By Qiong Yang
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition held its annual event, Give Liberty a Hand 2014 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza on May 29. It honored individuals who improve the lives of immigrants and refugees and who serve as exemplary Americans. Michelle Wu, Boston city councilor at large and Josh Zakim, Boston city councilor for District 8, were emcees for the gala. More than 250 supporters gathered for the event.
Awards were presented to four individuals who have made a difference in the lives of immigrants and refugees living in the Bay State — Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston Marathon hero Carlos Arredondo, and domestic violence survivor advocate Gladys Ortiz.
“The range of honorees this year shows the range of ways that our members and allies make a difference,” said Eva Millona, executive director of the MIRA Coalition. “As a U.S. Congresswoman, Niki Tsongas has always supported the full integration of immigrants, as did her late husband before her. Speaker DeLeo has helped keep Massachusetts one of the most welcoming states in the nation with his leadership at the State House. Costa Rican-born Carlos Arredondo demonstrated the brotherhood of all peoples with his courageous actions at the 2013 Boston Marathon. And Colombian-born Gladys Ortiz has shown how much difference a grassroots advocate can make in the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to thank them.”
In addition to the awards program, the reception includes hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, a silent auction, and a musical performance by Boston Music Award winners Los Rumberos de Boston.
MIRA is a statewide coalition of 130 organizations working to promote the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees. MIRA advances this mission through education and training, leadership development, organizing, strategic communications, policy analysis and advocacy. It is also the only organization in Massachusetts that brings together groups serving immigrants and refugees from many parts of the world, of various nationalities, races and ethnicities.
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