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June 27th, 2013: A Day of Milestones, Thanks to You!

 Dear Friends of the NYIC, 

What an extraordinary summer it has been so far, and what an extraordinary day June 27th was. On that day, just hours before the NYIC celebrated its annual Builders of the New New York Awards gala, the US Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority. The bill, though not perfect, nevertheless brings us closer than we’ve been in years to repairing our broken immigration system. While the fight isn’t over yet, nothing would have been possible without YOU; how fitting that we were able to celebrate our progress that night at our gala!

[Photo] The staff of the New York Immigration Coalition.

Our gala, held at the historic Angel Orensanz Foundation, also provided the occasion for bidding farewell to our former executive director, Chung-Wha Hong, and welcoming our new executive director, Steven Choi.

[Photo left] Chung-Wha Hong, former executive director of the NYIC. [Photo right] Steven Choi, now executive director of the NYIC.

THANK YOU to the people who made our gala so very special:

Enormous gratitude to our sponsor, Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents; and to our gala co-chairs Héctor Figueroa, SEIU Local 32BJ, Jay Hershenson, City University of New York, Grace Lyu-Volckhausen, Tiger Baron Foundation, and Kathryn S. Wylde, Partnership for New York City.

A gracious thank you to our emcees for the evening, Guillermo Chacon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS and NYIC board chair, and Elsie Accilien, executive director of Haitian Americans United for Progress and NYIC board member.

[Photo] Guillermo Chacon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS and NYIC board chair, co-emcees the NYIC Builders of the New New York awards gala with Elsie Accilien, executive director of Haitian Americans United for Progress and NYIC board member.

A huge congratulations to our four stupendous honorees for their contributions to New York’s immigrant communities!

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for providing outstanding pro bono legal services for immigrants who qualify for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) in New York;

[Photo] Edmund Polubinski accepts award on behalf of Davis Polk at the Builders of the New New York awards gala. NYIC DREAM Fellows and DACA recipients Kymare Hutchinson and Hina Naveed present the award.

Richard C. Iannuzzi and Maria Neira, President and Vice President, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) for their commitment to closing achievement gaps for English Language Learners and students of color, and their leadership in labor-community coalition building;

[Photo] Richard Ianuzzi and Maria Neira, president and vice-president of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) accept the Builders award from Mario Cilento, president of NYS AFL-CIO.

and

Ricardo R. Fernández, President, Lehman College, CUNY for promoting educational excellence and expanding access to higher education for immigrants and other disadvantaged populations.

[Photo] Ricardo R. Fernandez, president of Lehman College, accepts award from Jay Hershenson, CUNY vice-chancellor and NYIC gala co-chair.

We also paid tribute to long-time staff member Jackie Wong, who passed away after a brief illness earlier this year. Thank you to the whole NYIC community for your condolences and support in the wake of this tragedy; Jackie was a powerful behind-the-scenes force at the NYIC and we will be forever grateful for the contributions she made.

[Photo] Karen Kaminsky, deputy executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, says a few words about the late Jackie Wong, who served as director of administration at the NYIC and was a staff member for nearly 10 years.

Applause to our fabulous entertainment for the evening, M.A.K.U Sound System, who kept the coalition and our guests dancing into the night!

[Photos Above] Queens-based Colombian band, M.A.K.U Sound System gets our guests dancing at the gala!

And cheers to YOU for believing in our work, for bringing immigration reform closer to the finish line with the Senate passage, and for supporting immigrant rights every day!

We are only able to do this because of you—our members, allies, and supporters. Thank you! And with the prospect of immigration reform greater than it’s been in years, the time is now! Please consider making a donation to help us achieve real immigration reform, and to continue our efforts to create a fairer, more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all.

Click HERE to make a donation to the NYIC!

United for Justice and Opportunity!

See more photos of our Builders gala on Facebook by clicking HERE.

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