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HHF Hosts “State of Central American Children…”

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Briefing Included Testimonial from Children and their Mother, Experts, and Next Steps for the READ (Refugee Enrichment And Development) Project

WASHINGTON , DC (August 12, 2014):  The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), other institutions and individuals hosted a briefing titled State of Central American Children Fleeing Violence Crisis for the press, concerned national and local leaders, other organizations, and individuals at the National Press Club on Thursday, August 14, from 12-2 p.m. The briefing is part of HHF’s READ (Refugee Enrichment And Development) Project which is non-political, non-partisan, and non-immigration-reform related but focused on providing hope, emotional outlets, and education to the children through reading, playing, and praying.

“Since returning from a trip to the border a few weeks ago, I have been overwhelmed by the genuine concern, questions and desire to help by national and local leadership as well as friends,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF, who was born in Nicaragua in Central America. “This is clearly a humanitarian issue, and these children are simply trying to escape horrific violence in their home countries. This briefing is an effort to bring together the spirit of compassion in support of the children who are not only crossing the border but continuing their journey into states, counties and cities across the US. The group of experts we’ve brought together for the briefing will provide a comprehensive and compelling report on the situation as well as a call to action to help these children who are escaping violence. We are inspired by what makes America great – our moral mandate to care for those in need.”

The following experts joined Tijerino on their topic areas:

  • Testimonial – Central American Mother and her children who made the journey
  • State of the Crisis in US – Tiffany Nelms, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • State of the Crisis in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – Adam Blackwell, OAS (Organization of American States)
  • Crisis at the Border by the Numbers – Ana Gonzalez, Pew Research Center
  • Meeting the Immediate Needs of Families – Sister Norma Pimentel, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
  • From border to States and Counties
    • State Response – Maria Martinez, Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs-State of Maryland
    • County Response – Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro
    • Health response – Dr. Christian Cornejo, Mary’s Center
    • Legal response – Elizabeth Dallam, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
    • Family Unification and Trauma – Luis Cardona, (HHS) Health and Human Services
    • Education – Harlyn Pacheco, Qlovi Education
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