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At Tahirih’s first-ever Gala in the San Francisco Bay Area, Executive Director Morgan Weibel commended the great work and success of the organization’s newest office and highlighted all that it has achieved this year.

“I’d like to thank our Tahirih staff. You are on the frontlines of painful work – work that requires a great deal of patience, a positive outlook in the face of discouraging conditions, grit and innovation when a case seems lost, resourcefulness with what little we have, and most importantly, hope when it seems naïve to maintain it. Thank you.”

She also recognized several beacons of hope, without whose tireless efforts, Tahirih’s reach would not extend the distance it does.

“Tonight we celebrate those who give rise to our strong collaborative – fierce movement makers who are changing the world and whom, as Executive Director, I have the distinct pleasure of working alongside. Our 2018 Honorees are devoted volunteers and skillful pro bono professionals who sacrifice and dedicate themselves to support Tahirih and its clients all year long.”

The first to be celebrated was Tahirih’s Corporation of the Year, Visa, represented by Alex Miller. Visa aided Tahirih in a large number of immigration cases with clients who survived unimaginable atrocities. Visa attorneys were commended by Weibel for maintaining a client-centered approach, each case and individual treated with diligence and respect to ensure every single request for status taken to court is comprehensive and compelling.

The next to be recognized was Tahirih’s Firm of the Year, Arnold & Porter, represented by Douglas Winthrop. The firm’s tireless commitment to furthering Tahirih’s mission meant that Tahirih had access to essential office space to launch its work in the Bay Area, and the invaluable services of pro bono attorneys who are nothing short of an inspiration.

Following Winthrop, Weibel commended Tahirih’s Innovative Partner of the Year, Airbnb, represented by Julie Wenah and Alica Del Valle. Airbnb was spotlighted for their creative solutions to current problems including providing representation in a growing area of need for our clients – access to “green cards”. In addition, Airbnb staff was thanked for generously donating tailored gifts to families who would otherwise not have been able to afford them this past holiday season.

Finally, the name Kalpana Peddibholta was called.  Weibel presented the attorney and partner at Mathews & Peddibholta with Tahirih’s Pro Bono of the Year award. “Kalpana’s fearless support of our work has meant not only that Tahirih clients across the Bay Area are able to receive the legal protection they so richly deserve, but also that Tahirih’s legal services have been enhanced through her mentorship in business and family-based immigration matters that help our clients explore all of their possible options under U.S. law.”

Weibel concluded with expressing her deepest gratitude to these stellar examples of human rights advocates for the inspiration they provide for those around them, and for the mountains they have moved and will no doubt continue to move for Tahirih’s clients.

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