N.C. faith leaders announce new coalition to support immigrants

By: - October 3, 2008 9:47 am

Here's an important new development that a lot of people may have missed this week. Faith leaders from a variety of religions are coming together to promote a new coalition called the North Carolina Religious Coalition for Justice for Immigrants. The group will be officially unveiled next Tuesday, October 7. It'll be interesting to see if some of the right-wing think tanks make support of this group part of their "Pro-Family" agendas. Here's the press release.

For Immediate release:  September 30, 2008                                  

Contact: Chris Liu Beers, (919) 828-6501

Faith Leaders Stand Up for Welcoming Immigrants: Leaders Across Faith Traditions Mobilize Constituencies

Raleigh, NC – On October 7 at 10am, faith leaders from North Carolina will present the North Carolina Religious Coalition for Justice for Immigrants. The Coalition is a new grassroots initiative that has received sign-ons from almost 300 clergy and religious leaders (and more than 650 laypeople) from over 20 denominations and faith traditions across North Carolina.

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Bishop Michael Burbidge (invited), Imam Oliver Muhammad, Rev. Cookie Santiago and Rabbi Eric Solomon will hold a joint press conference to discuss their commitment to immigration reform and the actions they are taking to educate and mobilize their constituencies. They will call on people of faith to affirm that all people are made in God's image, reminding them of their religious calling to love the "stranger" and offer hospitality to immigrants. In addition, these religious leaders will ask elected officials – at all levels – to demonstrate the moral courage needed to protect the dignity and human rights of all people.

As we have seen with recent immigration raids and local initiatives such as 287(g), officials are letting divisive, hateful rhetoric and inhumane treatment become commonplace. We must make every effort to focus on civil and respectful dialogue that creates a welcoming environment while properly addressing the issue of immigration. The Coalition's statement affirms that "immigration policy is complex and multi-faceted" even while it calls on all people of faith "to stand with immigrants as a matter of religious responsibility, to advocate for their well-being and protection, and to educate our local communities about issues affecting immigrant peoples."

WHAT: Faith Leaders Unite to Announce the NC Religious Coalition for Justice for Immigrants

WHO: Rev. Dr. William Barber II, President, NAACP-NC, Bishop Michael Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Raleigh (invited), Imam Oliver Muhammad, As Salaam Islamic Center of Raleigh, Rev. Cookie Santiago, NC Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rabbi Eric Solomon, Beth Meyer Synagogue

WHEN: Tuesday, October 7, 10:00 am

WHERE: The Methodist Building, 1307 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh 27605

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors and voices regular commentaries, and hosts the 'News & Views' weekly radio show/podcast.