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Alyssa Aldape: Advocating for Immigrants is Part of Faith Formation


The skies opened with pouring rain and the temperature dropped as Capitol police placed plastic handcuffs around Alyssa Aldape’s wrists. “This is something I have to do,” Aldape said to herself.

On February 7th, Aldape was arrested while in nonviolent, prayerful protest for a clean Dream Act on Capitol Hill. While reflecting on that experience, she said, “In a perfect world, it would be easy to remind people of faith that advocating for immigrants is a necessary part of our faith formation.” 

As an Associate Pastor for Young Adult and Youth Ministries at the First Baptist Church in Washington D.C. and the daughter of an immigrant, advocating on behalf of immigrant communities is her calling.

With no permanent immigration fix for DACA in sight, the lives of more than 800,000 Dreamers remain in peril. Aldape won’t stop fighting until there’s a clean Dream Act.  

“As a pastor, I am called to welcome the sojourner and I believe that means welcoming Dreamers,” Aldape said. “As faith leaders, we have a responsibility because we are the hands and feet of Christ.

Aside from the active role Aldape plays in advocating for immigrant rights, politics are ingrained the makeup of youth ministry conversations as the First Baptist Church sits just six blocks from the White House.

Currently, Aldape is working with her youth ministers around discussing gun violence and how they can lift up the March for Our Lives event happening on March 24th in Washington D.C.

​And just as she explains to her youth ministers, that this is a moment for advocacy and outreach, that this is also a moment for action. Aldape continues to lead efforts for her community to remind people of faith that advocacy is an integral part of faith formation.

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