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WALK OF COURAGE

Award Gala

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Highlights from the Walk of Courage Gala

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service walks alongside migrants and refugees on journeys that demand courage and hope. We recognize and thank our 2016 Walk of Courage Award Gala sponsors for their support and commitment to welcoming migrants and refugees.

Partners of Welcome

Advocates of Welcome

On October 26, 2016, LIRS presented the annual Walk of Faith award to the Reverend Mark Hanson for his decades of service and advocacy on behalf of migrants and refugees. The Walk of Courage award was presented to Secretary Madeleine Albright for her courage and commitment to forwarding the American ideals of justice and freedom for everyone. Omar al-Muqdad, a Syrian journalist and filmmaker, shared his story and Joseph Lewis, a former refugee from Liberia, was Master of Ceremonies for the night.

Please enjoy these videos and photos from a wonderful evening
celebrating migrants and refugees.

Albright Photo
2016 Walk of Courage Award Recipient
Madeleine Albright
Former U.S. Secretary of State

Madeleine K. Albright is a Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Chair of Albright Capital Management, an affiliated investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama in 2012.

In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet.

Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, she served as President of the Center for National Policy, a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie.

Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as President of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She is also on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy. Dr. Albright also serves on the Boards of the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen to Chair a Group of Experts focused on developing NATO’s New Strategic Concept.

Dr. Albright is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009) and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012).

Dr. Albright earned a B.A. with honors from Wellesley College and holds Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian Institute.

She is based in Washington, DC.

Hanson Photo
2016 Walk of Faith Award Recipient
The Reverend Mark Hanson
Former Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Serving as the Executive Director of Augsburg’s Christensen Center for Vocation, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson leads national and international initiatives to advance interfaith dialogue, inspire peacemaking, and support the College’s commitment to vocational discernment. In addition, he serves as a major gifts advisor for "Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

Prior to his current appointments, Hanson served as presiding bishop of the ELCA. He was elected to this position by the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA in August 2001 and was reelected in 2007. In 2003, he was elected to serve, concurrently, as president of the Lutheran World Federation, a position he held until 2010.

Before being elected as ELCA presiding bishop, he served as bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod (3H). He had been elected to serve a second term in Saint Paul earlier that same year. Prior to being elected synod bishop, he served as pastor of three Minnesota congregations: Prince of Glory Lutheran Church, Minneapolis; Edina (Minnesota) Community Lutheran Church; and University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis.

Born in Minneapolis on December 2, 1946, he graduated from Augsburg College with a B.A. in sociology. He was a Rockefeller Fellow at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and received a Master of Divinity degree there in 1972. He also attended Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School in 1979.

In his work as president of the Lutheran World Federation and as presiding bishop of the ELCA, Hanson has traveled widely throughout the world, sharing a confident hope in God’s promises and a vision of the joyful freedom in Christian community and mission.

Hanson is widely known as a leader with an evangelical passion and imagination who embraces the Christian tradition, the Christian community, and the world with both generous goodwill and thoughtful insight. He has been an articulate advocate for the renewal of the church’s preaching and public voice, for the strengthening of ecumenical and inter-religious relationships, and for reconciliation and justice in society, with attention especially to those who live with poverty and discrimination.

Hanson has received several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humane Letters from Augsburg College, Wittenberg University, and Grand View University, Doctor of Humanities from Capital University, Doctor of Divinity from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Susquehanna University, Wartburg College, and The Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration.

He is the author of Faithful Yet Changing, the Church in Challenging Times and Faithful and Courageous, Christians in Unsettling Times both from Augsburg Fortress, Publishers. Married to Ione (Agrimson), they are the parents of Aaron, Alyssa, Rachel, Ezra, Isaac and Elizabeth, and grandparents to Naomi, Kingston, Sam, Danielle and Sophia. Before moving to Chicago, Ione was the director of social work at Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospitals.