#EAD2018 Lifted Up Calls for Justice for Migrants,
Refugees & Displaced Persons in Washington, D.C.
_EAD2018 Public Witness
#EAD2018 Advocates gather on the steps of the United Methodist Building across the street from the U.S. Capitol on Monday, April 23 for a public witness in support of migrants, refugees and displaced persons. The public witness began our Congressional Advocacy Day.

Hundreds of faith advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. from across the U.S. visited the offices of their elected officials on #EAD2018's Congressional Advocacy Day, Monday, April 23. Supported by calls from remote participants around the country, these advocates raised their voices in Congress for compassion and justice for migrants, refugees and displaced people, both here and around the world. The advocacy day, which began with a public witness of support for immigrants, Dreamers, migrants and refugees, capped an inspiring #EAD2018 National Gathering  in the nation's capital, focused on the needs of these groups under the theme of "A World Uprooted."

Unfortunately, some of the themes of #EAD2018 became more poignant when Jerome Aba, a peace advocate in the Philippines, who was scheduled to be a part of our National Gathering, was detained in San Francisco's airport for 22 hours, strip searched several times, told he had no business in this country and was sent back to the Philippines. This was in spite of the fact that he had been granted a visa! Advocates responded to Aba's terrible treatment with additional online, phone and social media efforts on his behalf. We ask for your continued prayers for Mr. Aba's safety and peace work in the Philippines.
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
The weekend advocacy event drew together nearly 800 people, a full quarter of which were age 35 or younger, representing 23 Christian denominations and four other faith traditions. There were participants from 43 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with international participants from at least 5 countries.

This diverse and enthusiastic group was 
Dreamers Panel
Dreamers Panel
inspired by an array of keynote 
speakers and panelists addressing the realities and needs of migrants, refugees and displaced people, including:
  • A Pre-Gathering event panel of theologians,
  • Rev. Dr Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Vice President of Education and Dean of Esperanza College at Eastern University,
  • A Policy Plenary, including Dr. 
    Bishop Ricardo Ramirez
    Bishop Ricardo Ramirez
    Elizabeth Ferris of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service,
  • Dreamers Panel,
  • Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, bishop emeritus of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico,
  • An International Panel on Conflict, Corruption, Climate Change & the 
    Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver II
    Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver II
  • World's Uprooted, and
  • Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver II
The National Gathering portion of the weekend concluded with a panel of denominational and organizational leaders reflecting on the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in light of this year's advocacy theme.

All of the videos of these presentations can be found on our website and our YouTube Channel.

During the National Gathering, participants were led in prayer and worship by a 
talented music ministry tea m led by  Rev. Tracy Howe Wispelwey  and spoken word artist and musician Rev. Julian DeShazier ("JKwest")
. Videos of the full Friday evening Opening Celebration & Sunday Interdenominational Worship can be found on our Facebook videos page.
Public Witness on Capitol Hill
Public Witness on Capitol Hill
In addition, #EAD2018 included nearly 50 breakout workshops and opportunities for participants to gather by state for Lobby Day preparation. Select plenary sessions were streamed live on Facebook, reaching an additional 2,200 people. 

The National Gathering shifted to Capitol Hill on Monday, April 23, which began with a public witness in support of migrants, refugees and displaced people, before advocates stormed the halls of 
Advocates at the U.S. Capitol
Advocates at the U.S. Capitol
Congress for their lobby day visits. Participants first gathered in front of the United Methodist Building to offer prayers before marching in front of the U.S. Capitol and "breaking" through a paper wall that read "white supremacy," which also listed the things that divide us. Clergy leaders then symbolically tore down the wall.

EAD Advocates called on elected leaders to act with
A group from Texas visits the offices of Sen. John Cornyn.
A group from Texas visits the offices of Sen. John Cornyn.
 compassion and to exercise fiscal responsibility by redirecting funding used for deportations, detention and border militarization to investment in our communities and support for refugees. This ask also included increasing poverty-focused and peacebuilding international assistance to address the root causes of forced  migration.

Our full Lobby Day ask and materials are available as resources and guides on our website.

A photo gallery of the National Gathering weekend, including photos from our Public witness on Capitol Hill is also available
Share Your #EAD2018 Experience:
Write a Letter to the Editor
Crowd at EAD Event

A great way to amplify your work and make sure that everything you learned and experience at #EAD2018 is also shared with your community at home is to write a letter to the editor and have it placed in your local paper.

In a letter of 250 words or less, talk about the event, your meeting with your member of Congress, mentioning them by name, and remember to reiterate the EAD Lobby Day Ask in your letter! Include specific stories or compelling facts.

Need some help getting started or want to take other local action? Click here for some res ources from our colleagues at the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC). You may also contact Jennifer Amuzie of the IIC for additional resources and assistance when planning or writing your letter.
When your letter is published, please be sure to share the link with us!
Dates Announced for #EAD2019 National Gathering
Ecumenical Advocacy Days Director Leslie Copeland Tune and the EAD Leadership Team have announced that #EAD2019 will be held Friday, April 5 to Monday, April 8, 2019 in the nation's capital. Plans will soon be underway for this 17th annual National Gathering and Congressional Advocacy Day. Be sure to check the EAD website at AdvocacyDays.org/2019 for more information as it becomes available.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days | info @advocacydays.org | (571) 882-9730