Nov 2: Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Angel of Freedom Awards, 2009

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the Embrey Family Foundation, and the Women of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church to receive awards during Annual HRI Thanksgiving Event at The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas.

Human Rights Initiative of North Texas

We are honored to receive this recognition from Human Rights Initiative. HRI provides unique services to people in dire need, and it is both fulfilling and a pleasure to assist.

Human Rights Initiative of North Texas (HRI), a nonprofit agency in Dallas, has announced the recipients of the prestigious 2009 Angel of Freedom Awards: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the Embrey Family Foundation, and the Women of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. The awards will be presented at the Annual HRI Thanksgiving Event on Monday, November 2, 2009 at the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in downtown Dallas.

These organizations and individuals have made significant contributions, enabling HRI to better serve its clients and to meet the organization's mission. The generosity of these awardees has made a major difference in the lives of many people living in North Texas.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Through the years Akin Gump has provided considerable pro bono legal resources to HRI. Legal services are core to the mission of HRI and without the strong support of Akin Gump, our mission could not be accomplished. In the past fiscal year alone, Akin Gump provided more than $400K or 30% of all donated legal services to enable HRI's annual success. Lawyers from Akin Gump also are actively involved the HRI Pro Bono Committee, a body that leads and sets the direction for the HRI Pro Bono program. This committee is also critical in building greater involvement from the legal community. J. Kenneth Menges Jr., co-head of Akin Gump's firm wide corporate practice and the partner in charge of the Dallas office said, "We are honored to receive this recognition from Human Rights Initiative. HRI provides unique services to people in dire need, and it is both fulfilling and a pleasure to assist."

Embrey Family Foundation
The Embrey Family Foundation is based in Dallas and champions the well-being and rights of all people by supporting programs that advance human rights, healthy communities, education, and creativity. The funding mission of the Embrey Family Foundation aligns with the mission of HRI and the Foundation has demonstrated consistent support in HRI's life saving work. Lauren Embrey, President of the Embrey Family Foundation had these comments, "The Embrey Family Foundation is honored to be amongst this illustrious group of individuals and organizations that have given of their time and resources to promote Human Rights Initiative and international human rights. The Embrey Family Foundation believes in the core values applied at HRI: professionalism, accountability in all segments, respect for all cultures and responsiveness to individual needs. "We are proud to be a partner and supporter of HRI, both through the distribution of funds and through our active commitment to look at and engage in the tough issues facing our world and to strategize ways to make a difference."

Women of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
The Women of Saint Michael Gifts Committee, driven by their spiritual beliefs and commitment have supported HRI since 2001 in assisting HRI's clients in the most basic needs of social support as they move through the arduous legal process. This support is critical for a survivor of human rights abuses - knowing that someone cares in these very personal needs of life support. Linda Secrest, 2009-2010 committee president, provided this comment, "The Women of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church are humbled by this award. We are hopeful that the recognition of our work will inspire others to give to worthy causes such as Human Rights Initiative."

About Human Rights Initiative of North Texas (http://www.hrionline.org)
The mission of Human Rights Initiative of North Texas (HRI) is to provide free legal representation and social services to indigent victims of human rights abuses and to serve as a community resource on international human rights issues. HRI's clients include victims of human rights abuses seeking asylum in the United States, victims of spousal or child abuse at the hands of a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, immigrant children who often flee fromviolence and travel to the U.S. alone, or immigrant children that have been abused, abandoned or neglected bytheir parents in the U.S. These individuals have suffered persecution in their homeland for exercising the very freedoms that we take for granted: freedom of speech, of religious practice, of political belief, and of gender roles.

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