Our Shared Border commends the extraordinary achievements of the four winners and eight finalists of the Border Research Partnership's 2011 Awards for U.S.-Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation and Innovation. These twelve projects represent the best of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, showing how collaboration and a sense of community make the border the place where our countries come together, rather than where they are divided.

By honoring and encouraging the outstanding work of local leaders, the publication seeks to offer a "counter-narrative" to the frequent media portrayals of violence and poverty in the border region. Though such challenges are real, the narratives in this publication remind us that there is at least as much to celebrate.

The Border Research Partnership, comprised of the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute, the Arizona State University's North American Center for Transborder Studies, and the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, would like to thank the Council for State Governments-West and our outstanding bi-national selection committee for their support of the awards and publication.