African Services Committee was named "Member of the Year" alongside a number of champion supporters of immigrant communities in the United States, including Joyce Chang, Josefina Vázquez Mota and Suzette Brooks Masters, at the New York Immigration Coalition's 2016 Gala, on May 24th at Capitale NY.
More than four hundred individuals representing community organizations, labor groups, faith organizations, businesses, and government gathered to celebrate at the elegant venue on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
The New York Immigration Coalition, or NYIC - an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for 175 organizations that work with immigrants and refugees across New York City and State - is a leading advocate for immigrant communities on the local, state, and national levels, bringing together multi-ethnic and multi-sector constituencies to pursue a common agenda. The NYIC's Annual Awards Gala, in turn, recognizes "diversity, energy, and the drive for positive change."
"Our partnership with the New York Immigration Coalition dates back to 1992, when we first joined forces to strike down the HIV immigration ban in the US. We have ridden buses together to Washington and Albany; tackled issues together such as the Dream Act, DACA, DAPA, language access, healthcare access, affordable housing, education, and fair wages for immigrants. Most recently, African Services Committee is proud to be part of the Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative, which we share with NYIC and several other Black immigrant legal and community services providers," said Kim Nichols, Co-Executive Director at African Services Committee, at The New York Immigration Coalition's 2016 Gala on receiving NYIC's "Member of the Year" award alongside ASC Founder and Co-Executive Director, Asfaha Hadera.
"African Services Committee is honored to be named Member of the Year and commend the New York Immigration Coalition, our partners too numerous to name, and the champions of the immigrant rights movement who continue to act in the interest of immigrants, refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, and all displaced people from wherever they may come."
Actress Ilfenesh Hadera, pictured below, daughter of Kim Nichols and Asfaha Hadera, presented NYIC's Member of the Year Award to African Services Committee.
"What does one do, where does one turn, when starting from scratch in a foreign land? With no source of income, often no legal documentation, little to no knowledge of the language, or of the food, with no shelter and no network to rely upon?
Luckily, they are able to turn to African Services Committee. I've watched, full of pride and awe for 30 years, Kim and Asfaha, or as I call them mama and papa, dedicate their lives to serving others. From their beautiful space in West Harlem they've worked tirelessly to create and sustain an organization which provides health, housing, legal, and supportive services to all who seek assistance," Ilfenesh said.
Above image from left to right: Actress Ilfenesh Hadera, African Services Committee Co-Directors Kim Nichols and Asfaha Hadera, and Bakary Tandia, Policy Advocate at African Services Committee stand with "Member of the Year" award at NYIC's 2016 Gala at Capitale NY on Tuesday, May 24. Thanks to Stephen Yang and The New York Immigration Coalition for these stunning photos.