In addition to a high-caliber speaker, the event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and a chance to socialize and network. JFA Event Chair and Board Member Jason Reese is especially excited about expanding the reach of the gala this year. “Anytime we can bring the community of believers and followers together is a good thing,” he says. “Especially where we have a high energy group who believes in social justice.”
Sacrifice is an ambiguous concept. But it is not flowery. It is not a dandelion that can be blown any direction we please. Sacrifice is an anchored reality. It is a particular thing that one gives up for some other more beautiful reality. And further, we believe that there was one sacrifice that is the paradigm for all sacrifice; and it happened in the first century in an occupied country to a peasant without a home.
This July, we celebrate freedom in both our country and in Christ. We learned more about the financial freedom experienced by a veteran who came through our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic and received assistance with his taxes.
In Episode 3, Part 1 of our podcast, Courting Justice, we explore the freedom from civil wars and extreme danger experienced by refugees who are resettled in the United States. In the episode, two experts on immigration answer questions and address common misconceptions regarding refugees. Tweet us your legal questions now @NCLegalClinic #CourtingJustice for a chance to have it answered in our next episode!
What exactly is a refugee? What kinds of screening processes do refugees undergo before entering the United States? What barriers do they typically face and what kinds of services are available to help them integrate into our community?
Join host Ashley Caveda for Part 1 of our special two-part series on Immigration and Refugees. She discusses common questions and misconceptions regarding refugees with Director of Outreach & Immigration Services at Exodus Refugee Megan Hochbein and Immigrant Justice Program Staff Attorney Rachel VanTyle.
Last year, veteran John Cooper* chose to visit our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) when he realized he needed help sorting out his tax debt with the IRS. After sustaining an injury to his leg years earlier, John was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. Since that time, thanks in part to his disability, John struggled to find steady work.
The beginning of summer has been a time of restoration and of considering our faith here at the Clinic, starting with Executive Director Chris Purnell’s thoughts on the subject. We learned more about the important work that Fathers and Families Center is doing in Indianapolis to help improve the lives of children and families. We were introduced to the face of the Clinic, Alicia Dimas, receptionist extraordinaire, and we learned about how volunteer Audrey Mulholland has become an integral part of our Immigrant Justice Program.
Audrey’s first in-person introduction to the Clinic was through volunteering during Refugee Adjustment Day (RAD Day) in October of 2015. On that day, she witnessed dozens of immigrants and volunteer attorneys and staff working together to submit paperwork to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help refugees apply for their Legal Permanent Residence. On that day, Audrey remembers entertaining a Congolese woman’s three children, drawing pictures together while their mother worked with an attorney. By late afternoon, the woman’s paperwork was completed and her eyes filled with tears of joy. This experience especially convinced Audrey of the Clinic’s impact. She says, “Once these clients become more than just numbers, when they become faces, become names, when they are personalities that you come to know, it really changes the game. It makes it very personal, very urgent.”
Of course, the work of a receptionist at a non-profit legal clinic can be daunting. Often, the clients who come to the front window seeking aid are embroiled in high-stakes legal issues regarding their immigration status, impending Sheriff Sales on their homes, or an expungement that would finally allow them to get a job and thus support their family. Alicia does not view her position as wholly difficult though. In fact, she says, “Everyone tells me my job is so hard and I just keep thinking, ‘This is the best job I’ve ever had.’ I love it.” When she does encounter a difficult client, or someone who is in a dire situation and who might direct that fear or frustration towards her, Alicia turns to her faith. She takes a deep breath and says a prayer for patience and for the words necessary to help the person in front of her.
One of the Center’s main programs, “Strong Fathers, Strong Families,” is a three-week intensive course where fathers are taught about parenting, child development, child support, relationships, financial literacy, job readiness, anger and conflict resolution, and communication, along with a host of other things. Dr. McLaughlin says, “We are hoping in that three weeks to really try to give them everything we can holistically to help them assess and access responsible fathering.” Many of the young men that go through the program grew up without any strong models of fatherhood and find themselves struggling to juggle the many responsibilities that being a father brings. Dr. McLaughlin says, “We realized that fathers—especially teen fathers—were not dead beat; they were dead broke.”
Backward-looking, we sit in awe of the Cross, where cataclysmic injustice was done to justify us. Forward-looking, we set our gaze on the New Heavens and the New Earth, where justice will replace suffering, where peace will replace war, where God will wipe every single tear from our eyes. Christians are people of memory—and we not only remember backwards, but we remember forwards.