BOSTON, Sept 19th —Attorney General Maura Healey today kicked off the new Advisory Council on New Americans. The 26-member council will work with AG Healey and her staff on how the office can best address the needs of the state’s immigrant and refugee communities.

The Attorney General’s Advisory Council on New Americans is a new initiative under AG Healey’s Community Engagement Division. A new division was launched in May 2015 to bring the resources of the Attorney General’s Office directly into communities at times that are convenient for working people and their families. This year, the division has held over 160 trainings and events across the state and has engaged with over 8,635 residents.

The AG’s Advisory Council on new Americans will form a consistent dialogue between immigrant and refugee leaders across the state and the AG’s Office to advise on issues affecting immigrant communities including civil and consumer rights issues, health care, workers’ rights and housing.

26-Member Council posed with Attorney General Maura Healey
26-Member Council posed with Attorney General Maura Healey.

“I am excited to launch the Advisory Council for New Americans to strengthen our work on behalf of immigrant and refugee communities,” said AG Healey at the council’s kickoff meeting in her Boston office. “Building strong partnerships with community organizations will help ensure that all of our residents are treated fairly in Massachusetts.”

 Massachusetts is home to more than one million residents who were born outside of the United States. The advisory council is made up of community and immigrant leaders and advocates from across the state.

The advisory council will aim to meet quarterly. Today’s kickoff meeting was for members to share and discuss issues they are seeing in their communities with staff from the AG’s Office and develop a plan for the council going forward.

The 26-Member Council are list below by the first name alphabetic order, job title, and the organization:

Eva Millona, Executive Director of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Patricia Sobalvaro, Executive Director of Agencia ALPHA, Congregación León de Judá

Gladys Vega, Executive Director of Chelsea Collaborative

Conrado Santos, Lead Coordinator of Student Immigrant Movement

Serge Bologov, Russian Community Association of Massachusetts

Paulo Pinto, Executive Director of Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS)

Lydia Lowe, Co-Director of Chinese Progressive Association

Helena DaSilva Hughes, Executive Director of Immigrants’ Assistance Center, Inc

Ahmed Al Rubaye, Office Manager of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC)

Deirdre Griffin, New American Program Director of Jewish Family Services of Western Mass

Mohammed Najeeb, Program Manager/Services for New Americans of Ascentria Care Alliance

Damaris Frias-Batista, Executive Director & co-founder of Center For Assistance to Families (CAF), Centro de Apoyo Familiar (CAF)

Gladys Ortiz, Domestic Violence Advocate of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence

Joanna Dos Santos, Executive Director of Cleghorn Neighborhood Center and the Cleghorn Youth Center

Dao Le, Secretary of Vietnamese American Community of Massachusetts

Nadine Dorcena, Community Outreach Program Coordinator of Catholic Charities Haitian Multi Service Center

Deequo Jabril, Executive Director of Somali Community & Cultural Association

Khalid Sadozai, President of Islamic Society of Greater Worcester

Suzanne Lee, Community Activist

Soben Pin, Managing Partner of KhmerPost USA

Yusufi Vali, Executive Directorof Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

Giles Li, Executive Director of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Ronnie Millar, Executive Director of Irish International Immigrant Center

Juliana Langille, Executive Director of The Family Center – Community Connections of Brockton

Anh Vu Sawyer, Executive Director of The Southeast Asian Coalition