Global Migration Focus of Global Gathering in Mexico
United Methodist Women heads to Mexico City this week for the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA). United Methodist Women and General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) are co-leading a delegation of 26 Methodists from the United States, Mexico and Germany. The concerns of migrant women around the world will be a top priority.
Judith Pierre-Okerson, Women’s Division and GBGM director, and Rita Gaither-Gant, GBGM director and former Women’s Division director, will join Carol Barton, staff, and Rosangela Oliveira, Regional Missionary for Latin America, in representing United Methodist Women. They will be joined by Betty Flores and Catalina Diaz of the Mexican Methodist Women and by Peruvian theologian Luzmila Quezada.
The PGA is a social movement event held prior to the official intergovernmental Global Forum on Migration and Development where North and South governments discuss migration policies. The PGA will involve more than 1,000 migrant rights activists from all over the world along with faith-based groups, women's groups, labor unions and academics.
In 2008, the United Methodist General Conference passed a resolution on “Global Migration: A Call to Justice.” In the context of a churchwide focus on Ministry with the Poor, United Methodist Women and GBGM seek to strengthen understanding of and response to global migration realities. The delegation’s goals in participating in the global action are to:
- Deepen our understanding of the biblical and theological mandate for our work with migrants globally
- Gain deeper understanding of the realities of global migration and their link to poverty/development/peace/human rights
- Advance the coordinated work of the United Methodist Church on global migration
- Network and build alliances with ecumenical and community partners working globally to address migrant human rights
The delegation is sponsored by GBGM, including United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and United Methodist Women as well as the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries and the Korean National Plan. The delegation includes representatives of GBGM, United Methodist Women, the Desert Southwest Conference, the Rio Grande Conference, Germany Central Conference, Methodist Church of Mexico, CIEMAL, United Methodist Young Adults from the United States, Methodist Women from Latin America, and United Methodist Women/GBGM partners.
At the PGA, the Methodist delegation will help to lead an ecumenical faith caucus to share network with other faith groups regarding response to global migration concerns and migrant ministries. They will co-host a workshop on migrant women, and co-organize a caucus on gender and migration.