MAY 8, 2012 ANNOUNCEMENT — LIRS Seeks New Board Members to Champion Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Press Contact: Lauren Rymer, LIRS Assistant Director for Development
202-230-2755, lrymer@lirs.org

BALTIMORE, May 8, 2012 Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) seeks nominations for its 2013 board of directors and committees, the award-winning nongovernmental organization announced today.

The LIRS board sets the organization’s mission goals and ensures that it has the resources, leadership, and oversight necessary to carry them out. The 16 board members have knowledge of and commitment to refugees and immigration matters. Three Lutheran church bodies, as well as other denominations and faiths, are present on the board. There are also four former refugees and two first-generation immigrants on the board.

“LIRS believes strength is found in diversity and that we need the voice of refugees and immigrants at tables of influence,” said LIRS President Linda Hartke.

LIRS makes a special effort to ensure diversity among its board members. Therefore, LIRS strongly encourages the nomination of women, former refugees, immigrants and members of underrepresented groups. LIRS is seeking some specific skills and expertise, and these are outlined in the call for nominations. Information about current board members can be viewed at the LIRS Leadership page .

Nominations are due by June 15, 2012. Potential candidates and nominators can visit lirs.org/boardnominations to view the call for nominations, expectations of board and committee members, the nominations timeline, and the nominations form.

Since it was founded 73 years ago, LIRS has helped nearly 380,000 refugees rebuild their lives. The Baltimore-based organization is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States. LIRS welcomes refugees and migrants on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

LIRS has received a number of awards, including the National Leadership Award of the Vietnamese American National Gala. In 2011, LIRS’ accomplishments included welcoming 6,909 refugees,  placing 249 unaccompanied refugee children in foster homes,  carrying out 89 legal interventions for survivors of torture, and reuniting 321 migrant children with family in the United States.

“We’ve been blessed with volunteer leaders who bring diverse gifts and above all a passion for championing uprooted people,” said Hartke. “We look forward to the gifts each new board member brings to the mission of helping new Americans build brighter tomorrows.”