KIND’s 2019 Benefit Gala “Coming Together for Children Alone” was KIND’s largest and most varied yet, with a wide-ranging (and funny) conversation between Brad Smith and The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah; a multi-media performance featuring children KIND has worked with and violinist and composer extraordinaire Tim Fain; and of course, awards to our outstanding partners of the year. About 470 people attended the event at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City on April 17 to celebrate our volunteers and all those who have supported KIND’s mission to ensure that no child stands in immigration court alone.
KIND presented our 2019 Allegiance Awards to Morgan Lewis and Fish & Richardson, which together have provided 14,000 pro bono hours on KIND cases since 2016, and nearly 5,000 in just 2018 alone. Amazon received KIND’s Innovation Award for its efforts to extend corporate citizenship to the groundbreaking issue of pro bono legal representation for unaccompanied children.
As part of its pro bono children’s initiative, Morgan Lewis attorneys have helped over 80 children referred to KIND in seven cities, and organized intake clinics in New York City with several corporate partners, helping KIND reach even more children in need.
Fish & Richardson attorneys have represented more than 60 KIND children in five cities. Fish also sponsored an Equal Justice Works Fellow in our Atlanta office and provided particularly strong support to our San Francisco office.
Amazon has represented more than 50 children referred to KIND, with over a hundred of their attorneys and legal professionals engaged in these cases. Amazon partnered with Davis Wright Tremaine in early 2018 to simultaneously take 27 cases in six cities through case launch clinics, focusing on providing legal services to abused, abandoned, or neglected unaccompanied children on a large scale.
Brad Smith and Trevor Noah discussed Trevor’s childhood and the experiences that brought him to where he is today, as well as immigration from his perspective as a South African living in the United States.
The performance featured a KIND Voices That Matter Most participant from DR Congo, Mwamini, reading her poem, “I am a Refugee” accompanied by Tim Fain. A KIND client from El Salvador rapped in a video her story of surviving sexual violence, also accompanied by Tim Fain. The performance closed with a moving solo by Tim Fain and a slide show by photographer Lori Barra of children in shelters along the U.S.- Mexico border waiting for a chance to make their case for U.S. protection.
We bestowed the second annual Juan Osuna Memorial Award, in honor of KIND President Wendy Young’s late husband who was a champion of due process and fundamental fairness in his nearly two decades at the Department of Justice. This year’s winner was KIND’s Interim Managing Attorney in our Boston office, Alex Peredo Carroll, in recognition of her exemplary performance, resilience, and selfless dedication during the family separation crisis. Alex was involved in serving both the parents who were detained in south Texas and the children detained in New York.
We could not be more grateful to all our supporters who made the evening an incredible success. We look forward to many more years of protecting migrant children in need, together.