Caring for LGBTQ Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Part 2
At More Light, we often hear from congregational leaders who have active ministries to both LGBTQ people and refugees, and who want to be a better source of support to both populations but may be unsure how best to do so.
More Light is proud to be co-sponsoring this event with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
Caring for LGBTQ Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Part 2
Co-trainer: Jamila Hammami
Jamila Hammami is a queer non- binary first generation Tunisian Arab American person of color community organizer & social worker from the south, now based in NYC. They are a founder and Executive Director of the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), founded in 2014. Jamila has worked with LGBTQI/ HIV+ immigrants in detention and post- detention. They have specifically worked on service provision, program development, organizing, advocacy and policy around the realities of detention and violent xenophobic policies, while lifting the voices of LGBTQI immigrants that were previously detained through the podcast Queering Immigration.
They are a 2013 graduate of the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College with a degree in Community Organizing Social Work, with a specialization in Immigrants and Refugees. They are also a Social Work Field Instruction at Columbia School of Social Work in New York City. Jamila comes to this work with personal and familial experiences with the incarceration system, a background in reproductive justice, working to center women, specifically trans and queer, of color’s voices in movements, and witnessing the impacts of migration and racism in their formative years in Texas.
Jamila is a survivor of police brutality and the carceral system; but is fortunate to have been able to remain in the free world based on procedural civil rights violations. They are also a leader of the NYC chapter of Black & Pink, an organization run and led by those that are currently or are previously incarcerated and free world allies.
Jamila is a contributor to the books Centering Intersectional Politics: Queer Migration Activisms “After Marriage’’, Profit/Protest Asylum, and Queer Migrations 2: Illegalization, Detention, and Deportation. Jamila is also a member of the The Stonewall Foundation’s Levin- Goffe Committee, a scholarship program for immigrant students in New York City.
Jamila is a recipient of the National Association Of Social Workers of New York City’s 2017 Emerging Leaderships Award, Metropolitan Community Church of New York (MCCNY) 2017 HEART Award, New York City Council LGBT Caucus 2017 LGBT Champion, Step Feed’s Top 20 Arab Activist, Step Feed’s Top 10 Arab Women Fighting for Gender and Sexual Freedom, Opportunity Agenda 2015 Communications Institute Fellow, and an Opportunity Agenda 2016 Creative Change Fellow.
Series Trainer: Susan Krehbiel
Susan Krehbiel has over 25 years of experience in refugee and asylum ministries, primarily through faith-based non-profits. For most of her career she has worked in both the development of direct service programs and public policies. Of particular significance to her was her work developing new national programs and policies to protect unaccompanied children seeking asylum and the 2 years plus she spent in South America helping establish new resettlement countries.
Susan works for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to coordinate PC(USA) humanitarian response with refugees and asylum seekers and advocacy on their behalf, by inspiring, connecting and equipping the denomination and local congregations to carry out these ministries. In addition to her work for PDA, Susan works for the Presbytery of Baltimore. She is married to Norman Lazarus and is a ruling elder and member of Catonsville Presbyterian Church in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Part 2 – What did we learn?
- The current landscape for refugees and people seeking asylum
- The Detainment Process/current landscape
- The Cycle for Asylum Seekers – Asylees
- The reality of the processes on people’s lives
- Language and terminology related to the experiences of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers
- A theological/biblical grounding for the importance of responsible ministry with LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers
- A general understanding of the circumstances LGBTQI refugees coming into the U.S. face
- Ways congregations can have the conversation about the WHY
- Support for people in detention
- Support for people in our local communities, and how to identify community-based projects
- Advocacy for just and humane policies
- Lifting up projects being led by people who’ve been formerly detained, people who are LGBTQ – people who are organizing within their community