Mandela’s South Africa: Race, Politics and Immigration Now in America

In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Release from Prison, our organization held a conversation on Race, Politics and Immigration with four native South Africans who now live in America. They discussed their experiences both in their home country and the United States.
While, we live in a time were Race and Immigration are at the forefront of many conversations it is important that we reflect on the teachings, learning and legacy of President Mandela. In hopes that we may bring with us ideas and strategy to achieve justice.

We had the honor to present these amazing individuals: Mr. Clive Hoffman, a Jew, Professor Movindri Reddy, an Indian, Pastor Kelvin Sauls, a Black, and Pastor Rudolph van Graan, an Afrikaner. The panel discussion was moderated by the Rev. Dan Romero, an immigration attorney and former Conference Minister of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.



Powerful Testimony from Refugee Family at Saturday Vigil

This past Saturday we held our monthly vigil at the West County Detention Facility to stand in solidarity with immigrant families and detainees.

This vigil was led by St. John’s Presbyterian of Berkeley, a sanctuary congregation who has helped many immigrant families seeking asylum from violence in Central America.

One of these family members joined the vigil and shared their horrifying testimony of how they had escaped violence in their country after some members of their family had been killed and raped by gang members.

They also shared with us the great news that they won their asylum case!

Unfortunately, two members of their family were not so lucky. They received the news that two of their family members were crossing the border, and one family member, the husband, was caught and held in detention in Arizona. The family, thanks to the Rocket Docket of expedited deportation, has 30 days to come up with a lawyer and mount a case to stop his deportation.

What’s worse, the son, who has crossing the border with his father, had gone missing in the dessert for 6 days! We prayed for his protection during the vigil, and right after the prayer, the family received a call from him saying that he was in a small town heavily surveyed by ICE and Border Patrol! But the story doesn’t end there.

Thanks to the help of some human rights organization in the town, the son was able to flee Arizona and is finally reunited with his family in Oakland!

We grieve and rejoice with these immigrant families, and we hold their stories as sacred and engrave them into the heart of our nation’s history of immigration. Their story now belongs to the countless others that have built the narrative of this nation, and we welcome them as true and beautiful members of our American family.

Fred Goff from St. John shared why they decided to help this family: “We started accompanying this family one year ago and wondered what can we do, and we realized that we can do a lot. We learned about the family’s story; helped them find a lawyer and negotiated with the lawyer, helped them pay for an expert witness in their case, which was crucial. I have learned that this is also a spiritual journey. It is about learning how to trust and do the right thing. With God at your side, you can move mountains.”

We leave you with some beautiful photos of the vigil from David Bacon:



Pilgrimage to Honduras and Guatemala

Dear Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity Supporters:


Thank you for your encouragement and generous contributions to the Root-Causes Journey to Central America. You have made it possible for 16 delegates to travel to Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico over the next couple weeks, August 7-17, to examine the conditions and reasons children, youth, women, and families make the desperate and dangerous trip from their homelands to the United States.

We have received and welcomed many unaccompanied children who reached our borders and joined our communities. Amid the hard and cruel realities they have endured, through your support they have found new friends in hospitable communities. It is your friendship and open arms that transform horrible experiences into sparkling, new opportunities. But, it continues to be a difficult decision forced on many of them to flee their countries in search of new starts without fear.

The Reverend Deborah Lee, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity senior program director of Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, is leading the international trip and will be joined by staff members Ms. Kianna Shann, strategic communications manager, and Mr. Moises Escalante, senior lead organizer.

As you know very well, unaccompanied children and families often leave one set of circumstances that threatens their lives only to enter a new environment where they become targets of more cruelty and vicious attacks; even by local and federal law enforcement personnel. But, thanks to you our sisters and brothers from Central America, Africa, Asia, and other regions of the world are receiving hospitality and hope.

As our delegation travels to Central America, please learn more about the Root-Causes Journey and the stories collected. Follow them on our blog: Like us on

You may continue to support this important trip to Central America; we need your financial support to help us provide accurate, personal information about the travail of migrant children and families.

We are asking for your help because you already have demonstrated your love, compassion, and concern for people who come to attention in search of safety and friendship.


Thank you for being a part of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and making your commitment of support to keep the flame of hope and new life burning brightly through the days and dark nights ahead.







Rev. Dr. Art Cribbs

Executive Director

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity