In 2019, The JUSTICE Conference is excited to continue our deep dive into important sectors of justice with another series of JUSTICE Institute events. We are convinced that pursuing justice requires us to join our passion with practical, immersive education. In our San Diego JUSTICE Institute event, we will be discussing the complex topics that involve Immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Over 2 days, we will create an intensive learning experience to motivate us to effectively address this sector of justice in solidarity. We will hear from experts, policy advisors, and those who are most affected by U.S. immigration at the border.

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The JUSTICE Institute | San Diego May 31 – June 1

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The speakers for this year’s JUSTICE Institute San Diego will be speaking on the topics of immigration. More dynamic speakers and experts for The JUSTICE Institute in San Diego will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Jenny Yang

VP of Advocacy & Policy at World Relief

Jenny Yang provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief. She has worked in the Resettlement section of World Relief as the Senior Case Manager and East Asia Program Officer, where she focused on advocacy for refugees in the East Asia region and managed the entire refugee caseload for World Relief. Prior to World Relief, she worked at one of the largest political fundraising firms in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. She is co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, serves as Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group, and was named one of the “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today.

Alejandra Ortiz

Alejandra Ortiz is a Regional director for Compa (Christian university ministry) in México, serving communities of staff and students in the Northwest of the country. She encourages the formation of communities of disciples who share and live out the gospel and kingdom values in their universities. She is passionate in helping students live out their faith in the whole of life, and use their studies to serve their communities.

For the past 6 years Ale has been leading students from México and the U.S. in learning and exposure projects to understand more about life in the border, and immigration issues. She is a bridge builder between churches, students and local NGO's. She and her husband are active in a church that serves a shelter for migrants and refugees. and they are alsoa part of a small intentional Christian community.

Some of the most important events in her life have happened in border cities. She was born in San Diego; USA, grew and got married in Tijuana,México- her hometown- and her daughter was born in Vancouver, Canada (while she finished her MA in Theology and Church HIstory at Regent College). Ale loves to have coffee, chai, travelling, walking and writing in her blog about theology and life.

Alexia Salvatierra

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is the author with Dr. Peter Heltzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (Intervarsity Press) and the founder of the Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork. She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 40 years of experience in congregational (English and Spanish) and community ministry, including church-based service and community development programs, congregational/community organizing and legislative advocacy. She serves as Affiliate Faculty for the Centro Latino and School of Intercultural Studies for Fuller Theological Seminary and ongoing Adjunct Faculty for the Masters in Urban Studies at Eastern University and Masters in Urban Transformational Leadership program at Azusa Pacific University, and has served as adjunct faculty for a number of other colleges and seminaries in the US and overseas. In addition to coordinating the Welcoming Congregations Network/Guardian Angels Project and assisting at Hope Lutheran Church, she serves as a consultant (training, facilitating, organizing and leading strategic planning) for a variety of national/international organizations, including World Vision, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Christian Community Development Association. She has been a national leader in the areas of working poverty and immigration for over 20 years, including co-founding the national Evangelical Immigration Table, the 2007 New Sanctuary Movement, the Guardian Angels project, and the Matthew 25 Movement. From 2011-2014, she served as the Director of Justice for the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA under Bishop Nelson. From 2000 to 2011, she was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice—beginning as the director of CLUE in Los Angeles and then as the first CLUE-CA director. CLUE-CA is a statewide alliance of organizations of religious leaders who come together to respond to the crisis of working poverty by joining low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them. Under Alexia’s leadership, CLUE-CA became known for its young leaders’ project, the New Sanctuary Movement and the “Our Children” project in Orange County which engages immigrant and non-immigrant evangelical congregations in joint ministry to immigrant youth facing deportation.
Before CLUE-CA, Rev. Salvatierra founded multiple programs and organizations, in the US and overseas. These included a gang prevention program for at-risk immigrant youth, a community computer center and an intergenerational community garden where the elderly taught at-risk youth to grow produce for sale as well as a collaborative of UC students, homeless leaders and congregation members providing emergency services in the streets of Santa Cruz and the migrant farmworker camps in Watsonville. She was founding director of the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless, a program that integrated social services, community organizing, pastoral care, and economic development for the homeless that was replicated in six US cities. In the Philippines, she trained urban poor women in Manila to serve as chaplains to their neighbors. She has been awarded the Changemaker award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation, the Amos Award from Sojourners, the Giants of Justice award from CLUE LA and the Prime Mover fellowship from the Hunt Alternatives Fund.

