Builder of the NEW New York: Lehman President Ricardo Fernández Awarded by the NY Immigration Coalition

The New York Immigration Coalition has recognized President Ricardo Fernández for his work – and the ongoing work of Lehman College – in promoting the American Dream.

With more than 200 member organizations, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) fosters immigrant community leadership and civic engagement, advocates for better laws and policies at the local, state, and national levels, and seeks to include immigrants in the major debates.

President Fernández was presented with the 2013 “Builder of the New New York Award” at the NYIC’s annual gala on June 27. The award is granted to individuals and organizations that share the NYIC’s vision for justice, fairness, and inclusiveness.

“It was our namesake Herbert H. Lehman who said ‘It is immigrants who brought to this land the skills of their hands and brains to make it a beacon of opportunity and of hope for all,” said President Fernández upon accepting the award.

“It is the voice of Herbert Lehman that we hear today whenever an individual—whether a student, or a scholar, or a politician, or anyone—raises his or her voice to defend the rights of immigrants who only want what we all want—a chance at the American Dream.”

More than 40 percent of undergraduate CUNY students were born outside the United States, and nearly half of those speak a language other than English. There are nearly 200 languages spoken by students across the campuses of the City University of New York. Plus, the University’s “Citizenship Now!” program provides free, confidential services to 10,000 immigrants a year, helping them on the path to citizenship.

Other awardees recognized at the NYIC Builders of the New New York gala are Richard Iannuzzi and Maria Neira, President and Vice President of New York State United Teachers; and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.