Home > Press Releases > Immigration Equality Honors Mila Jam, Patti Harrison, and Sandy Flor Viruel for Advocacy on Behalf of LGBTQ and HIV-Positive Refugees at Annual SHINE Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 24, 2019

Contact:

Kristen Thompson communications@immigrationequality.org | +1 646-723-1581

Immigration Equality Honors Mila Jam, Patti Harrison, and Sandy Flor Viruel for  Advocacy on Behalf of LGBTQ and HIV-Positive Refugees at Annual SHINE Awards

NEW YORK, NY—Tonight, Immigration Equality will celebrate the contributions of three high-profile advocates for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrant rights at the 2019 SHINE Awards. Mila Jam, Patti Harrison, and Sandy Flor Viruel are this year’s recipients of the Leading Light Award for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of queer, trans, and HIV-positive people fleeing persecution in their countries of origin. The evening will be emcee’d by prominent LGBTQ advocate Danielle Moodie-Mills. Immigration Equality created the SHINE Awards in 2014 to honor the work of women and non-binary people.

Statements:

Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director of Immigration Equality

“This year’s honorees inspire us with their courageous spirit and tireless commitment to our community. They are truly leading lights in our fight for justice, and we are deeply grateful for their dedication to building a brighter future for people seeking safe haven in the United States.”

Mila Jam, Artivist

“Immigration Equality is doing the work that gets overlooked. I am inspired by their extension of services to asylum seekers and those in need of legal representation. Support is important for everyone no matter who you are or where you’re from.”

Patti Harrison, Comedian

“Immigration Equality advocates for those at one of the most vulnerable and tumultuous intersections of race, status, and health, and their work reminds me that I live in a place where it is legal for me to express dissent, push back, take action. I really love Immigration Equality and what they stand for.”

Danielle Moodie-Mills, Co-Host of democracy-ish

“At this time in our political climate when immigrants are being demonized, it is incredibly important for all of us to support our immigrant LGBTQ siblings. The stories I have heard from those caught in our broken system are horrific. All we have in this moment is us and we must do all that is necessary with our time, talent and treasure to secure the well-being of the LGBTQ immigrant community.”

The 2019 SHINE Awards will raise money to support Immigration Equality’s free legal services for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants. More information about the event is available at imeq.org/shine/. 

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Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. We represent and advocate for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.