United Methodist Women Receives Immigrant Rights Award
The award was from the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights at their 25th Anniversary celebration
United Methodist Women was honored for its immigrant rights work by the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR), calling United Methodist Women "partners in advancing rights and justice at home and abroad."
Saturday's event, "Bridging Communities, Breaking Down Walls" was NNIRR's 25th anniversary celebration of their activism, with the purpose of "affirming our collective commitment to the future for immigrant rights and justice."
Sung-ok Lee, assistant general secretary for the the Women's Division's section on Christian Social Action, accepted the award on behalf of United Methodist Women. United Methodist Women members from the California-Nevada Conference also attended.
On a frame, the award reads: "On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is proud to honor United Methodist Women for its leadership and dedication to promoting migrant human rights and uplifting the vital role of migrant and refugee women in the struggle for justice. "
Immigrant rights were part of the backbone of the early ministries of United Methodist Women, says Ms. Lee. "Our work [on this issue] dates back to our involvement with young women arriving in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco in the 1880’s. [We more recently] began in 2006 when this nation was engaged in a debate about national identity and citizenship rights. We see [immigrant and civil rights] as a racial justice issue and our work seeks to challenge racial and nativist fears while building bridges between new immigrants and citizens of color in the U.S. In this, we have always found common ground with NNIRR."
Other organizations to receive awards at the event were:
- Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Tuscon, AZ
- Families for Freedom, New York, NY
- Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, Jackson, MS
- Migrant Forum in Asia, Manila, Philippines
Leigh Rogers is the public relations associate for United Methodist Women.