Karen Gonzales

Karen Gonzalez is a native of Guatemala. She is a speaker, writer, and immigrant advocate, who lives in Baltimore, MD. Karen works for World Relief and attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where she studied theology and missiology. Her first book for Herald Press will be released in May 2019: The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong. You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram: @_karenjgonzalez where you’ll find her musing about theology, baseball, and her passion for tacos.

Jamie Gates

Jamie Gates, M.Div., Ph.D., serves Point Loma Nazarene University as
Professor of cultural anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Social
Work and as the Director of the university’s Center for Justice and
Reconciliation (www.pointloma.edu/cjr). Having been raised in and studied
apartheid South Africa, Jamie continues to focus on justice and reconciliation
as central concerns. Jamie and his family founded and lived in a covenant
household with another Christian family2005-2008, learning to live simply and
sharing all goods in common in the spirit of the early Christian communities
(Acts 2 and 4). He became an ordained minister in 2006.

Tess Clarke

In the fall of 2008 Tess co-founded the peace-building and advocacy organization, Seek
the Peace (SEEK) with her husband, Jason Clarke. Tess has been serving alongside
refugees since the founding of SEEK which has included traveling and working in the
Middle East with Iraqi and Syrian refugees along with the many refugee communities in
Dallas, Texas where she currently resides. Tess has a passion to see refugee and
immigrant women protected and empowered along with helping the American church
recognize and revere the image of God in these women.
Tess has trained hundreds of refugee and American women in peacemaking practices
while utilizing these opportunities to build bridges between women of different faiths at
the same time. She is currently running the national advocacy platform, We Welcome
Refugees founded by author and speaker Ann Voskamp and The Justice Conference
Cofounder, Vickie Reddy. In addition, she has recently joined The National Immigration
Forum to work with them on The Welcome. Project. She is the mother of three
empowered children and holds a degree in sociology from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Robert Chao Romero

Dr. Robert Chao Romero has been a professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at
UCLA since 2005. He is also an attorney and pastor, and serves as co-chair
of the Matthew 25 Movement in Southern California. Robert earned his J.D.
from U.C. Berkeley and his Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American history, and
he is also a recipient of the Latina/o Studies Section Book Award from the
Latin American Studies Association. His current book project is titled, The
Brown Church: Towards a Latina/o Christian Social Justice History and
Identity (forthcoming, Intervarsity Press Academic, 2020).

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is a missionary with the Evangelical Free Church of America. He serves as the Director of Immigrant Hope, a national network founded by the EFCA that provides support and training to church-based immigration legal aid clinics. He oversees the Immigrant Hope training programs, guides churches through setup and government accreditation and provides ongoing training and support to those churches. He is an immigration counselor at Immigrant Hope – Bloomington, MN. Ben was part of the team that founded Immigrant Hope - Brooklyn, NY, providing family-based immigration legal services in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn from 2011 to 2013. Ben also serves on the All People Team for the EFCA. This team works to identify people groups that have been under-resourced or excluded from EFCA churches and ministries, then allocates resources, shares best practices and advocates for structural changes to correct the under representation. The son of missionaries, Ben was born in Kenya and lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He lives in Crystal, MN with his wife, Sarah, and three sons.

