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Ambassadors Program 2018

Ambassadors are a team of immigrant community members who speak in congregations to shape and humanize the immigrant narrative through storytelling. Ambassadors share their social biography, a political framework that situates one’s story in a social context. Social biographies position ambassadors as protagonists in their own story while educating and activating faith communities to take a next step in transformative justice in our immigration and criminal legal systems.

Sanctuary Dialogues: Migrant Voices in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha

Sanctuary Dialogues: Migrant Voices in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha, positions ambassadors [see above] to share their stories in congregations whether it is at the pulpit (churches), bimah (synagogues), minbar (mosques), or sanghas (temples). As a commitment to uphold the dignity and sanctity of every human person, ambassadors speak to congregations’ faith values that broaden and humanize the immigrant experience. In light of Sanctuary Movement by people of faith, this program is an important and enriching opportunity for congregations to hear from those directly impacted by today’s immigration policies, become involved in immigrant justice as faith communities, and to affirm the power of migrant voices in our city and within our congregations.

Goals:

To broaden and humanize the narrative around immigrants, especially those most vulnerable and/or targeted for deportation – immigrants with former convictions, LGBTQIA+ immigrants, Black, and/or Muslim immigrants

To support congregations taking a next step in solidarity with immigrant communities

To support congregations in their discernment toward becoming a sanctuary congregation

For congregations with majority immigrant members, to connect members to resources, organizations and communities with immigration services, and to develop resources to engage members’ migration stories as they take a next step in solidarity with other immigrant communities today

Learn more here: FAQ: Sanctuary Dialogues: Migrant Voices in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar/Sangha

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Fe y Justicia

Empowering Latino Immigrant Congregations

We engage in relationships with Latino immigrant congregations and invite them to foster leadership skills that respond to immigrant needs, lead to advocacy, and empowerment of the immigrant community.

Inland Valley Region: Hilda Cruz, hcruz@im4humanintegrity.org

Bay Area Region: Miriam Noriega, mnoriega@im4humanintegrity.org

Empowerment of the Immigrant Community

We promote the leadership of directly impacted immigrants to center their experience in our work.

  • We train immigrants to become the ambassadors of their own experience and share their testimonies publicly to shift the narrative in the U.S.
  • Congregations can learn to implement a Naturalization Campaign, where citizenship classes are taught in their own congregations with an emphasis on developing new citizens who will be engaged and conscientious voters.

Faith-Rooted Organizing Training

Develop leaders who foster a deeper commitment of advocacy and service to immigrants who are seeking support in their local congregations.

  • Facilitate regional intentional meetings to learn faith-rooted organizing techniques.
  • Implement non-violent skills and peace building interfaith traditions that promote solidarity to change institutions and politics.
  • Host a yearly nurturing, weekend retreat for committed volunteers as they reflect on the connection between faith traditions and their personal immigration story.

Deportation Defense and Accompaniment

Clergy and faith leaders across race, culture and spirituality gather to achieve a world which honors the dignity of every human person and provide Spiritual Care to those affected by immigration detention.

  • Visit and write to people in immigrant detention centers to provide accompaniment and community presence at their court hearing and ongoing ICE check-ins.
  • Provide spiritual and emotional support to the detainees’ family who is facing the crisis of having a loved one in detention.
  • Prophetic presence in public spaces as we  pray for all immigrants and their families as they go through the stressful and complicated immigration process.

Currently accompanying people in the Adelanto Facility (Adelanto, CA) — contact Hilda Cruz

Policy Advocacy

We engage in policy campaigns and activities to shift the public discourse towards immigrants/refugees, Muslims, and formerly incarcerated. In addition we educate the public on  the root causes of immigration and mass incarceration.

  • Invite people to lobby local representatives and share their testimony to advocate for policies that protects their rights, dignity and well being.
  • We educate on the implementation of new and ongoing pro-immigrant laws and policies.
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Nueva Esperanza

In response to the needs of our immigrant neighbors, our accompaniment program seeks to address the major barriers responsible for detention and deportation. IM4HI works with congregations throughout the Bay Area in order to train dedicated individuals who can form accompaniment teams to support newly arrived or newly exposed members of our communities. Teams work under the lead of the accompanied families to determine goals such as healthcare, legal, and education, and help families realize their objectives. Support as simple as helping make an appointment or learning how to use public transportation grows independence and ultimately, the strength of our immigrant neighbors.

Networks of Protection and Rapid Response
County-wide movements are occurring all over California in order to form Rapid Response hotlines which provide immediate aid to those neighbors held in detention centers or are terrorized by ICE. In Northern California, IM4HI is a member organization of the Alameda County Immigration Legal Education Partnership working as a dispatcher to fill out intake forms, verify ICE activity, and hold Know Your Rights Workshops.
Coordinator: Samantha Vazquez
Contact: svazquez@im4humanintegrity.org

Please meet our 2018 accompaniment teams:

Berkeley Friends Meeting House, Christ Church Berkeley (Teams A, B, and C!), Eden Church Hayward, First Congregational Church of Berkeley, First Presbyterian Church of Hayward, First Unitarian Church of Oakland, Ignatian Spiritual Life Center, Kehilla Community Synagogue, Mt Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Los Altos United Methodist Church, Rise Up Together SF, San Francisco Friends Meeting House, Universalist Unitarian Church of Berkeley, and Ygnacio Valley Presbyterian Church.