Community and Refugee Integration
During this session, participants will learn how your faith community can be an active part of community transformation. As community members become proximate to the struggles of those living in their community, they become advocates for just and sustainable solutions for broken systems. Participants will hear directly from former refugees on how community sponsorship supports refugee integration.
Following this session, participants will:
Understand and identify methods to encourage integration.
Understand the intersection between community sponsorship and creating healthy communities.
Daniel LaPorte, Director for Integration and Innovation, Church World Service
Daniel LaPorte oversees the CWS Integration Team, including Matching Grant and Preferred Communities programs. The Integration Team is made up of 9 staff members providing guidance, technical assistance and oversight of the MG and PC programs as well as support and training on topics related to Economic Opportunity, Case Management Programming and Volunteer Coordination. Daniel has worked in a variety of roles in refugee resettlement since 2008, including R&P and Survivors of Torture case management in local resettlement offices, local office management and finance as well as R&P Program Specialist/Site Liaison and Vulnerable Populations Program Specialist at CWS HQ. When Daniel isn’t working, you may find him gardening, cooking or enjoying a sunny day on the patio when the weather is warm.
Banza Mukalay, Senior Pastor, Restoration Community Church
Banza Mukalay is a Senior Pastor and founder of Restoration Community Church (RCC). He studied in Africa at a theology seminary in Tanzania and holds a degree in Leadership from AFMIN. His achievements include the construction of two churches in Tanzanian refugee camps and launch of a new TV program promoting youth togetherness (just three weeks ago). He has 18 years of experience helping refugees: nine as a case worker in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Tanzania and nine years volunteering with refugees and immigrants in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Bernadette Muskera, Refugee and Placement Specialist
Bernadette Musekura was born, raised, and partially educated in Rwanda, Central Africa. After attending Daystar University in Nairobi, Bernadette joined her husband Dr, Celestin Musekura in moving to the United States in 1997, where together they are raising their four children, Providence, Prudence, Samuel and Emmanuel.
After arriving in the United States, Bernadette attended the Dallas Theological Seminary and completed one bachelor degree in Education and two master degrees in Counseling/Psychology and Leadership. In 2007 Bernadette started working across various integration programs for different refugee resettlement agencies in Texas. From Employment Specialist and Employer Relations Coordinator, Women Empowerment and attending a Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy, Bernadette has been a leader in the Texan refugee community for decades.
Rev. Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue, Jr, Greater Detroit District Superintendent
A native of Liberia, Rev. Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue, Jr. is the first superintendent of the Greater Detroit District of the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. He was ordained a Deacon in 1991 and Elder in 1993 in the Detroit (now Michigan) Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Boayue has been a clergy delegate successively to the last seven General and seven North Central Jurisdictional Conferences of the United Methodist Church. He authored a motion in 2004 that admitted the 1 million-member Protestant Methodist Church of Ivory Coast into The United Methodist Church. He led the Detroit Conference delegation to the 2004, 2016 and 2019 Sessions of the United Methodist General Conference, making him the first and only African native to hold this distinguished place in American Methodism. Dr. Boayue holds the Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from Bethune-Cookman University and Florida Southern College respectively; the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School; and the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio). He describes himself as “an urban pastor in Detroit with a village heart for the people of God.”
Click the play arrow in the lower lefthand corner of the video player, below, to watch the session.