Episcopal Divinity School Hosts Resource Day on Migration, Theology, and Faith

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On October 10, the Migration, Theology, and Faith Forum (MTFF), based at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is holding its first Resource Day for religious leaders, immigrant communities, theologians, activists, and academics. “The Role of Faith in Immigration” will be held on the EDS campus from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

We hope that the day will provide an opportunity for immigrants, refugees, activists, and academics to come together to share their wisdom with each other, and generate ideas for further resource days, seminars, and events.”

On October 10, the Migration, Theology, and Faith Forum (MTFF), based at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is holding its first Resource Day for religious leaders, immigrant communities, theologians, activists, and academics. “The Role of Faith in Immigration” will be held on the EDS campus from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“We're excited about holding this resource day, the first event hosted by the newly created Migration, Theology, and Faith Forum,” said the Rev. Susanna Snyder, EDS assistant professor in contemporary society and Christian ethics and convenor of MTFF. “Faith plays a significant role in the lives of many migrants—practically, spiritually, and socially—as well as in the lives of many immigration activists.

“The forum is designed to explore the intersections between religious identity, practice and migration. We hope that the day will provide an opportunity for immigrants, refugees, activists, and academics to come together to share their wisdom with each other, and generate ideas for further resource days, seminars, and events.”

Opening speaker for the event will be the Rev. Clyde Grubbs, a Unitarian Universalist minister and member of the UUA General Assembly’s Board of Trustees, who also serves as co-president of DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries), an organization for UU people of color.

In many places, the second Monday in October—officially Columbus Day, a federal holiday—has become a day to celebrate and remember the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as those who immigrated to the “New World” in the last 500 years. Grubbs, who grew up in a Cherokee community in Texas, will be drawing connections between the struggle for immigrant justice and indigenous struggles against colonialism.

Included in the day’s events will be a panel discussion on immigration, featuring:

  •     Dr. Kristen Lucken, lecturer in sociology at Brandeis University, and a 2011-2012 Religion Fellow at Boston University School of Theology and Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs;
  •     Vinicius Quirino of the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM), a statewide youth-led immigrant organization. “Vinny” is an undocumented student from Brazil who has lived in Somerville, Massachusetts, since age 17, graduated from East Boston High School with honors, and was one semester from finishing an engineering degree when US Border Patrol agents detained him;
  •     The Rev. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who works with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts to support African clergy and congregations; and
  •     Saida Abdi, a social worker with the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC).

The panelists will be talking about relationships between faith and immigration from academic (Lucken), activist (Quirino), faith-based (Kaoma) and social work (Abdi) perspectives.

In addition to the panel, lunch will be provided and a series of workshops will be presented, including:

  • Theology and Immigration
  • Faith Based Organizations: Good Practice
  • Immigrant Congregations
  • The Role of Spirituality and Faith in Refugee and Immigrant Trauma and Healing

To RSVP for this free event, go to http://faithandimmigration.eventbrite.com/, or call MTFF at 360-870-6910. If your organization is interested in having a promotional table at the event, please call or email migration(at)eds(dot)edu.

The Episcopal Divinity School was founded in 1974 from a merger of Philadelphia Divinity School (founded 1857) and Episcopal Theological School (founded 1867). Both schools were noted for their progressive teaching, innovative pedagogy, as well as for being the first to welcome African Americans and women as full members of the community. The Episcopal Divinity School carries on this tradition today with its focus on interfaith issues and the practical aspects of providing ministerial leadership in this critical area. Located on an eight-acre campus just a few blocks from Harvard Yard, EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion.

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