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Tahirih Justice Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala

Journey to Justice


Friday, May 13, 2022
4:00pm PT / 7:00pm ET


The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, VA
This event will also be live streamed


Please join us for our 25th Anniversary Gala, Journey to Justice: Progress & Perseverance. 

This year, we are celebrating a monumental milestone at our organization – it has been 25 years since our doors opened, and we have served more than 31,000 immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. This event will be a celebration of the 25 years of service and  impact that our supporters, partners, and communities have had on immigrant survivors of gender-based violence seeking safety in the United States. 

Check back here for event updates, registration details, special guests, silent auction items, and more!  

To sponsor the event, please submit your sponsorship payment online here or download our sponsorship form and email the completed version to Ron Lapitan at [email protected]


Make a Donation

Sponsorship opportunities


Presenting Sponsor 

  • Exclusive “Presented By” Naming Rights 
  • 1 VIP Table of 12 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event
  • Reserved Table Signage 
  • 30 Second PSA Message in Program
  • Social Media Recognition
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report 
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event 


Diamond Sponsor 

  • 1 VIP Table of 10 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event
  • Reserved Table Signage 
  • 30 Second PSA Message in Program 
  • Social Media Recognition 
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report 
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event 


Platinum Sponsor 

  • 1 VIP Table of 10 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event
  • Reserved Table Signage 
  • 15 Second PSA Message in Program 
  • Social Media Recognition 
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report 
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event 


Gold Sponsor 

  • 1 Table of 10 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event
  • Reserved Table Signage 
  • Social Media Recognition 
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report 
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event 

Silver Sponsor 

  • 1 Shared Table of 8 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event 
  • Social Media Recognition
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report 
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event 


Copper Sponsor 

  • 1 Shared Table of 4 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event 
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report 
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event 


Bronze Sponsor 

  • 1 Shared Table of 2 
  • Unlimited Access to Virtual Event 
  • Recognized at respective level in materials and/or Annual Impact Report
  • Fully tax-deductible for virtual event


Sponsorships must be confirmed by the following dates to receive full benefits and recognition: 

  • Social Media Recognition: April 15, 2022 
  • Virtual Program Recognition: April 22, 2022 
  • Recognition in other digital materials: April 22, 2022 
  • Recognition in other printed materials: April 15, 2022 

Sponsorships must be confirmed by the following dates to receive full benefits and recognition: 

  • Social Media Recognition: April 15, 2022 
  • Recognition in other printed materials: April 15, 2022 
  • Virtual Program Recognition: April 22, 2022
  • Recognition in other digital materials: April 22, 2022 

Host Committee

Host Committee

Mimi Alemayehou, Co-Chair 
Senior Vice President, Mastercard Inc. 

Douglas Henck, Co-Chair 
Tahirih Board Chair 

Kady Ashley 
Partner, Mergers and Acquisitions; Corporate Governance, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates 

Lorraine Riffle Caron 
Vice President, Global Government Relations, Kimberly-Clark 

Andrew Connor 
Chief Operating Officer, Japan Society 

Rani Doyle 
Executive Director, EY Center for Board Matters, New York Law School 

Marlo Goldstein 
Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Host Hotels & Resorts 

Joanne Gouaux 
USA for UNHCR / Social Impact Strategist / Co-Host, The Track Two Podcast 

Sarah Robarts 
President, Ballantines PR

Jim Sandman 
Distinguished Lecturer and Senior Consultant to the Future of the Profession Initiative, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School 

Mitra Solomon 

Bushra Vahdat 
Supervising Administrative Law Judge at New York State Department of Motor Vehicles 

Naz Vahid 
Managing Director and Global Head, Citi Global Wealth at Work, Citigroup 



Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Jamie Gorelick and Richard Waldhorn

Douglas and Suzanne Henck 

Mayer Brown LLP 


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP 

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP 



Annenberg Foundation

Citi Foundation

Ernst & Young

Latham & Watkins LLP

One Planet Group

Steptoe & Johnson LLP 



Andrews Kurth LLP 

Corner Foundation, Inc. 

