Restoring Full Access to Asylum
During this session, we will discuss the current challenges facing asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors seeking safety in the U.S. Participants will learn about ways in which there has been limited access to asylum including the “Title 42”, a provision of the U.S. health code, expedited removal and metering systems. Participants will also learn about how these attempts to block asylum have forced family separation as some parents feel forced to allow their children to cross unaccompanied. Every two seconds someone in the world is forced to leave their home and everything they know. Families and children have a well-founded fear of persecution and inability of returning home safely.
Build Back Refugee Resettlement
During the session, participants will learn more about how you can help build back the refugee resettlement program. Participants will learn about how the previous administration's policies attempted to completely dismantle the refugee program. Participants will be informed of the current state of refugee resettlement and how collectively we can rebuild the refugee program. In addition, participants will also learn about current projections for the coming fiscal year for refugees, Special Immigrant Visas and asylum seekers from Afghanistan.
Making Our Voices Heard: How to Meet with Decision Makers
During this session, we will provide the top tips of meeting with your elected leaders to advocate for our communities, and reflect on how our faith impacts our advocacy. We will provide you with tangible skills that you can use to help educate your leaders and advocate for change in Washington, DC or in your home district. As constituents, your voice matters! We will discuss how together as faith communities, volunteers, immigrants and refugees, the meetings we have with decision makers can have a tremendous impact, but it's important that these opportunities with policy makers are well organized to get our message across.
Value Our Families Through Reunification
During this session, participants will learn how we can defend and strengthen our family immigration system to ensure increased family reunification of families across the US. We will discuss the current significant attacks on the family immigration system in an attempt to shift towards a merit based system that will focus on employment rather than family. We will discuss how this shift will disproportionately impact immigrant families from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Family immigration has long been a valued facet of our immigration system which highlights our nation's emphasis on family unity and reunification.
Grassroots Community Organizing for Immigrants’ and Refugee Rights
During this session, we will address ways to engage faith communities, refugees and immigrants as leaders within community organizing efforts to raise their voice, take action and create social change. We will discuss how to build collective power to make the change we want to see in order to create welcoming communities. In addition, we will discuss the importance for refugees and immigrants to develop a sense of their own agency within the civic system to be able to make concrete changes that benefit the lives of refugee communities that go beyond integration and self-sufficiency.
Supporting Afghans Seeking Refuge
During this session, we will discuss the impacts of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, followed by the take over from the Taliban, thus creating a mass exodus of tens of thousands Afghan refugees. We will discuss the increasing need to welcome Afghan new arrivals and continue advocacy to ensure Afghans left behind can still come to the U.S. for humanitarian protection. We will explore ways you can support Afghan refugees through educating your communities and mobilizing people to advocate for a robust welcome infrastructure that includes adequate funding and a pathway to citizenship for Afghans coming under a temporary status and seeking asylum.
The Power of the Story in Organizing and Advocacy
During this session, we will further explore key components of bridging the gap between direct service and community organizing through expanding storytelling and communications with the media. We will focus on how refugees and immigrants can lift their voices and tell their own stories to impact the public narrative. We will explore how the voices, stories and leadership development expands opportunities for advocacy and civic engagement and even holding appointed or elected offices.
Making Change through Civic Engagement
During this session, we will discuss with newcomers and long term residents how to address the issues facing your community at the local, state, and federal level. We will focus on the impacts of understanding how the civic process works, developing networks of leaders and engaging in activities such as voter education, meeting with elected officials or joining local welcome councils. We will discuss how faith allies and immigrant leaders can collectively collaborate to make effective change they want to see within their communities. In addition, we will also discuss how to utilize varying skills within communities to better their communities through civic engagement.