In autumn of 2018, members of the Racial Justice Committee invited representatives of Side With Love from the First Unitarian Church of Providence to present a forum about Sanctuary, a dedicated space within their church to provide asylum to a family facing possible deportation. Because providing sanctuary is a labor-intensive effort, First Unitarian sought support from other faith communities. From this effort the Immigrant Justice group at UUCSC was formed as a subgroup of Racial Justice. Five members of UUCSC voluntered and were trained as hosts to be present for guests within the sanctuary space.
Members then teamed with representatives of Side with Love to sponsor a talk by noted immigration rights author and activist, Aviva Chomsky, who spoke about the complexities of United States immigration history and challenges currently facing asylum seekers.
A fundraiser was conducted in May, 2018, to support Annunciation House, an El Paso nonprofit organization, in their efforts to help refugees seeking asylum, arriving from the southern border. Funds were raised to purchase food and other necessities to help migrants as they travel to their destinations throughout the United States.
Currently, we are exploring how we may work with the Sanctuary Coalition Committee, a group of faith communities that has formed in Providence to support First Unitarian’s sanctuary, as well as to explore ways to meet the needs of asylum seekers in Rhode Island. Members of the Sanctuary Coalition provide weekly updates about ongoing efforts in Rhode Island to support undocumented immigrants.