Crowell & Morning LLP 

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 

Rita & Sepehr Egrari 

First American 

Girls Right Project 

Heidi Jiminez 

Host Hotels 

Frank Kendall & Elizabeth Halpern 

King & Spalding LLP 

McDermott Will & Emery LLP 

Rosita Najmi & Craig Hammer 

O’Melveny & Myers LLP 

James Sandman and Elizabeth Mullin 

Sidley Austin Foundation 

Mehrnaz Vahid and Shahin Ahdieh 

Visa, Inc. 



Akerman LLP 

Mimi Alemayehou 

Anisa Cott and David Martin 

Covington & Burling LLP 

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 

Dechert LLP 

Fidelity National Title Insurance 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

Charles Henck 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise 

Hogan Lovells LLP 

Thomas Mackall & Beth Roberts 

Sara Menker 

Joanne Moore 

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Reed Smith LLP 






Anthem Healthkeepers Plus 

Blank Rome LLP

Brigida Benitez 

Andrew Connor & Rongling You 


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 

Michael & Debora Goldberg 

Joanne Gouaux 

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP 

Troutman Sanders LLP 

William & Sally Wiley 

Gala Honorees

Corporate Leader of the Year


PayPal holdings are the largest American financial company which was founded to revolutionize the idea of transactions and create an ease for online financial transactions. Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, and by leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy.

PayPal works to improve the financial health of individuals and businesses around the world, build community resilience, reduce inequality, drive sustainability and expand opportunity. We are guided by our mission to build an inclusive economy for all. We are proud to support Tahirih’s mission of assisting immigrant survivors fleeing violence.


Firm of the Year
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates is an American multinational law firm headquartered in New York City. With 21 offices, approximately 1,700 attorneys and more than 50 distinct areas of practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and affiliates serves clients in every major international financial center, providing the specific legal advice companies across a spectrum of industries need to compete most effectively in a global business environment.

At Skadden we are steadFast in our commitment to help improve the global community by championing equality and celebrating differences. More than ever, we are banding together – internally and with clients and other law firms – to stand with our communities, help address racial inequities, and support the development and well-being of our attorneys and professional staff. Skadden’s pro bono program ensures that clients have a voice and a legal advocate, regardless of ability to pay. We are proud to partner with Tahirih Justice Center to support survivors of gender-based violence and to help ensure a safe space for them in our communities.


Atlanta Pro Bono of the Year – Brian McGrath

Crowell & Moring LLP

Brian McGrath is an associate at Crowell & Moring LLP’s New York office. A former educator, Brian’s work focuses on a range of trade issues including compliance with U.S. economic sanctions, export controls and antiboycott regimes, the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Since joining the firm in 2018, Brian has had the opportunity to take on significant pro bono projects, representing clients across a variety of practice areas, including immigration proceedings, veterans’ benefits appeals, FOIL litigation, and securing OFAC and BIS licenses for a U.S. non-profit to undertake multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment in North Korea.


Baltimore Pro Bono of the Year – Ward Coe

Gallagher, Evelius, & Jones LLP

Ward B. Coe III joined Gallagher Evelius & Jones as a partner 15 years ago. He is known for his work on high profile investigations, trying religious freedom cases, and as Chair of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission. Ward believes strongly that representation enhances the likelihood of success, and leads the firm’s pro bono efforts in providing legal support to those most in need.

Ward is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a graduate of Princeton and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and was a captain in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1967-70.

Firm Bio:

For more than 60 years, Gallagher has served businesses and nonprofits. Among other clients, Gallagher represents many prominent universities, hospitals and health care providers, financial institutions, religious organizations, real estate development companies, and other businesses throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Many of these relationships date back more than 50 years – a sign of the firm’s strong commitment and level of service.

Gallagher and its more than 100 staff are committed to supporting the community through volunteer and pro bono efforts, and to focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of the organization.


