On March 15th, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita hosted a workshop facilitated by local grassroots organizer Margi Ault-Duell. The workshop outlined the model of Arizona based BorderLinks in establishing faith communities as sanctuaries for migrant peoples. The workshop served as a follow up to FUUW’s past conversations with Sunflower Community Action and Claudia Amaro, a Dream 9er and BorderLinks activist, on the subject of what communities of faith can do to confront an unjust immigration system.
With the information provided by Margi’s workshop, FUUW member Maguerite Regan successfully applied for a UUCSJ scholarship for a trip to the US-Mexico border to explore the work being done by congregations organized by BorderLinks.
Margi, who has formerly worked with BorderLinks in AZ, and is currently employed by a local Methodist congregation, also volunteers with Sunflower Community Action. Sunflower is working to establish a wider network of immigrant support resources throughout Wichita, including deepening support within the faith community. Margi has agreed to work with FUUW to establish a series of workshops that will further not only our members’ understanding and involvement on this issue, but that of other faith communities as well.
Marguerite recently returned from the trip to the border, and is bringing what she has learned back to Wichita. With the experience that they’ve gained through BorderLinks, Marguerite and Margi will collaborate with other people of faith and community partners to create interfaith circles that explore the causes of modern mass migration, the struggles faced by immigrants and displaced people, and the role that communities of faith can take in being a resource for sanctuary and Justice.