Faith Community and Campus Engagement in Immigrant Integration


  • Felipe Filomeno University of Maryland Baltimore County



dialogue, religion, immigration, community-based research


Immigration is one of the most contentious topics in contemporary American politics. This study presents the planning, implementation and evaluation of a program of faith community dialogues on immigration developed in partnership between a public university, a faith-based group of volunteers, and Catholic congregations. Based on data from dialogue transcriptions, exit questionnaires completed by participants, observation notes, and reflections shared by students and faith community leaders, the study shows the outcomes of the program for the congregations, the volunteer group, the students, and the faculty leader. The volunteer group was able to launch a new program that helped immigrant and US-born members of faith communities develop feelings of mutual understanding and collaboration. Students had the opportunity to learn research skills and better understand people’s perspectives on immigration and race. The faculty leader produced community-based scholarship that otherwise would not have been possible. The study concludes that cumulative collaborative learning, the inclusion of a religious dimension, and support from faith leaders are key for the success of partnerships between university and faith-based actors. 

Author Biography

Felipe Filomeno, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Dr. Felipe A. Filomeno is Associate Professor of Political Science and Global Studies at UMBC. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a Fulbright scholar. His current research investigates the local dimension of immigration politics and policy, with a focus on the Latin American diaspora in Baltimore.


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