2018 JFI Conference: December 5-7th

/2018 JFI Conference: December 5-7th
2018 JFI Conference: December 5-7th2018-11-30T14:20:46+00:00

Booking Information:

Hyatt Regency Crystal City

Room rate – $189 per night

Parking – $30 daily fee

Book your room!!!

Registration is now live!!!

Registration is $225



Plenary Sessions

1. Engaging the Government: A Conversation with Government Officials About Their Migration Priorities

The vital role that the federal government plays in the formation of U.S. migration policy and the expertise it brings cannot be overlooked or underestimated. This session will provide an opportunity to hear what government officials are working on and their future priorities. Through this conversation, participants will have an opportunity to hear what these officials understand to be key current challenges and solutions relating to immigrants and refugees. Attendees will leave with insights as to the current policy priorities and learn where there are opportunities to work together to ensure passage and implementation of policies that are respectful of human dignity.


2. Welcoming the Stranger in Challenging Times: The Road Forward

Led by Pope Francis, the global Catholic Church has taken a stand in the support, protection, and accompaniment of immigrants and refugees. In the U.S, the Catholic Church has been a strong voice supporting immigrants and refugees while simultaneously demonstrating institutional expertise and programmatic capacity throughout the country. This session will highlight perspectives from Catholic migration experts and leaders from the Vatican, the diocesan level, and from the U.S./Mexico border, and Washington, DC. These panelists will discuss the importance of promoting a vision for migration policy that is consistent with Church teaching and prospects for meaningful global and national reform.


Breakout Sessions – 130PM


1. Insights from the Experts – Tips for Increasing Capacity to Support Refugees and Immigrants

Moderator: Ralph McCloud – Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Panelists: Alexia Kelly – Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities
Sr. Sally Duffy –  SC Ministry Foundation
Chandler Keys – Keys Group

Resource development and increasing institutional capacity and engagement are important components for the growth of any non-profit organization. This workshop will discuss best practices in fundraising and community engagement, with insights provided by representatives from the philanthropic and business communities and other existing refugee funding partners. The panel aims to educate participants on strategies related to successful development engagement in a competitive environment and expand existing community coalitions of support. Panelists will share best practices for foundation, business, and local community engagement strategies.


2. Protecting Our Youth: Examining Proposed Rollbacks to Protections for Migrant Children and their Families

Moderator: Melissa Hastings – USCCB/MRS Policy Advisor
Panelists: Hector Gerardo Cendejas – Catholic Charities, Diocese of Arlington (VA)
Rebecca Eastwood – Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Jennifer Podkul – Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

Recent months have brought significant proposed changes to existing protections for immigrant children, both administratively and legislatively, as well as increased enforcement actions against “sponsors” of unaccompanied children. This panel will inform conference participants about these developments and their impacts on children and families, discuss policy proposals that can help to protect child migrants, and suggest ways in which attendees can support these populations.


3. Welcoming Strangers as our Sisters and Brothers

As Pope Francis has instructed, our shared response to migrants and refugees must be to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. Scripture reminds us to offer hospitality to one another. This panel will share stories of migrants’ arrival and provide examples of best practices of how parishes are working to respond to welcoming newcomers to their communities.

Moderator: Kimberly Mazyck – Senior Manager, Engagement and Educational Outreach, Catholic Charities USA
Panelists: Sarah Aljanabi – Catholic Charities Diocese of Camden
Sheila Herlihy – Church of the Incarnation, Charlottesville, VA


Breakout panels 3PM start time


4. Breaking the Bonds: An Analysis of Current Trends and Challenges in the Fight against Human Trafficking

Moderator: Sister Ann Scholz – Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Panelists: Hilary Chester, PhD – Associate Director, Anti-Trafficking Program USCCB – Migration and Refugee Services
Patrick Hannon – Director, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center
Rachel Micah-Jones – Executive Director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

This workshop will examine the existing human trafficking threats around the globe and in our backyard as well as discuss the Catholic Church’s work combatting human trafficking domestically and internationally. The panel features representatives from the government, civil society and the Church to show how different sectors of society are addressing this problem. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the issue and equipped with practical ways in which they can respond to this problem on the local level, as well as work with federal and local law enforcement agencies to help end human trafficking.


5. Taking Stock on Immigration – Understanding Roll Backs to Existing Immigration Protections

Moderator: Jill Marie Bussey – Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC.
Panelists: Randy McGrorty –  Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami
Joanna Williams –  KINO Border Initiative

The past two years have brought numerous proposals to and policies that roll back legal immigration avenues. These include the failure to renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for multiple national groups, the proposed expansion of the “public charge” analysis, and legislative bills that would dramatically overhaul the current immigration system. This workshop will examine these proposals and provide attendees with a better understanding of what is happening – and what might be forthcoming – in the realm of immigration policy.


6. Taking Stock of Refugee Protection and Resettlement: Where are We and What Next?

Moderator: Matthew Wilch – USCCB/Migration and Refugee Services
Panelists: David Cronin – Catholic Relief Services
Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Aden Batar – Catholic Community Services of Utah

There are an estimated 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, including 16.2 million people who were newly displaced in 2017. This level of displacement represents an urgent humanitarian challenge that requires concerted collective action by government and civil society. This panel will examine the Catholic Church’s approach to forced displacement, focusing particularly on current efforts to support refugee protection, with refugee resettlement being one aspect of that comprehensive approach. Additionally, panelists will provide concrete ways in which participants can welcome refugees into their communities, promote their protection and well-being, and assist in their integration.


Conference Agenda 

Wednesday, December 5th

12-3pm Registration

4pm Mass

5:30-8:00pm Reception


Thursday, December 6th

7:00am Mass

8:00am Breakfast

9:00-10:00 am Government Panel

10:15-11:45am Religious Panel

12-1pm Lunch

1:30 – 2:45 pm – Breakout Sessions

3:00-4:15pm – Breakout Sessions

Dinner on your own

7:30 pm –  Demonstrating Compassion and Providing Hope: A Dialogue on Parish and Community Engagement


Friday, December 7th

8:00 am – Breakfast starts (To take place at Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC 20003)

8:30-9:30am Hill Day Training

10:00am – Start Hill Visits


*Stay tuned to our social media pages for more information about the conference and speakers. Follow us @USCCBJFI on Twitter or Facebook.com/JusticeforImmigrants.


Who should attend:

  • Diocesan Staff, including Justice for Immigrants points of contact
  • State Catholic Conference Staff
  • CLINIC affiliates/Catholic Charities Staff
  • Men and Women Religious
  • Parish ministry leaders
  • Priests and Pastors, Deacons, seminarians
  • Lay Members of the Catholic community and other supporters of immigration