Immigration is the main topic of the Contemporary Issues Forum to be held in May at Davis United Methodist Church. The weekly events are for the general public as well as church members and are hosted Sunday mornings from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. at the church.
Guest speakers include members from church and interfaith delegations who have visited various locations of advocacy concern.
First, on May 5, Emily Henderson, who traveled to Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieto, will speak on “Resilience on the Border: Stories of Faith, Courage and Community.” Her delegation, upon returning, created a reader’s theatre piece to share the stories they heard. This forum will also focus on listening to and reading these stories and reflections.
Henderson grew up in Davis, CA. After studying Theatre and Religion at Wellesley College Emily returned to Davis and worked in local government for many years as Assistant Deputy to Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor. She is now pursuing a degree in Chicano Studies. For the last 10 years, Emily has served as the Artistic Director for Acme Theatre Company – a youth-led theatre organization that develops artistic excellence, youth leadership, and an ethos of social justice.
The following Sunday, May 12, Kary Shender will present “A Brief But Powerful Journey.” This winter Kary participated in an interfaith visit to the San Diego/Tijuana border to witness U.S. immigration policy in action. Kary observed, silently protested, attempted to interact with asylum seekers “on the other side,” and eventually was arrested. She will describe her personal experience at the border and how it has informed her current thoughts and actions. Kary is a member of both Davis UMC and the Friends Meeting in Davis and is on the board of Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network. She has worked with immigrants and immigration issues for more than 30 years.
The May 19 event will focus on advocacy letter writing in lieu of a guest speaker. The next Sunday Forum, on May 26, has yet to be determined.
The last forum on immigration is scheduled for June 2 and is titled, “The Root Causes of Immigration to the U.S.” Gala King and Ann Pratt Gala, participants in an interfaith delegation to Honduras, will be speaking. They aimed to learn why people are fleeing that country and attempting to enter the U.S. as asylum seekers. They met with families of emigrants, staff of nonprofits working in Honduras, government officials, and others, and they conducted site visits to villages with high rates of out-migration. They will report on what they learned there. Gala is Social Justice Program Developer at Buena Vista UMC in Alameda. Ann, a Racine Dominican sister, writes freelance articles on social justice issues in Fair Oaks, CA.
Immigration is one of three themes the Davis church will emphasize this year.
The California-Nevada Conference Committee on Advocacy and Justice has recently reorganized the Immigration Task Force, and networks with local churches to promote similar events. For information about upcoming events in the conference, contact Task Force Chairperson Rolland Loomis at Roseville UMC, (916) 783-3464.
For additional information on the upcoming forums at Davis UMC, contact Jim Cramer at (530) 756-2170 or visit the website at http://www.davisumc.org. The church is located at 1620 Anderson Road, Davis.