The world was outraged and the photos quickly went viral on social media with the quote:

“A child is a child no matter what country they were born in. A child is a child even when they cross the border. A child's desire to stay with their parents is a human right. In homage to the iconic I AM A MAN photo. I am proud to present I AM A CHILD.”

— Paola Mendoza

In June 2018, Paola Mendoza conceived and was the creative director for the I AM A CHILD campaign. She created the campaign to protest the Trump Administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Inspired by Ernest Withers’ photograph from 1968 of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, the initial I AM A CHILD photo shoot with photographer, Kisha Bari and producer Becky Morrison occurred in New York City on the steps of Immigration and Customs Enforcement building featuring 40 children, ages three to ten.