Pratik Dash: "They're Having Their Voice Heard"

Pratik Dash, campaign organizer for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, highlights the resilience of Tennessee's immigrant community in light of the 2016 U.S. election.

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"Our Humanity on the Move"

Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photographer and photojournalist who has spent his life documenting the faces of migrants and sojourners across the world. Read this poem by Jan Bowman and reflect on how you see "our humanity on the move."

Sebastiao Salgado

by Jan Bowman


He won't let us forget

those we've forgotten—

or would like to forget—

the migratory kind

who've lost their feathers

to war or drought or disaster

of any kind. Though innocent—

seldom guilty—they're caught.


He frames them

in the act

      of migration:


open sores

ragged trousers

one plastic pail

fifty thirsty children


Serbs, Guatemalans, Kurds

Russians in the U.S.A.

Palestinians in Lebanon


a girl, about twelve, holding her father's photo

in Afghanistan, her face as stolid

as the mud-plastered wall behind her


three small boys from Rwanda

clutching a gray wool blanket

eyes as huge as their fear—and one tear escaping


Vietnamese, Angolans, Moroccans

my people in your country

your people in mine


He photographs our humanity

on the move.


  • What lines from this poem stand out to you? Why?
  • Where do you see "our humanity on the move" in your community?
  • Who won't God let you forget?


Poem from Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, Vol. XXI, No. 4 (July/August 2006)(Nashville, TN: The Upper Room: 2005), 24.

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Take Action

"The Stranger's Room"

This excerpt by Dorothy Day explores what it means to treat every stranger as Christ. Read, then ask yourself the questions below to discern what course of action you can take to open the door to unlikely strangers.

"Some time ago I saw the death notice of a sergeant-pilot who had been killed on active service. After the usual information, a message was added which, I imagine, is likely to be imitated. It said that anyone who had ever known the dead boy would always be sure of a welcome at his parents' home. So, even now that the war is over, the father and mother will go on taking in strangers for the simple reason that they will be reminded of their dead son by the friends he made.


That is rather like the custom that existed among the first generations of Christians, when faith was a bright fire that warmed more than those who kept it burning. In every house then, a room was kept ready for any stranger who might ask for shelter; it was even called 'the stranger's room'; and this not because these people, like the parents of the dead airman, thought they could trace something of someone they loved in the stranger who used it, not because the man or woman to whom they gave shelter reminded them of Christ, but because—plain and simple and stupendous fact—he was Christ.


It would be foolish to pretend that it is always easy to remember this. If everyone were holy and handsome, with 'alter Christus' shining in neon lighting from them, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. If Mary had appeared in Bethlehem clothed, as St. John says, with the sun, a crown of twelve stars on her head, and the moon under her feet, then people would have fought to make room for her. But that was not God's way for her, nor is it Christ's way for Himself, now when He is disguised under every type of humanity that treads the earth."

  • When in your life have you been a stranger? Who showed you hospitality and how?
  • Does this excerpt bring to mind someone who is a stranger to you, someone you have seen but do not know? If so, what gift will you offer them?
  • Do you have a "stranger's room" in your life, whether literally in your house or figuratively in your daily routine? Where will you afford to make room for the stranger in your life?
  • In what ways is your community facing the issue of welcoming the stranger? How will you participate in making your community a more welcoming place?


Take some time now to discern how you will act to welcome the stranger in your life.


Above excerpt from Dorothy Day: Selected Writings edited by Robert Ellsberg.  Copyright © 1983, 1992, 2005 by Robert Ellsberg and Tamar Hennessey.  Published in 2005 by Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York 10545.

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