Not many people get the opportunity to visit the White House twice in one year, but Associate Professor, Dr. Barris Malcolm, had such an experience. This past June, Dr. Malcolm was invited by the Washington DC-based Caribbean and African Faith-Based Leadership Council to speak at their annual conference. The topic of his presentation was, Responding to the Needs of Returned (deported) Caribbean & African Citizens: Domestic and International Challenges and Opportunities”. The conference was part of a five-day working symposia during National Caribbean Heritage Legislative Week, that seeks through dialogue to identify the significant domestic and international needs, challenges and appropriate responses in ministering to individuals, families and communities of Caribbean and African diaspora in the USA.
As a result of his research and presentation, Dr. Malcolm was among fifteen leaders of the Caribbean American and African Faith Leadership Council invited by the Office of Public Engagement to a round-table briefing at the White House on November 12, 2014. This was an opportunity for White House officials to engage in dialogue with Caribbean American and African Faith Leaders on important issues facing their communities including; The Affordable Care Act, Ebola, and Immigration.
In light of the fact the President Obama has expressed his intent to use his executive powers to reform immigration laws, Dr. Malcolm and colleagues used this opportunity to discuss how various provisions may positively or negatively affect immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean.