By Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO
I’m proud to write to you today with the news that Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is seeking nominations for our 2013 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 believe strength is found in diversity and that we need the voice of refugees and immigrants tables of influence. For those reasons, LIRS makes a special effort to ensure diversity among its board members and strongly encourages the nomination of women, former refugees, immigrants and members of underrepresented groups. We are seeking some specific skills and expertise, and these are outlined in the call for nominations. Please see the information about current board members at the LIRS Leadership page under www.lirs.org/.
Nominations are due by June 15, 2012. 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.
Since it was founded 73 years ago, LIRS has helped nearly 380,000 refugees rebuild their lives. Our Baltimore-based organization is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating on behalf of 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 across the United States. LIRS welcomes refugees and migrants 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. In 2011, LIRS’ accomplishments included welcoming 6,909 refugees, placing 249 unaccompanied refugee children in foster homes, carrying out 89 legal interventions for survivors of torture, and reuniting 321 migrant children with family in the United States,
We’ve 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.