March 30, 2022

Session #1: Changing Dynamics, Changing Policy Responses:
Trends and Policy Responses to Changing Migration to the U.S.-Mexico Border and the Hemisphere
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Border Update #1: Diocese of San Diego/Diocese of Los Angeles
Responding in Love to Forced Migration
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Session #2: Asylum In America
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Border Update #2: Diocese of Arizona
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Session #3: Keynote Address – Karen Gonzalez
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March 31, 2022

Border Update #3: Diocese of the Rio Grande
Gathering at the River: Welcoming with Dignity in the Diocese of the Rio Grande
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Session #4: Isaiah’s Vision: Liberate the Captives, Let the Oppressed Go Free
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Border Update #4: Diocese of West Texas
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Session #5: Neighbor to Neighbor: Walking Alongside Your New Neighbors through Community Sponsorship
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Session #6: Closing Keynote – The Rev. Nancy Frausto
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The Rev. Nancy Frausto

The Rev. Nancy Frausto is the Director of the Latinx Studies Program and Lecturer in Latinx Ministry at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. A founding member of the Diocese of Los Angeles Sanctuary Task Force, and a Dreamer (DACA recipient), she is known to be a powerful preacher, teacher, and witness to the power of God’s liberating love.

Nancy is the Diocese of Los Angeles’ first Latina leader to have grown up in a Spanish speaking Episcopal Church and pursued ordination. She is the recipient of the Episcopal Church Foundation and Beatitudes Society Fellowship and was named one of the Future 50 Interfaith Leaders in Los Angeles to watch by the Interreligious Council of Southern California.

Karen González

Karen González is seeking to see and love her neighbors as God does. She is a speaker, writer, and immigrant advocate, who herself immigrated from Guatemala as a child. Karen is a former public school teacher and attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where she studied theology and missiology. For the last 12 years, she has been a non-profit professional, currently working for World Relief, an organization that serves immigrants and refugees. She wrote a book about her own immigration story and the many immigrants found in the Bible: The God Who Sees: Immigrants, The Bible, and the Journey to Belong (Herald Press, May 2019). She is working on her second book which is also on faith and migration, which will be published by Brazos Press and released in the fall 2022.

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram musing about theology: @_karenjgonzalez. Her writing can be found on the communal blogs: The Mudroom and The Salt Collective or at her website karen-gonzalez.com. She is a sought after speaker, who has written about and presented on a variety of topics, including spiritual formation, Latinx identity, race and culture, women in the church, the Enneagram, and immigration. She also has bylines in Sojourners, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, and others.

Karen lives in the heart of Baltimore, Maryland, where she enjoys cooking Guatemalan food, traveling, watching baseball, playing with her nieces, and writing while her cat Scully naps beside her.

Border Update #1: Diocese of San Diego/Diocese of Los Angeles
Responding in Love to Forced Migration

Speaker: Troy Elder, Migration Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

In the past year, border law and policy has seen whiplash-inducing ups and downs. Out of the gate, the Biden administration made good on certain of its campaign promises in the area of immigration but deferred and then demurred on others. Later, federal courts dealt severe blows to progress, reversing attempts to restore protections dismantled by the prior administration. Throughout, vulnerable immigrants amassed at our southern border in record numbers. This presentation will feature an Episcopal border ministry in Calexico, California and Mexicali, Mexico that confronts complex humanitarian, legal, and Christian challenges.

Border Update #2: Diocese of Arizona

Speaker: The Rev. David Ulloa Chavez

This session will focus on the work that the Diocese of Arizona is leading along the AZ/Sonora border and the importance of binational ecumenical partnerships in  providing a faithful welcome to the migrating neighbor.

Border Update #3: Diocese of the Rio Grande
Gathering at the River: Welcoming with Dignity in the Diocese of the Rio Grande

Speakers:

  • Ana Reza, Bridge Chaplain for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande
  • The Rev. Canon Lee Curtis, Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande
  • The Rev. Michael Wallens, Vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marfa, Texas

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, which encompasses the whole state of New Mexico and the Far-West of Texas contains 40% of the US-Mexican Border, and Rio Grande Borderland Ministries (RGBM) serves communities in the rural and remote parts of our frontera as well as working on both sides of the largest binational metropolitan area in the western hemisphere in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Come hear about the full breadth and scope of this amazing work welcoming our migrant neighbors with dignity as we meet them at the Rio Grande.

Border Update #4: Diocese of West Texas

Speaker: Flor Saldivar, Director of Immigration & Refugee Ministries, Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

This session will introduce attendees to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas’ Immigration Ministries, a branch of the diocese which started in March of 2020 to provide support to migrant communities and connect congregations to local efforts. Learn more about the realities of serving people on-the-ground, ways in which congregations are getting involved, and more.