Glen Peterson

Glen Peterson serves as Office Director for World Relief in Southern California. He is accredited by the U. S. Department of Justice as an immigration representative. Glen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Studies from Biola University and a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary. He has provided leadership in church and parachurch organizations in the area of immigration, workforce development, and Christian community development. Previously, Glen worked for World Vision and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). He is also recognized as the Chaplain of Justice at Whittier Area Community Church. World Relief provides support to the local and global church to stand with the vulnerable. World Relief provides immigration legal services to immigrants and their families and resettlement services for refugees.

Rosa Cándida Ramírez, MDiv

Rosa Cándida Ramírez is the worship Pastor of La Fuente Ministries, an intercultural, intergenerational bilingual ministry in Pasadena, California. As a second generation Latina, she is passionate about the role of language and culture in worship, and the creation of bilingual worship resources. During her time as a student, she worked with Fuller Theological Seminary's All-Seminary Chapel in helping create intercultural worship. Rosa has served as a consultant with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, presents for the Center of Congregational Song and writes for Center’s blog, “Sing!``

Liliana Reza

Liliana Reza is a Campus Pastor at Point Loma Nazarene University. She directs and guides all
cross-cultural service and learning opportunities for the university community alongside
Nazarene partners and various non-profits in the San Diego-Tijuana border region.

Graudate of Southern Nazarene University and Nazarene Theological Seminary, Liliana studied
abroad in Costa Rica and Brazil, where she experienced the immersion of new cultures and
languages. Later, she served as a missionary in South America for the Church of the Nazarene
for several years. She is passionate about mobilizing Christians to love their undocumented
neighbors and to build bridges of hope and reconciliation across the U.S./Mexico border.

Bethany Anderson

Bethany Anderson has been living and working in an immigrant community, through the context of Solidarity, for the last 14 years. She currently serves as the Advocacy Director for Solidarity, helps to lead the Orange County Evangelical Immigration Network, and is the founder and director of Camino Immigration Services, an initiative of Solidarity that provides quality and affordable legal counsel on immigration matters. Bethany graduated from Hope International University with a BA in Inter Cultural Studies and is accredited by the Department of Justice to practice Immigration law. She is passionate about radical peacemaking, learning from and being an ally to vulnerable communities, traveling, and really, really good food. She lives in Fullerton, CA with her husband and 3 children.

Samuel Perez

Samuel Pérez was born and raised in México City. At age 19 left his hometown, lived in a human behavior experimental community in northern Mexico. Lived “legally” in Tucson, AZ for eight years and two in California’s central coast where he was exposed to experiences of immigrants and immigration. Since 2010 he is a Tijuana based Urban Agriculturist, deportees and immigrants rights activist. He promotes the switch from the old paradigm of helping in a vertical-charitable way which generates dependence, to a new horizontal-solidary way which promotes dignity.

Samuel Perez is the Borderlands Coordinator and Tijuana organizer for the Global Immersion Project. In this role, he coordinates a network of churches offering shelter on the ground to those in need.

Immersive Learning Experience

If you sign up to participate in Day Two, you’ll embark on an immersive learning experience. We will walk across the U.S-Mexico border, then travel to various locations learning from pastors and leaders who will share their stories and experiences. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to put your passion for justice into action with like-minded believers!


Your guide for when you arrive in San Diego

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
General Session 1
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Breakouts A
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Breakouts B
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
General Session 2
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Immersive Learning Experience* We will create an immersive learning at the U.S-Mexico border, working with pastors and leaders who will share their stories and allow us to partner with them in their work.

Register Today for The JUSTICE Institute San Diego


Point Loma Nazarene University

3900 Lomaland Dr.,
San Diego, CA 92106
Website: https://www.pointloma.edu

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Find information on the San Diego International Airport


Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside
4875 N. Harbor Drive | San Diego, CA 92106
$149 Rate

Justice Institute Room Reservations

(619) 224-3621 x701
Mention “The Justice Institute group room rate”

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Register Today for The JUSTICE Institute San Diego

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