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“This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

At the 6th Annual Houston Gala, the Tahirih Justice Center’s CEO and Founder, Layli Miller-Muro, emphasized that ending violence against women is a marathon, not a sprint.

Every member of Team Tahirih – staff, volunteer, donor, advocate alike – plays a different and important role in the long and demanding race for social justice, and we must not tire. Thankfully, the resilient and determined Houston community made it one step closer to the finish line by raising over $580,000 to support brave women and girls demanding a life without fear.

Celebrating 20 years as an organization and 8 years in Houston, the Tahirih Justice Center has answered more than 22,000 calls for help from courageous immigrant women and girls escaping human rights abuses and has a 99% litigation success rate. But even with this amount of measurable success, feelings of doubt and helplessness abound.

“Some days, the amount of injustice overwhelms me. The amount of suffering and the volume of appeals for help to Tahirih are deafening. Some days, I wonder if our efforts to help as many as possible is a hamster wheel going nowhere. Sometimes, I wonder if the system and structure we are working to improve will ever evolve,” said Layli.

Although we live in an unpredictable world where human suffering and injustice has become all too common, we cannot give up. In the end, each step we take towards social justice will have an impact the lives of vulnerable women and girls around the world and change the system for the better. Although today Tahirih can serve only 1 out of every 10 women and girls that ask for help, we can change that together.

“Every little action we take, every intention we have, has an impact. Every case we litigate, changes a life and the system. Every act of self-sacrifice or caring, every expression of love and forgiveness, standing up for justice, and giving to others, transforms a soul and influences the spirit of the world,” Layli noted.

It is up to us to make strides, no matter how small, towards the finish line of this marathon, working to make a difference for one person, one family, and one community at a time.