FWD.us Education Fund Recognizes 26 Recipients of Keeping Families Together Champions Awards

WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us today announced 26 recipients as Keeping Families Together Champions, an award provided through the FWD.us Education Fund to recognize the extraordinary efforts of individuals and organizations responding to the call of helping to reunite families during the family separation crisis of 2018. This week marks one year since the Families Belong Together Coalition began working in McAllen, Texas, to mobilize relief efforts and support recently reunified families.

Throughout the many weeks and months of late nights and early mornings responding to the call of helping to reunite families, as well as the emotional and physical burdens these organizations and individuals helped to carry in restoring migrant families’ dignity and respect after their acute trauma and extremely challenging circumstances, the Keeping Families Together Champions awardees selflessly worked to help vulnerable families in crisis. Award recipients worked to meet an enormous range of families’ needs, such as by managing travel logistics like rides to the airport and accommodation, meeting fundamental needs by providing food assistance and temporary shelter, and offering caring and compassion to families and individuals, including hundreds of young children, many of whom had been subjected to the intense trauma of being separated from their loved ones.

Each recipient will receive an award via the Education Fund, intended solely for the purpose of assisting with personal or organizational needs. The Champions awards recognize the fact that many of the organizations and individuals responding to the family separation crisis themselves faced extreme hardship and worked countless hours in the face of daunting odds to reunite and assist migrant families.

“The Keeping Families Together Champions awards recognize the tireless work of many different hands over the course of last summer in reuniting separated families,” said Susie Haslett, Policy Training Director at FWD.us. “While no award can repay the incredible work done by these organizations and individuals, we hope to highlight their deep commitment to caring for separated families with compassion and love, and bringing much-needed, tangible relief to vulnerable individuals.”

The Keeping Families Together Champions number 26 total recipients in all, including the following organizations and individuals:

  • Evelyn Belasco, Immigrant Families Together
  • Veronica Castro, Private Citizen
  • Tony Choi, DACA beneficiary and immigrant rights advocate
  • Esme Flores, ACLU San Diego
  • Joanna Franchini, Together and Free
  • Georgina Guzman, Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Cyndy Hernandez, Private Citizen
  • Sarah Jackson, Casa de Paz
  • Taylor Levy, Annunciation House
  • Mayra Lopez, ACLU San Diego
  • Roberto Lopez, Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Angeles Maldonado, Ybarra Maldonado Law Group
  • Tracy Outlaw, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest
  • Rhina Ramos, Plymouth United Church of Christ in Oakland
  • Sylvia Rodriguez, Private Citizen
  • Nate Roter, RAICES
  • Julie Schweitert Collazo, Immigrant Families Together
  • Janey Starks, Private Citizen
  • Shalini Thomas, Volunteer with Annunciation House
  • Alice Thompson, Together and Free
  • Antonio Tijerino, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Kate Wheatcroft, Together and Free

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