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1) Rev. J. Edwin Lloyd of Whosoever Will Christian Church in Md. with Patrice Lawrence of UndocuBlack Network & Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea. 2) Rev. J. Edwin Lloyd of Whosoever Will Christian Church in Md. 3) Disciples at Black Ministers Retreat
Black Minister's Retreat
Liberians at Risk as DED (Deferred Enforced Departure) Set to Expire in Just 5 DAYS

The current designation of "Deferred Enforced Departure" (DED) that is now protecting nearly 4,000 Liberians in the U.S. is set to expire on MARCH 31 st .  The decision to potentially renew or eliminate this status is made by the President only.  If DED is not extended, thousands of Liberians would lose their work authorization and be vulnerable for deportation IMMEDIATELY.  Consequences upon individuals and families, which would be torn apart, would be devastating!  

Americans share a centuries' old heritage with Liberia--and as Disciples, our connections have been particularly strong.   As Rev. Marco Cable, Executive of Global Ministries Africa Office reminds, "The first missionaries sent to Africa were Black Americans who went to Liberia."  Today, such connections are expressed through Disciples congregations such as the vibrant Whosoever Will Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., which remains 85% comprised of Liberian immigrants.  Their community will be immediately and negatively impacted if DED is not renewed. 

Whosoever Will's Pastor, Rev. J. Edwin Lloyd, is a graduate of Howard University School of Divinity.  He has been connected with the congregation since its beginning, and has served as its pastor for over a decade.  See Rev. Lloyd above, in center, and at left together with partners from UndocuBlack and Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries--as they advocated on Capitol Hill for ongoing protections for Liberians last week.  

Many Disciples clergy at the Black Ministers Retreat (see photo above, at right) recently signed a   letter that included support for Liberians with DED .  And late last week, over 600 national faith leaders and organizations signed a letter   also urging renewal of DED status for Liberians.

What Can YOU and Your Faith Community Do THIS WEEK to Protect Liberians?

1) Go here to learn more about Liberian DED, and see ways faith partners are working to maintain this protection.

2) Share the above faith letters with your U.S. legislators, and urge them to ask the White House to extend and renew DED protections for Liberians!

3) Email and/or call the White House to encourage the President to protect Liberians with DED by going here:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/
  For advocacy questions, contact:                  
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, sstanley@dhm.disciples.org, 202-957-7826.
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and select "Refugee & Immigration Ministries."
   Thanks for raising your voice and values of faith to support immigrants and refugees, and for answering the call to "open your mouths to defend the rights...of the needy." (Proverbs 31:8)
 
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