Leadership Toolkit #8 – June Issue

Leadership Toolkit, June 2013 issue
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World Refugee Day

WRDLTK300June 20th is World Refugee Day, a time to honor the courage, strength, and determination of women, men, and children who are forced to flee their homes. This year, LIRS is honoring World Refugee Day in many ways. First, LIRS is inviting over 20 former refugees to visit Capitol Hill to call for comprehensive immigration reform that provides for a robust U.S. refugee resettlement program. This could not be a more critical time to advocate for reform, as legislation continues on its winding road towards passage. Immigration reform will have a tremendous impact on how our country greets refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless individuals. We thank these inspiring refugee leaders for giving back and taking advantage of this critical opportunity help new refugees arriving in the United States.

For congregations and individuals who want to commemorate World Refugee Day in their own communities, LIRS has developed educational and advocacy resources, including the new World Refugee Day “Recognize Their Walk” kit. The free kit includes:

  • Message guide with points to help you build a talk or lead a discussion.
  • ‘To Walk in My Shoes’ testimony, to help you and others imagine “being in a refugee’s shoes.”
  • Bulletin insert to photocopy, encouraging others to pray and sign up for information.
  • Litany you can photocopy and read out loud with your congregation or group.

We hope that you can join us on this important day and Stand for Welcome, taking the time to recognize the incredible resilience and hope refugees bring to our nation. Click here to order your kit and begin planning your own World Refugee Day activities!

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

CIRLTK300Comprehensive immigration reform is the pivotal issue on Capitol Hill, and our advocacy team has been working hard to influence the debate and make sure that the legislation that emerges reflects LIRS’s values and priorities and is eventually passed by Congress.

LIRS’s advocacy priorities for comprehensive immigration reform include providing a roadmap to citizenship, ensuring enforcement measures are humane and just, protecting families from separation, promoting integration of vulnerable migrants, and protecting U.S. and migrant workers. Visit lirs.org/cir and our blog’s weekly legislative update for up-to-date information and analysis of S.744 in relation to LIRS’s priorities.

As S.744 gets closer and closer (we hope) to passage, it’s incredibly important that we keep up the pressure and continue telling Congress that we support immigration reform that is fair and keeps families together. Visit our Action Center to show your support for reform and tell your representatives and senators why a specific issue is important to you. As always, we will continue to bring you the most incisive and current news and analysis on our blog, as well as testimonies and interviews with inspiring voices in the field. It is only through our combined efforts that our country will finally be able take pride in an immigration system that allows new Americans and their families to fully thrive and contribute to our communities.

Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit

LILSLTK300Forty faith leaders from all over the country gathered in Washington, D.C. April 15-16 for the Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit, bringing with them the important message that economic security and personal responsibility start with strong families and citizenship, and that America would be foolish to rebuild its immigration system on any other bedrock. A wide variety of Lutheran leaders attended, including five ELCA bishops and two LCMS presidents. The leaders participated in strategy sessions and workshops on immigration reform messaging, and they met with congressional delegations from over 15 states. The timing of the event was powerful, as the leaders conducted their Hill visits the day before S.744, the Senate immigration reform bill, was introduced.

We would like to extend our thanks to all of the participants in this year’s summit. Their leadership in championing humane and just immigration reform is a great testament to their steadfast faith and deep conviction in standing for welcome. It is only through the combined efforts of strong advocates like these that we will be able to finally achieve a fair and humane immigration system that promotes opportunity and justice for all. Visit our blog to read more about the event, including quotes from the participants about their motivations for participating, or read the powerful reflections of Sarah Jackson and Rev. Michael Wilker, and visit our Facebook page to view photos of the event and participants. And, if you feel inspired by the work of our Lutheran leaders and want to make your own voice heard, visit our Action Center and advocate for fair and humane immigration reform. Thank you for standing for welcome!

Board Nominations

BoardLTK300Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) seeks nominations for its 2014 board of directors and committees. Seven seats are expected to be open for a three-year term (2014-2016). Each year, usually one-third of the seats on the board are due to open as part of a pattern of rotation. This year, four of the incumbents are eligible to serve another term. In addition, there are opportunities for service on the following committees: Audit, Communications and Resource Development, Finance and Investment, and Outcomes.

Potential candidates and nominators can visit lirs.org/boardnominations to view the call for nominations, expectations of board and committee members, the nominations timeline, and the nominations form. Nominations should be submitted to nominations@lirs.org by June 1, 2013 for early review, but must be received no later than June 14, 2013.