Marie’s skinny body is exaggerated from her over-sized dress, but her personality is anything but frail. While she speaks, her voice fluctuates wildly in its tone; and while she talks, her face is brightly animated. Marie has much to say, but she does not have much time. Like Yvette, she meets with me during her short break from work at the Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale. As I listen to her story, the rain pours down from the sky in buckets, and makes thunderous little claps on the roof above us.
David Jaimes was asked to prepare a message for Saturday morning's programmed meeting for worship at the 2015 AFSC Corporation Meeting (March 5-7). David gave powerful vocal ministry inspired by the 2015 Corporation Meeting theme, "Radical Hospitality: Working for Immigrant Justice." Below is a version of his message that has been edited for length. If you'd like to learn how you or your meeting/church can support immigrant justice in your community, join our next call for spirited action with AFSC staff members Jenn Piper and Lori Khamala on Thursday.
Yvette meets with me during her lunch break in the middle of an intense Florida summer rainstorm to tell me about her journey as an American citizen. The decorum for an interview cannot be worse, but nonetheless, Yvette has plenty of patience to participate in my project. As lightning cracks all around us, and a chintzy version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” plays repetitively on the loudspeakers, Yvette maintains her graciousness. We sit at a table in the Swap Shop—a flea market complex in Ft.
Since fall of 2013, AFSC’s North Carolina office has worked with diverse immigrant communities across Greensboro on a project to make the city more welcoming and inclusive. One year later, challenges persist, but the grassroots work is paying off and we are seeing progress: the city unanimously passed a Welcoming Greensboro resolution in April 2014, the Human Relations Commission appointed an immigrant member in October 2014, and an AFSC staff member is chairing a working group to re-develop the city’s International Advisory Committee.
Within the last year, the AFSC Miami office began groundbreaking work towards helping gay immigrants married to American citizens obtain legal permanent status (LPR). Gay immigrant spouses can now apply for legal status because on June 26th, 2013 Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was repealed in the US Supreme Court case Windsor v. United States.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.