Ministry with Migrants

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Union alumni/ae embark on a diverse range of vocations, from ordained ministry to law to non-profit leadership. In our Alums in the World profiles, we explore our graduates’ professional lives. Gabrielle Sclafani received her M.Div. from Union in 2019, and is presently studying migration in Germany. 
Gabrielle Sclafani, MDiv ’19
Tell me about what you’ll be doing next year.
I’ve received the German Chancellor Fellowship to do ethnographic research with refugees and those who provide services and hospitality to them in the Heidelberg area. In Germany, churches play a major role in the social welfare system, particularly in regard to refugees. They’re really on the frontlines: once the government assigns refugees to a particular community, churches are responsible for helping them access the social services to which they’re entitled. I’ll be looking at how this intersects with faith values for both people who come to a place and those who welcome them.
Tell me about the journey that led you to apply for this and pursue this work. 
My father came to the U.S. as an economic migrant in 1954, and I’ve been working with migrants of different types in the U.S. since I was in college. Last year I held a part-time position as a research assistant and translator to a woman from India who had a Fulbright scholarship to do narrative public health research here in New York City. She interviewed economic migrants who have gotten injured or become ill while working here in the U.S. in hopes that we might develop a

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