Greater Washington DC Pro Bono of the Year – Jane Thomas

Blank Rome LLP

Jane Thomas currently works as a litigation associate at Blank Rome LLP with a focus on mass tort matters and complex disputes. Jane received her BS in International Health from Georgetown University and then worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a public health associate. Throughout law school she held numerous legal internships and was involved in the George Washington University Law School’s Domestic Violence Project Clinic. Jane has been fortunate enough to partner with Tahirih Justice Center, which has enabled her to continue her passion for giving a voice to the most deserving and inspiring survivors.


Greater Washington DC Pro Bono of the Year – Lamiya Rahman

Blank Rome LLP

Lamiya Rahman focuses her practice on energy regulatory and litigation matters at Blank Rome LLP. During law school, Lamiya pursued her passion in women’s rights as a legal fellow at Vital Voices Global Partnership, a teaching assistant in Georgetown University Law Center’s International Women’s Human Rights Seminar, and a student in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic. Through her work in the clinic, Lamiya contributed to successful test litigation overturning gender discriminatory laws. Lamiya has long admired Tahirih Justice Center’s incredible staff and attorneys and is honored to have supported them in representing brave survivors in connection with U- and T-visa applications.


National Pro Bono of the Year – Marcia Maack

Mayer Brown LLP

Marcia Tavares Maack is the Director of Pro Bono Activities for Mayer Brown LLP, and is responsible for managing the firm’s pro bono program. Marcia acts as a liaison to the legal services and nonprofit community, develops and selects pro bono opportunities, and ensures a broad range of participation in the firm’s pro bono activities. She also assists and supervises the firm’s attorneys with their pro bono cases and spearheads the firm’s racial justice initiative, Project Equity. Marcia’s pro bono work is concentrated in the areas of international human rights, asylum, and refugee matters. She is a member of the Committee for the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and has been a speaker at public interest and pro bono conferences in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru, in addition to the ABA Equal Justice Conference and the Pro Bono Institute annual conference.


National Pro Bono of the Year – Shehnaz Mansuri

Mayer Brown LLP

Shehnaz Mansuri is the Pro Bono Manager in Chicago for Mayer Brown LLP, and is responsible for coordinating the office’s pro bono program. Shehnaz develops and manages pro bono opportunities for attorneys, and works with the Director of Pro Bono Activities on the firm’s national and global pro bono initiatives. Prior to becoming the firm’s pro bono manager, Shehnaz was the director of the Pro Bono & Community Initiative at DePaul University College of Law, and the manager of the University of Chicago Law School’s Pro Bono Service Initiative. Before moving to academia, Shehnaz was a trial attorney at a Chicago-based civil rights litigation boutique where she represented clients in police accountability cases. Shehnaz is a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Racial Justice Working Group and has been a speaker at the ABA Equal Justice Conference and the Association of Pro Bono Counsel’s annual conference.


National Pro Bono Lobbyist of the Year – Laura Puryear

McGuireWoods Consulting LLC


Atlanta Volunteer of the Year – Adele Bedrick

Vice President, National Council for Jewish Women, Atlanta Section

Adele Bedrick serves on the board of National Council of Jewish Women’s Atlanta Section as its Vice President of Community Service. Before relocating to Atlanta from Charlotte, NC in 2015, she was a clinical research nurse, focusing on high-risk obstetrics and maternal-child health.

Adele’s professional nursing experiences led to her interest in advocacy for women’s and children’s health and welfare issues. As a second-generation Holocaust survivor, she is passionate about immigration issues and the rights, health, and safety of individuals fleeing persecution. Adele and her husband, James, have two children and five grandchildren.


Greater DC Volunteer of the Year – Dr. Joseph Gorin

Joseph Gorin, Psy.D. & Associates, LLC

Joe Gorin is a bilingual psychologist with over 40 years of experience. He received his doctorate from William James College in 1983. He specializes in working with immigrants, in both the immigration system and the judicial justice system. He is the author of Choose Love, a narrative of his years living and working in Central America’s war zones as a human right activist. He teaches mindfulness meditation and also teaches Neuropsychological Assessment in the doctoral program at George Washington. He is a husband and a father of two adult children.

