FaithAction ID Initiative
One of the primary challenges facing many new immigrants to our country is how to understand and relate to local law enforcement. Immigrant and other minority communities often experience a lot of fear with police officers, and are especially concerned that an average traffic stop or reporting a crime might turn into an immigration enforcement case.
At the same time, many officers may not be familiar with the languages and cultures of our newest immigrant neighbors, and feel limited in their ability to serve and protect these communities without stronger relationships. In response, FaithAction began coordinating bi-monthly dialogues and forums between the Greensboro Police Department and immigrant/minority communities, with the goal of building bridges of greater understanding, trust, and cooperation.
These dialogues provided a safe space for immigrants and other residents to share their fears and hopes of relating to local law enforcement, while officers clarified policies and expected behaviors, and ensured participants that their role is to serve and protect all residents in our community, not enforce federal immigration laws or participate in any kind of racial profiling. Tremendous progress has come through open, respectful dialogue and a willingness to listen and learn from one another.
In 2012, FaithAction was awarded the GPD Chief’s Award for this bridge-building work, and with the support of the GPD launched the FaithAction ID initiative in the summer of 2013, providing identification for ANY RESIDENT in our community who may not have access to government issued forms of ID (immigrants, youth, elderly LGBTQ community, special needs), and for those who support the mission and work of FaithAction. Since this time we have held 20 ID orientations and drives in partnership with the GPD and local Stranger to Neighbor congregations, and have delivered over 5,000 FaithAction identification cards to individuals representing over 40 different nations, and over 50 cities throughout North Carolina and Virginia – from West African business owners to new families from South and Central America to a grandmother born 80 years ago to a midwife in rural North Carolina, whose birth records no longer exist.
The FaithAction ID is for ANY resident who may have limited access to government issued forms of identification, and for those who support the mission of FaithAction. It is not a government issued form of identification or a driver’s license, but it is a verifiable form of identification that says you are a part of our community. It can be used by law enforcement as a helpful tool for identification, and may be accepted by health centers, private schools, businesses, and cultural arts organizations, depending on the policy of each institution.
We are also happy to announce that numerous cities in neighboring Alamance, Forsyth, Moore, Montgomery, Randolph, Durham, Orange and Mecklenburg Counties have joined the FaithAction ID network, and cities from Raleigh, NC to Cincinnati, OH to Houston, TX have also expressed interest in replicating a similar program.
Next FaithAction ID Drive – Sunday, July 17th in Greensboro, NC!
Time and place to be announced soon!
Participants MUST attend a mandatory orientation, and also provide a photo ID (passport, foreign national ID card, current or expired driver’s license, matricula consular) and proof of current address (utility bill, bank statement, current rental agreement, medical record) in order to receive an ID!
FaithAction ID cards are $10. For more information about our next ID drive, call 336-379-0037.
*Please remember that FaithAction ID cards expire after one year, so if you card is expired, please be sure to come to our next FaithAction ID drive and renew it!
Thank you to to all of our law enforcement, health center, business, and cultural arts organization partners, and immigrant and faith leaders for your commitment to building a safer, and more inclusive community for all.
If interested in learning more about community ID programs and how we can help build bridges between immigrant communities and local law enforcement/city agencies in your community, please contact Rev. David Fraccaro at 336-379-0037, ext 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.