Third Annual LAMP Symposium - February 6, 2017


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"Asylum, Refuge, and Relocation: Multifaith and Community Responses to Global Migration"

LAMP's third annual symposium was held at the Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech (875 West Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30309) on February 6, 2017, during World Interfaith Harmony Week. In a time of uncertainty for migrant communities in Georgia, across the United States, and in many parts of the world, this symposium brought together over 200 members of the Atlanta community and the campuses of Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, making it the largest LAMP gathering since the program’s inception in the spring of 2015. The daylong event aimed to raise public awareness and provide resources for students, faculty, religious congregations, and community leaders who work with immigrants and refugees or care about issues of global migration. The event included a film screening and discussion with the directors of After Springa documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis executive produced by Jon Stewart and directed by Ellen Martinez and Stephanie Ching. After Spring tells the story of the Syrian conflict by documenting what it is like to live in Zaatari camp in Jordan, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. It follows two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.

Thank you to all who participated in this event. Please take a moment to offer us some feedback:


Participating Organizations & Resources


Program Details

10:00 A.M. - Viewing & Discussion of After Spring

12:45-2:15 P.M. - Lunch & Workshop Session 1

  • After Spring: Documenting the Syrian Crisis

Join the directors of After Spring for a deeper look into the creation of this powerful documentary and their approach to film as a medium for raising awareness and putting a human face to the Syrian refugee crisis. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, a Georgia Tech professor who specializes in Latin American documentary filmmaking, will offer a response to After Spring from the perspective of film studies and will facilitate the conversation with Martinez and Ching. Leaders: Ellen Martinez and Stephanie Ching, directors of After Spring; Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Georgia Tech

  • Migration & the Middle East

In the late nineteenth century, many Arabic-speaking people left the Ottoman Empire, including places such as Lebanon, in search of brighter opportunities. They headed for “America”, which meant not only the United States, but also countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. Through their settlement, they contributed to the cultural richness that has come to characterize American societies. Today, as many Syrians and Iraqis arrive as refugees fleeing from war, we can look to the history of U.S.-Middle Eastern, and more broadly, American-Middle Eastern, exchanges in order to appreciate some of the consequences and legacies of migration from this part of the world. Leader: Heather J. Sharkey, University of Pennsylvania

  • Spiritual Care with Migrants and Refugees

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers travel across frontiers with all that they are. Spirituality, which includes all that we are as human beings, lies at the heart of our humanity. In this workshop we shall be considering how migrants and refugees are cared for spiritually in ways that affirm and enhance their dignity, value and worth. The lenses through which we shall do this are Islamic (Alan), Palestinian Christian (Fahed), and African (Emmanuel). We shall explore through our own stories and those of people we live and work with here in Atlanta what really works in the care of people who travel into this country under duress or by choice. LeadersEmmanuel Lartey, Candler School of Theology at Emory; Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel, Atlanta Presbytery; Alan Howard, Islamic Speakers Bureau

  • Know Your Rights

Learn about your right to practice your religion, your right to free speech, and your right to join organizations. Also learn what to do if you come into contact with local police, the FBI, or immigration officers and if you face any discrimination or abuse. Leader: Azadeh Shahshahani, Project South.

2:30-3:45 P.M. - Workshop Session 2

  • Educating Immigrant and Refugee Students: Context and Best Practices

In this workshop, we will share an overview of the current opportunities and challenges immigrant and refugee students and families face in the U.S. education system. We will share best practices for working with this population. The workshop will conclude with some concrete ways to support the education of immigrant and refugee students and their families. Leaders: Rhina Fernandes Williams and Kristina Brezicha, Georgia State University

  • How to Welcome and Advocate for Inclusivity in Your Community

Come learn actionable steps you can take to make your community more inclusive and welcoming toward immigrants and refugees. After a brief overview of Metro Atlanta’s foreign-born demographics and characteristics of Atlanta immigrants, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affair’s –Welcoming Atlanta will lead an interactive workshop on advocacy skills for working with local government to create a welcoming community and to develop your own strategy to welcome in your neighborhood, school, place of worship, and family. By the end of this workshop, you will have access to basic resources and tools to be a leader in Atlanta’s welcoming movement. Leaders: Michelle Maziar & Luisa Cardona, Welcoming Atlanta; Satyam Barakoti, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.

  • Detention & Detained Asylum Seekers

This workshop's discussion of advocacy on behalf of detained asylum seekers will begin with a viewing of "Locked in a Box." This short film by David Barnhart documents the lives of detainees in the US and the work of those ministering among detained migrants. The film viewing will be followed by a discussion with the directors of two Georgia faith-based organizations that work with detained immigrants and asylum seekers. Leader: Marie Marquardt, Candler School of Theology at Emory. Panelists: Amilcar Valencia, El Refugio; Melanie Johnson, Lutheran Services of Georgia & Friends in Hope

  • Compassion in Action: An Interfaith Response 

Join us for a panel discussion with Atlanta leaders whose actions on behalf of immigrant and refugee communities are rooted in their respective faith traditions. Using an interfaith lens, this workshop will link local and global responses to the refugee crisis, provide insight on the development of refugee services in connection to faith-based organizations, and offer concrete action steps for addressing the needs of refugees in Atlanta and around the world. Leader: Leanne Rubenstein, Compassionate Atlanta. Panelists: Safia Jama, New American Pathways; Louisa Merchant, All Saints' Episcopal Church; ilise cohen, Jewish Voice for Peace.

4:00-5:00 P.M. - Keynote Address: "How the Legal Power of Protecting Rights Expands the Marketplace"

  • SpeakerDerreck Kayongo, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Respondent: Silas Allard, Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University

5:15-6:30 P.M. - Poster Presentation and Resources Reception