Session #1: Changing Dynamics, Changing Policy Responses:
Trends and Policy Responses to Changing Migration to the U.S.-Mexico Border and the Hemisphere

Speakers:

  • Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
  • Jorge Schiavon Uriegas, Professor of International Relations at the International Studies Department, CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)

2021 saw an increase in migrant flows to the U.S.-Mexico border, a trend that has become increasingly prevalent since 2014 when the U.S. dealt with the arrival of unaccompanied children. Although public attention has primarily focused on the U.S.-Mexico border and migrants from Central America, these trends have impacted more countries in the hemisphere as an increasingly diverse group of migrants travel from South America and the Caribbean to seek new lives in Mexico, the United States, and other countries in the region. In response, countries in the hemisphere have adopted a diverse range of policies, including many that have sought to deter migrants from reaching Mexico and the United States. EMM has invited Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute, and Jorge Schiavon Uriegas, Professor-Researcher for the Division of International Studies at Mexico’s Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas to discuss these topics. The session will focus on a moderated discussion on key migration trends in the hemisphere, the policy responses from governments in the hemisphere to these developments, and ways they can improve these measures by moving beyond their current limitations. The session will end with a question-and-answer segment that will allow the audience to ask questions about these issues.

Session #2: Asylum In America 

Speakers:

  • Flor Saldivar, Director of Immigration & Refugee Ministries, Episcopal Diocese of West Texas
  • Andrea Rudnik, co-founder of Team Brownsville
  • Kenna S. Giffin, Attorney at Law, PLLC

This session is ideal for people seeking to learn more about the process of seeking asylum in the United States. Attendees will participate in an Asylum 101 session, led by immigration attorney, Kenna Giffin, explaining the basics of how the U.S. legal asylum system works. Then, attendees will hear from border service providers who welcome people seeking asylum after being released to U.S. by immigration authorities and learning about ways in which they can engage and participate in providing a warm welcome.

Session #3: Keynote Address – Karen Gonzalez, a nonprofit professional at World Relief, speaker, immigrant advocate, and author of “The God Who Sees: Immigrants, The Bible, and the Journey to Belong.”

Session #4: Isaiah’s Vision: Liberate the Captives, Let the Oppressed Go Free

Speakers:

  • The Rev. Leeann Culbreath, priest in the Diocese of Georgia and a founding Co-Chair of South Georgia Immigrant Support Network
  • Dr. Catherine Meeks, Founding Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing
  • Sofia Casini, Director of Visitation Advocacy Strategies for Freedom for Immigrants
  • Hannah Bowman, Founder and Director of Christians for the Abolition of Prisons

In this panel discussion, advocates for immigrant and racial justice and prison abolition will offer a contemporary lens for understanding Isaiah’s vision of liberation, with special focus on immigrants and asylum seekers imprisoned in immigrant detention centers.

Session #5: Neighbor to Neighbor: Walking Alongside Your New Neighbors through Community Sponsorship

Speaker:

  • The Rev. Chris McNabb, Program Manager for Neighbor to Neighbor, a program of Episcopal Migration Ministries

Established in 2020, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Neighbor to Neighbor program grew from the lived experience of ministry to migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border into a visionary program that trains, equips, and provides ongoing support to Episcopal congregations and other groups as they, in turn, provide support and friendship to their newest neighbors who are seeking asylum or other adjustment of status. This concluding workshop of the Border & Migration Ministry Summit will introduce you to faith communities who have joined EMM’s Neighbor to Neighbor program, sharing their experiences, insights, and inspirations from walking alongside their new neighbors. You will learn how your congregation or community group can become part of Neighbor to Neighbor.

Session #6: Closing Keynote – The Rev. Nancy Frausto, director of the Latinx Studies Program and lecturer in Latinx ministry at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Hannah Bowman is a graduate student in religious studies at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, a literary agent, and a prison abolitionist. The founder and director of Christians for the Abolition of Prisons, she writes and teaches on the Christian theology supporting abolition; she is also a circle coordinator for the Los Angeles pilot Circles of Support and Accountability, which is a restorative-justice prison re-entry program, in collaboration with the Fresno Community Justice Center. You can follow her on Twitter @hannahnpbowman.

