Year Joined MKLM: 2012
City: São Paulo
Focus: Immigration, Public and Policy Advocacy
Project: Missão Paz; Rostos da Migração; Municipal Council Immigrant Representative, Santa Cruz da Itaberaba Migrant Pastoral
People Served: Immigrants and Refugees from South America, the Caribbean, West Africa and the Middle East
Project Goals: Combat xenophobia through public education and campaign projects, advocacy of public policy through elected office position; assist parish-based Migrant Pastoral teams.
Greg is originally from Crystal Lake, IL. He graduated in 2009 with BS in Secondary Education and BA History from Augustana College (IL) and taught British Literature, coached soccer and supervised a mountaineering club for high school students in Colorado. Previously, Greg taught in a Jesuit primary school for three months in the Warli tribal area in Talasari located north of Mumbai, India. He is married to Kim and they have 3 children, Chris, Elena and Laura.
Greg was the coordinator of a project called Rostos da Migração (Faces of Migration) run through Missão Paz in an effort to combat a societal increase in xenophobia of recently arrived immigrants and refugees. The project aimed to document individual stories through photos and short videos of immigrants in order to illustrate, on an individual level, the people behind the movement. Faces humanizes these individuals who, while new to the country, share the same hopes, dreams, success, challenges and important life experiences like anyone else.
Greg served two terms as an elected public official in his borough as the Immigrant Counselor for the Municipal Council. Through meetings at both the local borough level, and at the city level with other Immigrant Counselors, he advocated politically for government structures and services to be made available to the population in order to facilitate an easier integration process for newly arrived migrants.
Greg, in collaboration with a local parish team in the Brasilândia region, created the first Migrant Pastoral team in the episcopal region in 2016. Greg’s objectives in starting the migrant pastoral were to connect immigrants in the local community to the local parish, offer Portuguese classes in the community, and celebrate the cultural diversity present. In its year, the pastoral team and migrants served – both Catholic and Evangelicals – grew exponentially. Greg worked to assist other parishes in the region in creating their own Migrant Pastoral.