Jenny Yang, co-author of “Welcoming the Stranger,” will be the featured speaker Feb. 12 on campus to kick-off a day-long event to create awareness about a hot topic -- immigration reform.
“Immigration reform is right on the top of the political agenda right now,” said Chip Huber, dean of student engagement at CU. “We don’t just want our students to be aware of what the issue is but be able to do something about it.”
Yang, director of advocacy and policy for the Refugee and Immigration Program at World Relief, will break down the debate and what it means to individuals and the church.
“I didn’t have a real clear picture of some of the issues facing immigrants in our country and the opportunity for change until recently,” said Huber. “Biblically, Jesus commands us to care for the stranger and alien.”
Many Christians are left conflicted about the issue, unsure of what our faith requires of us on this pressing issue, Yang explains in her book.
This is the first time the topic has been tackled on CU’s campus to include all students.
Freshmen participating in CU’s first year Terra Firma program, were required last month to read a chapter from Yang’s book that outlines a basic framework for the Scriptural response on how Christians should treat strangers and discuss different viewpoints on the topic.
“We have this incredible opportunity as followers of Christ to welcome people who are strangers in our community,” said Huber. “We can provide physical help and educational help. And we also have this opportunity to welcome them into the family of God.”
At 4 p.m. an artist series will be hosted in the Corum on campus, featuring ArtPrize artist Pamela Alderman. Her watercolor paintings, entitled “Courage Ablaze," will raise awareness for women and children in the Congo.
Along with the artwork, a Congolese family, known as the Les Clay musical group, will share their story of immigration through music and song.
The day will end with a film at 7 p.m. in the Hansen Athletic Center, ”The Dream is Now,” depicting the challenges of immigration within the local community. Daniel Watz with G-92, an organization within World Relief, will lead a conversation that invites students to respond through prayer and political advocacy.
After the film, Bethany Christian Services will share stories of refugee families it has aided in immigration locally and will provide students an opportunity to get involved in Bethany’s mentoring program for refugee families.
Cornerstone President Joe Stowell recently spoke out on immigration in an opinion piece on MLive. It can be viewed at http://www.mlive.com/opinion/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/02/now_is_the_time_for_immigratio.html.
For more information about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.