Sofia Casini is the Director of Visitation Advocacy Strategies for Freedom for Immigrants. Sofia’s work with Freedom for Immigrants focuses on developing community-based visitation and human rights monitoring programs around detention centers throughout the south. She leads advocacy efforts pushing for detention abolition, working alongside people in immigrant detention, their families, community organizations, and countless others striving for system change. Sofia holds over two decades of experience working with immigrants, refugees, and survivors of gender based violence. She also brings deeply personal experience with her own father, an Italian national, suffering detention and deportation due to the intersection of unjust criminal and immigration policies. Prior to joining Freedom for Immigrants, Sofia served as immigrant rights organizer for Grassroots Leadership, where she ran a detention visitation program advocating alongside asylum-seekers at an all women’s detention facility. She also led the Family Detention Coalition’s efforts to squash harmful policies at the Texas Legislature and built a thriving hotline for immigrants entangled in the deportation machine. Previous work includes advocate within the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in West Africa and the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline, community organizer with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and executive director of both Refugee Services of Texas and AVANCE. Currently based in Austin, Texas, Sofia holds an M.A. in International Migration and Development from the University of Amsterdam and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Evergreen State College, WA.

The Rev. David Ulloa Chavez serves as the Canon for Border Ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.  A native of Arizona, Padre David  has lived within an existential space marked by border realities his entire life.  Born in  the border town of Douglas, AZ. and raised in the borderlands of the San Diego/Tijuana border, Fr. David has been an advocate for both migrant and epistemic justice.  Fr. David is a member of the Association for Borderlands Studies, and has taught both in person and virtually on border issues and concerns at Yale Divinity, Sewanee University of the South, Virginia Theological Seminary (Center for Anglican Communion Studies), the Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency course, and the National Cathedral.  A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Fr. David serves on the General Convention’s Mexico Covenant Committee, and is a member of the advisory council of the  Hispanic Latino Ministries of the Episcopal Church.   Within the Diocese of Arizona, Padre David serves as a co-instructor of theology for the Deacon Formation Academy and  as a member of the Anti-Racism committee.  He is the proud father of two sons, enjoys reading cozy mysteries, playing alto saxophone, and is fascinated by horology.

The Rev. Leeann Culbreath is a priest in the Diocese of Georgia and a founding Co-Chair of South Georgia Immigrant Support Network, an immigrant rights organization based in Tifton, Georgia. For four years, SGISN walked in solidarity with women and men detained at Irwin County Detention Center and their loved ones, until the recent cancellation of the ICE contract following the exposure of human rights abuses. SGISN continues to offer mutual aid with transferred and formerly detained persons and their families. Rev. Culbreath also serves as a Co-Facilitator for the Episcopal Asylum and Detention Ministry Network and is a member of the Georgia Detention Watch Steering Committee.

The Rev. Canon Lee Curtis, Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. A Native of Florida’s Space Coast, The Rev. Canon Lee Curtis currently serves as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of the Rio Grande – the largest geographic Diocese in the continental U.S., encompassing all of New Mexico and Texas west of the Pecos River. As Canon, Lee works in the areas of congregational vitality, transition, communication, and Borderland Ministry. As a priest, he has built his ministry strengthening multilingual and multicultural communities in the service of the hands-on work of the Gospel. He lives in El Paso, Texas, with his wife, Hannah, two sons, and two very good dogs.

Troy Elder is the Migration Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. An attorney, community- and faith-based activist, and former law professor, Troy has nearly 25 years of experience representing refugees and immigrants. Speaking Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole, he spent a decade teaching immigration law, poverty law, health law, international human rights, and ethics at U.S. law schools, most recently at Yale. Troy was named a Henri Nouwen Scholar at Yale Divinity School, where received a master’s degree in Religious Ethics in 2013. From 2014 to 2018, Troy served as the Bishop’s Legate for Global Partnership at the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. After moving to the Diocese of San Diego, Troy served as a senior attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center, in San Diego, Tijuana, and Mexicali, where he supervised systemic and appellate work at the U.S.-Mexico border on behalf of migrants subjected to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Most recently, he has begun border advocacy with the Transgender Law Center. Troy is married to the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, an Episcopal priest and his partner of 20 years. They live in Cathedral City, California with their dog, Lucy.

Kenna S. Giffin, Attorney at Law, PLLC, practices law in McAllen, Texas.

The Rev. Chris McNabb is the Program Manager for Neighbor to Neighbor, a program of Episcopal Migration Ministries. Fr. Chris works to connect newly arriving Afghans and asylum seekers with faith communities who will serve as their community sponsors.  He also serves as the Missioner for Contemplative Ministries at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, WA. 

