LIRS Seeks New Board Members to Champion Immigrant and Refugee Rights

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LIRStorchlogo300I’m pleased to write to you today with the news that Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is seeking nominations for our 2014 board of directors and committees.

The LIRS board sets our mission goals and ensures that we have the resources, leadership, and oversight necessary to carry them out. The 16 board members have knowledge of and commitment to refugees and immigration matters. Three Lutheran church bodies, as well as other denominations and faiths, are present on the board. There are also four former refugees and two first-generation immigrants on the board.

We at LIRS have found that strength lies in diversity, and that we need the voice of refugees and immigrants tables of influence. For those reasons,  LIRS strongly encourages the nomination of women, former refugees, immigrants and members of underrepresented groups. LIRS is seeking some specific skills and expertise, and these are outlined in the call for nominations. Information about current board members can be viewed at the LIRS Leadership page.

Potential candidates and nominators can visit www.lirs.org/boardnominations to view the call for nominations, expectations of board and committee members, the nominations timeline, and the nominations form. Nominations should be submitted to nominations@lirs.org by June 1, 2013 for early review, but must be received no later than June 14, 2013.

Since its founding 74 years ago, LIRS has helped nearly 400,000 refugees rebuild their lives. The Baltimore-based organization is nationally recognized for advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners nationwide. LIRS welcomes New Americans on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

LIRS has received a number of awards, including the National Leadership Award of the Vietnamese American National Gala and the Outstanding Achievement Award in Community Service of the Checago Bright Foundation. In 2012, LIRS’ accomplishments included resettling 9,933 refugees; supporting 4,198 refugees in an employment program; training over 900 resettlement professionals; providing follow-up services for 324 families and caregivers reuniting with children; identifying and assessing 318 survivors of torture for service; and placing 277 refugee and immigrant children in specialized foster care programs.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: LIRS has been blessed with volunteer leaders who bring diverse gifts and above all a passion for championing uprooted people. We look forward to the gifts each new board member brings to the mission of helping new Americans build brighter tomorrows.

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