for their beauty, uniqueness, and how they fly freely, just like people. Last year, Kaia, Lily, and other youth led a 1,000 person rally at Lake Merritt in Oakland in solidarity with migrant children, and brought 15,000 butterflies to every US Senator’s office at Capitol Hill, asking to end child detention. Their new goal is to create 76,020, representing children detained at the border last year, and, depending on COVID, take butterflies to children at the US/Mexico border and detention centers as a symbol of love and friendship. Kaia and Lily write, “[We] imagine a day when all kids are free and with their families.”