JRS UK and Campion Hall, University of Oxford, are co-hosting a conference, Walking with Refugees: transformation through accompaniment.
Through talks, presentations and panel discussions, the conference will explore what it means to accompany people seeking sanctuary. The question of transformation – how might accompaniment change those involved, and the wider social and political structures in which they stand – is a particular focus of the conference.
The conference is part of a wider collaboration between JRS UK and Campion Hall, a Jesuit Private Hall within the University of Oxford. It has grown out of a series of structured conversations between refugees, JRS staff and volunteers, and theologians, held at our centre in Wapping. It follows last year’s conference “Refugee Stories: Changing the narrative” and, like that one, seeks to create space for the voices of those seeking asylum.
Sophie Cartwright, JRS UK’s Policy Officer, said: “We are all so excited about this conference, which will be a great opportunity to reflect on the practice of walking with refugees, and how it can help to transform both individuals and wider contexts”.
Speakers include leading authorities on the theology of migration: Dr Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Thought at Durham University; Dr Susanna Snyder; and Dr Joshua Ralston; theological ethicist Dr Nick Austin, SJ; and people with direct experience of working with refugees, including JRS UK’s director, Sarah Teather.
Accompaniment – the act of being with – is at the core of JRS’s work to accompany, serve as companions, and advocate for refugees and other forcibly displaced people. It is also important to the work of many others who support and stand in solidarity with refugees.
When: Wednesday 18th September, 9.30am – 4.30pm, followed by tea and cake.
Where: London Jesuit Centre, 114 Mount Street, W1K 3AY
Cost: £27.54, including lunch and refreshments. Those seeking asylum are welcome to attend for free, and should simply select “Guests of JRS” when registering.