He is proud to have collaborated with Tahirih for many years.


San Francisco Volunteer of the Year – Christina Pagni Buck

Social Work Volunteer

Christina Pagni Buck is a volunteer with Tahirih’s social services program in San Francisco. She identifies needs clients have beyond their legal cases, such as accessing health care and rental assistance. Working directly with Tahirih’s clients, she helps them navigate the complex community and government systems they encounter. She has also developed resource guides that address clients’ needs related to employment, housing and more. She received her BA in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego and Master of Social Welfare from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Special Recognition – Layli Miller-Muro

Tahirih Founder

Layli Miller-Muro is the founder of the Tahirih Justice Center and Senior Advisor to the CEO. She established Tahirih in 1997 following her involvement in a high-profile case that set national precedent and revolutionized asylum law in the United States. Fauziya Kassindja, a 17-year-old girl who had fled Togo in fear of a forced polygamous marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), was granted asylum in 1996 by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals. This decision opened the door to gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum. Using her portion of the proceeds from the book Layli and Fauziya co-authored about the case, “Do They Hear You When You Cry?,” Layli created the Tahirih Justice Center in 1997 to serve immigrant survivors of gender-based violence seeking safety and justice.

Over the course of the past 25 years, Layli led Tahirih in its service to more than 30,000 survivors of gender-based violence seeking to secure their rights to justice, raising their voices through advocacy and impact litigation for systemic and structural change, growing the non-profit from a staff of six to over 100, and expanding its offices from Greater DC to Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, and the San Francisco Bay Area. In recognition of its sound management and innovative programs, under Layli’s leadership, Tahirih won the Washington Post Award for Management Excellence and gained recognition for its innovative use of pro bono services in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Prior to joining Tahirih as Chief Executive Officer, Layli was an attorney at the law firm of Arnold & Porter, where she practiced international litigation and maintained a substantial pro bono practice. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Layli was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals.

We have witnessed Layli’s tireless commitment to justice, to the equality of women and men, and to building an extraordinary Baha’i inspired organization. We honor Layli with special recognition for her extraordinary legacy, incredible advocacy, and unwavering support to Tahirih and our clients.

Layli is a frequent lecturer and has appeared in numerous news outlets including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and three children.


Featuring & Special Guests


Event Host 

Juliana Valencia, Reporter, NBC-4 

Juliana Valencia is a general assignment reporter for News4 and contributes to Telemundo 44. 

Valencia joined News4 in October 2019 from WHAS 11 in Louisville where she anchored the morning and noon newscasts. She launched the only weekday Spanish webcast in the region. 

Throughout her career, Valencia has worked for WPSD Local 6 in Paducah, K.Y. and for WCTI News Channel 12 in New Bern, N.C. Her career began as an intern at CNN in Atlanta. 

A graduate of the University of Florida, Valencia swam on UF’s Club Swim & Dive Team and was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. She was also a UF Miss Hispanic Student Association Scholarship Pageant recipient. 

Valencia is accustomed to moving to new places. As a child, she moved six times. From Gainesville (where she was born) to Corpus Christi to Nashville. Her parents are immigrants from Colombia and raised their children in a Spanish-speaking home. 

Valencia lives in Dupont Circle with Wilson, her 10-lb Shih Tzi-poodle. 


Special Guest

Melanie Royster (MELROY), Multifaceted Visual Artist

Melanie created the design for Tahirih’s 25th Anniversary Gala. The theme of the event is: “Journey to Justice: Progress & Perseverance”.

Melanie studied Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts and is currently working towards growing in her art career. She believes that studying Interior Design has helped her learn to connect with people. When designing for clients she focuses a lot on healing effects of the client’s space, knowing that the design will affect their energy and productivity. She now uses that same practice when it comes to her art, especially when working with other brands.

