Students Train Volunteers: Award Recognizes Initiative

Students from CUNY Law’s Immigration and Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC) working with SEPA MUJER, and supervised by Director of Immigrant Initiatives and Law Professor Alizabeth Newman and IRRC Social Work Supervisor and Adjunct Professor Martha Garcia, trained volunteers to mobilize to support victims of domestic abuse in Suffolk county. The volunteers lobby for responsive legislation, protest to call attention to an unaddressed issue and accompany women, for whom English is a second language, to court to help them navigate the court system.

The students helped train the non-lawyer volunteers to help women, who were victims of domestic violence, learn more about their legal rights. The impact of the volunteers’ efforts are now being recognized by The Fund for Modern Courts who presented the volunteers with the 2010 Samuel J. Duboff Memorial Award. The award is in recognition of their work with Hispanic immigrant women and survivors of domestic violence. “We are proud that our students were involved in helping the volunteers prepare to engage in this important work,” said Newman, who founded SEPA Mujer.

SEPA MUJER, Services for the Advancement of Women, is a community-based organization offering legal rights education for Latina immigrant women and free representation for survivors of domestic violence. SEPA MUJER is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the individual and community development of Latina immigrant women. SEPA MUJER began in November 1993 with members and supporters of the Latina immigrant community in Long Island. Its objective is to serve as a development center for Latina immigrant women to assist the organization in integrating and contributing to Long Island life and to strengthen their voices individually and collectively.