As communities across the United States are beginning to receive Afghan allies, communities and their local elected officials and faith leaders face the challenge of building community support for welcoming these newcomers. This challenge is especially acute in communities that may have not have an extensive history of receiving vulnerable populations of immigrants like Afghan arrivals. Local leaders may need to address concerns that some members of their communities have about the resettlement of Afghan arrivals in order to expand the base of support for welcoming them. While refugee resettlement agencies such as Episcopal Migration Ministries will have resources to assist with the resettlement process, local leaders may need ideas for programs and initiatives that they can adopt to support the integration of these newcomers.
The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations and Episcopal Migration Ministries hosted a webinar on November 4, 2021 to discuss how the Church’s leaders and community members can frame their messaging around welcoming Afghan arrivals and other newcomers and adopt programs and initiatives to support their integration. The panel included:
- Theresa Brown, Managing Director of Immigration and Cross-Border Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center
- Jordyne Krumroy, Senior Regional Manager, Welcoming America
- Salome Mwangi, Refugee Speakers Bureau & Social Integration Coordinator with the Idaho Office for Refugees in Boise
- The Rev. Chris McNabb, Neighbor to Neighbor Missioner, Episcopal Migration Ministries
The event featured a moderated panel discussion followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. A recording is available here.