Dare to be.
That’s the name of the annual New York State Youth Leadership Council’s (NYSYLC) gala where each year change makers in the New York community are recognized. This year, one of LSA’s own was one of the individuals who did just that – dared to be more to her community. Melina Gonzalez, Immigration Outreach Organizer and Client Advocate at LSA, was nominated for the 2019 Immigrant Women, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Leaders award. The award recognizes individuals who live and fight for equality at the intersections of immigrant and gender justice.
“I am honored and humbled to have been nominated with such a group of amazing people who are empowering our immigrant community,” said Melina. “Regardless of what we think Immigration could be, should be or will be…respect and dignity should be our priority today and always, all human beings are born free and equal everyone has the right to live, to be free, and to feel safe.”
The NYSYLC was the first undocumented youth led organization in New York that works to empower immigrant youth through leadership development, grassroots organizing, educational advancement, and self-expression.
“I see Melina as the advocate who will never stop giving back, whether it’s for the families she serves in New York City, or the women and children she visits at the border waiting indefinitely in detention,” said Jaslin Kaur, Melina’s nominator. “As the NYSYLC works towards similar goals and looked to commemorate folks doing justice-oriented work for immigrant women, I saw Melina as the perfect candidate for her ability to take her commitments locally, nationally, and globally. She is a true champion of justice and equality, building bridges across immigrant communities no matter where they are. As a fellow New Yorker, I feel proud to know that someone local to this city is doing some pivotal, transformative work and I wanted to shine on a light on Melina’s selfless achievements.”
We thank Melina, Jaslin, and NYSYLC for all of their work to stand with and support immigrant communities.