All Souls is deeply committed to supporting social justice for all people, including asylees, asylum-seekers, refugees, and all others fleeing political, religious, or other persecution at the hands of a foreign government or entity.
The All Souls Refugee Support Initiative, or RSI, is a social justice committee established specifically to address the unique needs faced by the refugee community. RSI activities make it possible for congregants to engage with people we might otherwise not have a chance to meet. By providing direct support services, in addition to advocacy and general education about refugee policies, RSI educates the congregation on many pressing issues. Additionally, the recent national dialogue and focus on anti-immigration policies and systemic discrimination has raised the profile of all immigrants (including refugees and asylees), and has mobilized a diverse base of activists and interested parties. RSI’s work to support and advocate for refugees is more timely and critical than ever before.
About the All Souls RSI
The Refugee Support Initiative was formed organically by members of the All Souls congregation who share a collective interest in helping refugees in our local community through direct assistance and ongoing support. RSI was formally recognized as an official All Souls social justice ministry in September 2016.
Evolving over the last two years, the group now focuses on:
- directly supporting, at the request of a UU congregation in Arizona, a refugee who relocated to DC in 2017;
- co-sponsoring with Lutheran Social Services a resettled family from Afghanistan;
- developing advocacy platforms and regular communications to the All Souls congregation regarding ways to support refugees directly and participate in community-based refugee support programs; and
- continually engaging over 150 interested congregants. The overwhelming interest in offering support to refugees has produced a robust committee of approximately 30 volunteers, and participation in RSI’s activities continues to rise as our work becomes better known.