About the Congregation Action Network
The Congregation Action Network is an interfaith network striving to create a community where everyone, no matter their immigration status, has the same access to rights and resources. CAN amplifies the power of faith through community organizing to push just policies at the local, state, and federal level. With relationships at the core of its mission, CAN works closely with advocates, activists, faith leaders, and congregations to fight for a world where immigrants have decision-making power and everyone can thrive.
In early 2017, when the Trump Administration announced the Muslim ban and began broadening deportations beyond the already inhumane practices of the Obama administration, two organizations brought a vision for faith-based immigration advocacy to life. Faith in Action's LA RED campaign and Sanctuary DMV founded the DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network to put the power of faith to work for immigration justice. Renamed the Congregation Action Network (CAN) in 2019, The Congregation Action Network was a program of LA RED, Faith in Action's immigrant justice initiative, until May 2022. That month, CAN incorporated as an independent advocacy organization.
CAN is officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The organization’s fiscal sponsor is The Festival Center in Washington, DC.
"This is the way we live into our values and convictions. We are engaging in faithful resistance to unjust laws and inhumane practices."
- Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, Sr. Minister, Cedar Lane UU Church
Through CAN's commitment to justice for immigrants and the support of our network, we have made significant strides toward our goals.
Building the political power of immigrants and refugees in MD, VA, and DC.
Advancing policies rooted in the belief that everyone has the same rights, no matter where they were born.
Developing an interfaith effort to ensure all are welcomed with dignity and love.
Addressing the trauma that often gets in the way of successful organizing.
Sign up for CAN email updates below to learn about the many ways you and your faith community can engage in Network actions.
In May 2022, when CAN became an independent organization, its Steering Committee voted to become a temporary Board of Directors. In June 2022, the board hired the organization's first executive director, Eli Johnson.
CAN's Structure & Leadership
A lifelong activist and organizer, Eli has held positions with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and the American Friends Service Committee, leading federal advocacy on immigration, trade and US policy toward Latin America.
A founding member of Sanctuary DMV, Eli has trained thousands of people in the DC region and planned dozens of protests and other actions. They hold a masters in public administration from the University of Washington and a BA in international trade from Western Washington University.