Faculty and administrative leaders publish open letter in response to the immigration crisis

by: C. Mark Batten | battencm@wfu.edu | 336.758.3959

At the beginning of this summer, the separation of immigrant children from their families at the border rocked the nation. Though the outcry has waned and many families have been reunited, thousands of children have been traumatized and hundreds remain separated from their families.

This week members of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity community join friends and colleagues across the nation for the Week of Witness, an effort sponsored by Define American as a multifaith movement to increase awareness about children still separated from their parents. Faculty and administrative leaders at the school have published an open letter in response to the immigration crisis. These events are a reminder of the necessity and urgency of the educational and vocational work at the School of Divinity.

The letter has been published in both English and Español.

Read in English »

Leer en español »


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Rev. Ryan Eller (MDiv ’07) is an alumni of the School of Divinity and currently serves as the Executive Director of Define American. About the Week of Witness, Ryan writes, “Anchored in faith-based communities (but certainly all are invited and encouraged to participate), the Week of Witness, September 7-16 calls upon the moral strength of our communities for the work ahead. In order to increase awareness about children still separated from their parents, and to share a message of love to those in detention that may feel unwelcome or alone, this week will consist of individuals, groups, and organizations joining in a lullaby sing along, and/or a prayer vigil. We’re hoping these lullabies, vigils, and voices will create a cultural flashpoint that energizes the public around the continued work of justice.” #ReuniteEveryChild

This semester School of Divinity professor Dr. Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo, Earley Assistant Professor of Latin and Catholic Studies, is teaching “Christian Responses to Immigration” in collaboration with Rev. Francis Rivers Meza of FaithHealthNC. This course examines Christian responses to the realities of immigration in the United States, with a particular focus on Latin American immigration. It offers an analyzation of causes and current policy debates. Additionally, the course evaluates the practical approaches embedded in a variety of Christian responses to border policy, deportation of undocumented immigrants, and access to basic goods and services in immigrant communities.

Lead image: Fair Immigration Reform Movement Holds Vigil at Supreme Court (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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