Advancing Human Rights
The Refugee and Immigrant Action Group provides varied engagement opportunities for ERUUFians to build relationships with, and show support for, refugees and immigrants in our community, and to make our voices heard in support of these new neighbors in our communities. Through the personal connections we facilitate, and the actions we take, those of us who are more established in this community hope to understand the challenges refugees and immigrants face and have the opportunity to help newcomers feel welcome. Involvement can be one-time or ongoing, and may include sharing a meal, helping with childcare or food at a class for immigrants, donating household items for new arrivals, or advocating on behalf of refugee and immigrant rights.
This Justice Action Group works in close partnership with local organizations involved in refugee resettlement and immigrant support, and with other congregations engaged in similar work. We are founding partners in the Triangle Interfaith Advocates for Refugees and Immigrants (TIARI), which works to build support for and advocate for refugees and immigrants. We are long-standing partners with CWS-RDU, the local refugee resettlement agency, and have recently collaborated with several other local organizations and congregations, including the immigrant rights group Siembra NC, the NC Sanctuary Coalition, the Refugee Resettlement and Immigrant Justice Initiative of Judea Reform congregation in Durham, and the Refugee Action group of the UU Fellowship of Raleigh.
- To contribute to the Justice Ministry's goal of diversity and inclusion through expanding Beloved Community to include newly arrived refugees and immigrants in the Triangle area.
- To put into context the current refugee crisis in order to intelligently advocate for these vulnerable populations.
- To make our voices heard for justice for immigrants and refugees.
As a welcoming congregation, many ERUUFians seek connections and understanding with people who are new to the US and our communities. We intend to build on the interests and activities involving refugees and immigrants which have already been demonstrated at ERUUF and to expand them. We believe that these activities have the potential to benefit all participants, promote tolerance, and foster better understanding across cultural and linguistic barriers, as well as achieving the stated goals of each activity.
Our action group welcomes everyone interested in supporting immigrants and refugees, whatever level of involvement they prefer. We will help you find a way to make your voice heard by writing a postcard to your elected representatives, including you in a potluck with refugees, or we can help you connect with a local group that can use your skills as a volunteer. Please contact one of the co-leaders to see how you can be part of our work.
Leader(s): Peggy Schaeffer, Judy McGrath, Dennis McGrath