Art has always been a passion of hers. She wants to make people feel and reflect. Melanie’s design style is influenced by Caribbean and West African cultures, stemming in part from her Jamaican background. A lot of her concepts are centered on the power and worth of women, especially women of color. She also finds nature to be very grounding in her work and incorporates it in almost every piece. Texture and vibrant colors are also used to highlight important messages and stories, adding movement to her pieces.

Authenticity is her goal. Melanie offers many different creative services when it comes to her artwork and hopes to use her talents to positively impact those who come across her work.


Keynote Speakers

Justin Baldoni, Liz Plank, & Jamey Heath


Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, producer, entrepreneur, changemaker, and author of “Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity,”  whose efforts are focused on creating impactful media and entertainment. Baldoni is the co-founder of Wayfarer Studios, an independent financial and production engine pioneering purpose-driven, multi-platform film and television productions that elevate and speak to the human spirit. He is also the founder of Wayfarer Foundation, a non-profit which seeks to change the way communities see and respond to unhoused populations.  


Liz Plank is an award-winning journalist, author of For the Love of Men: From Toxic to a More Mindful Masculinity, and the executive producer and host of several critically acclaimed digital series at Vox Media and NBC News. She’s the CEO of Liz Plank Productions and is a columnist for MSNBC and has been listed as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Mediaite’s Most Influential in News Media, and Marie Claire’s Most Powerful Women, and was named one of the World’s Most Influential People in Gender Policy by Apolitical. She’s built a loyal following on numerous social media platforms, but her proudest accomplishment by far remains being blocked by the 45th president of the United States. 


Jamey Heath is the President of Wayfarer Studios as well as a prolific and versatile songwriter, musician and producer, he has co-written and/or produced songs for many artists, including Andy Grammer, Idina Menzel, Solange, Chaka Khan, Rahsaan Patterson, Randy Jackson, Dionne Farris, Guy Sebastian, Tamia, Tevin Campbell, Shanice, Az Yet, Yasmeen, Jody Watley, Ray J, Changing Faces, Janet Jackson, Kenny Lattimore, Babyface, Eric Benet, Take 6, and many others. He has been a part of many multi-platinum selling records and singles earning him two Grammy Nominations with one win for his work on Gladys Knight’s, “At Last” album.



The Man Enough Podcast is hosted by actor, director, and changemaker Justin Baldoni, author and journalist Liz Plank, and President of Wayfarer Studios and award-winning music producer Jamey Heath 


The Man Enough Podcast, a series of conversations undefining traditional roles and traits of masculinity to create a more positive, less binary and polarized understanding of masculinity and building a foundation of core human principles rooted in empathy, compassion and accountability.  


At Man Enough, we are building a multi-faceted ecosystem focused on undefining traditional roles and traits of masculinity to create a more positive, less binary and polarized, understanding of masculinity and identity across humanity. 


By freeing ourselves from the oppression and negative effects of rigid binary gender definitions, we are helping people to realize their potential as humans and their capacity for connection. Our community is building a foundation of core human principles rooted in empathy, compassion and accountability. 

Evening Program

Mimi Alemayehou, Senior Vice President, Mastercard, Inc. 

Event Co-Chair 

Douglas Henck, Tahirih Board Chair 

Event Co-Chair 

Event Host Welcome 
Juliana Valencia, Reporter, NBC-4 


Executive Director Remarks  
Morgan Weibel, San Francisco Bay Area 

Tahirih Video 

CEO Remarks 
Archi Pyati, CEO 

Special Recognition 
Layli Miller-Muro, Tahirih Founder and Former CEO 

Tahirih 25th Anniversary Video 

Tahirih Community Video  
Survivors and Advocates 

Executive Director Remarks  
Vanessa Wilkins, Atlanta 

Justin Baldoni, Actor, Director, Author 

Liz Plank, Author, Journalist 

Jamey Heath, President, Wayfarer Studios 

Executive Director Remarks  
Barfonce Baldwin, Greater DC-Baltimore Region 

Sponsor Recognition 

Executive Director Remarks 
Lubabah Abdullah, Houston