Dr. Catherine Meeks is the Founding Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing as well as the retired Clara Carter Acree Distinguished Professor of Socio-cultural Studies and Sociology from Wesleyan College. Catherine is an author who has published seven books including her recently co-authored book, Passionate for Justice, Ida B. Wells- A Prophet for Our Times which was released in September 2019 and her edited book Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America which focuses on racial healing and reconciliation published in 2016. She is a regular contributor to Hospitality which is published monthly by the Open Door Community. She is involved with prison work and faithfully visits a person who was formally on death row. She is committed to working for the abolition of the death penalty, writing and helping to create spaces where transformation and rebirth can occur. All of her work is grounded and supported by her understanding of C.G. Jung, an array of theological/philosophical thinkers, and her long spiritual journey’s engagement with scripture and other sacred texts.

Ana Reza, Bridge Chaplain for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. Ana L. Reza is a first-generation Mexican-American. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, where she currently resides. Ana is a community activist on La Frontera working with issues of fair housing, education, saving our history, the militarization of our border, and immigrant rights. In her role for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande as their Bridge Chaplain, Ana is the main contact for the DRG’s Rio Grande Borderland Ministries (RGBM). She works in collaboration with RGBM’s partners in Juárez, Mexico to support two shelters led by Padre Hector Trejo Cano, and is currently leading the process of opening the diocesan Center for Borderland Ministries in El Paso, Texas, which will serve as a hospitality space and shelter for asylum seekers here in the United States. Ana is driven by her awareness of the need to welcome refugees with dignity by calling people to support two shelters in Juarez and one locally. She collaborates locally and nationally with congregations, dioceses, and organizations to work to bring God’s love and dignity to our borders and beyond.

Andrea Rudnik works in migration ministry as a co-founder of Team Brownsville, a humanitarian aid organization based in Brownsville Texas. Team Brownsville serves asylum seekers on both sides of the US/Mexico border, Matamoros, Tamaulipas and Brownsville, Texas. She is a member of Church of the Advent in the Diocese of West Texas.

Flor Saldivar is the Director of Immigration & Refugee Ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.

Andrew Selee is President of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a global nonpartisan institution that seeks to improve immigration and integration policies through fact-based research, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions, a position he assumed in 2017. He also chairs MPI Europe’s Administrative Council. Dr. Selee’s research focuses on migration globally, with a special emphasis on immigration policies in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together (PublicAffairs, 2018) and What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact (Stanford University Press, 2013). He has published opinion articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and Americas Quarterly, and he contributes a regular column to Mexico’s largest newspaper, El Universal. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching courses on global migration, and has previously taught at Johns Hopkins and George Washington universities and been a visiting scholar at El Colegio de México. Dr. Selee was a Co-Director of the Regional Migration Study Group, convened by MPI with the Wilson Center, and part of the steering committee for MPI’s Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the USA, the nation’s largest membership organization.

Jorge Schiavon Uriegas is Professor of International Relations at the International Studies Department, CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) (1999–today), Coordinator (2013-today) of the Interdisciplinary Program on Migration at CIDE (CIDE-MIG), Non-Resident Fellow (2021-today) at the Migration Policy Institute, and Executive Director of Mexico, the Americas and the World project (2010-today). He has been President of CIDE Foundation (2017-2019), Chair of the International Studies Department (2007-2010), Secretary General (Vice-Rector) of CIDE (2004-2007), Director of Development and External Affairs (2002-2004) of CIDE, and Director of the B.A. Program in Political Science and International Relations (2000-2001). He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs (University of California, San Diego, UCSD); M.A. in Political Science (UCSD); B.A. in International Relations (El Colegio de México); and Diploma in Public International Law (The Hague Academy of International Law, International Court of Justice).

The Rev. Michael Wallens, Vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marfa, Texas. Originally from Chicago, Mike was raised in the Jewish tradition. He took a detour along the way and has been an Episcopal priest since 1978. He has served in seven Episcopal schools in four states, the most recent being Canterbury Episcopal School in DeSoto, Texas, and St. Phillips School and Community Center in South Dallas. Currently, Mike is the Vicar of the Episcopal Church in Marfa, Texas, serves four other churches in the Big Bend region of Far West Texas, and is also the Big Bend sector leader for Rio Grande Borderland Ministries. Mike helps coordinate responses to the humanitarian crisis along the southern border of the United States, maintaining open communication with the Border Patrol in the Big Bend Sector and supporting RGBM’s partnership with Boquillas Beyond Mexico Mission, Inc. Mike met his wife Susan in college at Sewanee: The University of the South, and they have been married for over 40 years. They have two grown sons who currently live in Austin, Texas and a very sweet dog.

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“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

– Hebrews 13:2