When Sisters Catherine Cassidy, Maureen Kelleher and I began planning for Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) in 1995, we never dreamed it would become a relatively large, nationally recognized organization. All of you reading this letter played a role in strengthening our ability to stand strong in the storm of ever-changing immigration laws and policies aimed at stripping away immigrants’ rights.
- Pro bono lawyers generously giving of your time and expertise,
- Staff members who hung in tirelessly to see your client’s case to completion even when it took years of effort,
- Immigrants whose heartbreaking story inspired and challenged us,
- Board members leading us with palpable passion,
- Community partners who stood hand in hand with us on the march to justice,
- Donors whose gift no matter the size fueled us,
- And countless legal interns, event volunteers and community champions who were always available when called upon…
Our 25 years of impact is your combined contribution to defending immigrant rights.
Today I share with you, our thousands of justice warriors, that I have made the difficult and emotional decision to retire in the Spring of 2022. Serving as AI Justice’s Co-Founder and Executive Director for 25 years has been the privilege of a lifetime, more challenging, fulfilling and humbling than I ever imagined. Now, as we mark our 25th Anniversary, it is the right time for me and the organization to transition into a new quarter century of Defending Justice and Upholding Dreams.
I have enormous confidence in our management team, program directors, the leadership potential of a new generation of staff, our legion of dedicated volunteers, and in our capable and invested Board of Directors to further strengthen AI Justice’s work in the years ahead.
I am fully committed to a smooth transition to our next Executive Director and our Board has hired Marcum’s Nonprofit and Social Sector Group to conduct the search for new leadership in partnership with the Board’s Succession Committee. AI Justice will always be a part of me, and I will do whatever I can to help ensure that the agency continues to save lives and help vulnerable immigrants realize their dreams.
I will forever be grateful to each of you and wanted to share this news with you directly. It has been my good fortune to lead an organization filled with your passion and purpose. Above all, thank you to the courageous immigrants who gifted us with their trust, strength and determination during their long and difficult journeys.
With immense gratitude,