With news headlines focusing on border and asylum issues while busloads of migrants from Texas continue to arrive locally, a diocesan Immigration Justice Forum is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, at East L.A.’s Church of the Epiphany to provide information and advocacy updates.
Bishop John Harvey Taylor is scheduled to open a panel discussion to be augmented by first-hand accounts of asylees with recent migration experience. Panelists will include:
- Sarah Kahn, interim director, Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
- Josh Lopez-Reyes, executive director, Echo Park Immigration Center
- Guillermo Torres, immigration program director, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
- Daniel Tse, asylum coordinator and co-founder, Cameroon Advocacy Network, Haitian Bridge Alliance
- Naomi Welikala, Black Migrant Assistance Project case manager, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS)
Daniella Urbina, senior advisor in the office of L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, is scheduled to offer remarks during the program, to which participants will be welcomed by the Rev. John Watson, new priest-in- charge at Epiphany, and the Rev. Richard Estrada, assisting priest and longtime immigration and sanctuary movement activist.
IRIS executive director Troy Elder is helping to shape the forum program, which will be livestreamed and offered with simultaneous interpretation into Spanish for attendees in person and online.
The panel will be followed by an on-site community resource fair and a 5 p.m. Eucharist marking the Feast of the Epiphany. Commemorating the Magi’s visit to the Christ child, the liturgy and fiesta will include Latin American music by the ensemble Flamenco Soul as well as traditional Aztec dance.
Established in 1886, Church of the Epiphany, located at 2808 Altura Street, is a landmark for civil rights work including the Chicano movement and the United Farm Workers organizing by Dolores Huerta and the late Cesar Chavez. The activist newspaper La Raza was published in the church basement.
The forum, resource fair, and fiesta are part of a weekend themed “Epiphanies: A Festival of Discovery.” The events seek to make attendees aware of new insights and to invite neighbors to experience the congregation’s vibrant worship and community outreach. Parking for the forum and fiesta is available on the street and in two city lots on Workman Street.
Further information may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning the church at 323.227.9931.