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Mark Hainds

Mark Hainds worked for two decades as the research coordinator for the Longleaf Alliance and as a research associate with Auburn University. He resigned these dual positions in November 2014 to walk the 1,000-mile Texas-Mexico border. Hainds’s walk began at International Boundary Marker 1 in El Paso and ended over a thousand miles later at Boca Chica Beach in Brownsville, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico. From right-wing ranchers to cowboy poets to human-rights activists to fence/wall opponents, Hainds met a myriad of people along the way who were eager to discuss the balance between border security and immigration justice.

Hainds’s trek ultimately resulted in his book Border Walk and was the subject of a feature-length film, La Frontera, filmed and produced by Rex Jones of the University of Mississippi’s Southern Documentary Project. Hainds and Jones will screen the film and discuss the book, to be followed by a Q&A.

In his spare time Mark collects, eats, and sells wild fruits, berries, and herbs at the Palafox Farmers Market in Pensacola, Florida. He also owns and manages Sweetbill’s, a small company that produces specialty wood chunks/chips for grilling and smoking enthusiasts. He is a lifelong hunter, fisherman, and trapper.