Welcoming the Stranger

October 28, 2018 at 4 pm the Maine Jewish Museum is hosting “Welcoming the Stranger: Perspectives on Immigration.” This panel is one of 50 events in the “Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways” series, sponsored by Maine College of Art.

“Welcoming the Stranger” will tell the story of migration from several perspectives. Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, Director of Interreligious Engagement at ADL, will open the panel with a reflection from Jewish tradition and history on immigration and welcoming the stranger. Amy Feinman, ADL Northeast Area Civil Rights Counsel, will focus on ADL’s legal challenge to the President’s travel ban, (which specifically excludes people from several Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S.)  and trace America’s history as a nation dedicated to ideals of equality, liberty and justice. Ms. Feinman will also provide an update to legal challenges to the Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which has separated migrant children from their parents when they cross the border.

The panel will then feature  two local activists leading efforts to help immigrants succeed in this region. Pious Ali is the first African-born Muslim elected to Portland’s City Council and University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Sevice youth and community engagement specialist. He will describe his journey as an immigrant from Ghana and his work building the capacity of marginalized members of the community to engage and advocate on behalf of their children in the public schools.

Damas Rugaba, an immigrant from Rwanda, is co-founder of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center. He will share the Center’s work on immigrant economic integration, which includes helping skilled workers find professional jobs, supporting entrepreneurs, and engaging immigrants civically on policies that affect their daily lives.

The event is free and open to the public.