Global Citizen’s Award Goes to Local Immigration Program

First Church’s Children at the Border/Sanctuary Ministry Team is celebrating the Global Citizens Award from the East Bay United Nation’s Chapter that was given to the Revered Deborah Lee, Director of the Immigration Program of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. Several members of the Ministry Team have been an integral part of the work of this organization. They have

  • Provided food and sought shelter for refugees
  • Organized and volunteered at a preschool for young children from Indigenous Guatemala
  • Supported the Soccer Without Borders program in Oakland, and
  • Tutored immigrant high school students.

Victoria Purcell-Gates, First Church member, will be joining a delegation of faith leaders to Guatemala in December to study the root causes of the migration, visit Migrant Justice organizations, celebrate Radio Progress’ 60th anniversary, and visit indigenous communities fighting displacement.

First Church is a member of the East Bay Immigrant Interfaith Coalition that is being recognized. The award reads as follows:

Immigration Program of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity & Rev. Deborah Lee, Director, is a coalition encompassing diverse faith groups and individuals in Oakland and the East Bay who provide an extensive range of services on behalf of displaced persons and undocumented migrants fleeing from violence and repressive conditions in Central America.  Lee, the tiny staff, and Program serve as a focal point to meet basic human needs, provide legal support, and conduct vigils, especially for women and children who seek shelter, are incarcerated or threatened with deportation.  The Program provides training for volunteer support teams, and organizes missions to Central America to identify “root causes” that have been incorporated into advocacy with government officials.

The Children at the Border/Sanctuary Ministry Team welcomes new members. Contact Victoria Purcell-Gates if interested in contributing to this work.