Social Issue Talk: Justice for Immigrants & Refugees

Assuring Access to Justice for Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers
April 06, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Ropes & Gray LLP
Justice for Immigrants & Refugees

Join the Social Innovation Forum on April 6, 2018 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm for the Social Issue Talk "Assuring Access to Justice for Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers." Lunch will be provided. Space is limited so please RSVP below. 


Mary Holper
This talk will be a discussion moderated by Anita Sharma of PAIR (Political Asylum Immigrant Representation) Project featuring Mary Holper of Boston College Law School and Alejandra St. Guilen of the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement.

Mary Holper, Associate Clinical Professor, Boston College Law School

Mary Holper is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigration Clinic at Boston College Law School. Prior to joining the BCLS faculty, Professor Holper was an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island, where she founded and directed the Roger Williams University School of Law Immigration Clinic.

Alejandra St. Guillen, Director, Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement

Alejandra St. Guillen

Alejandra St. Guillen was appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh in 2014 as the Director of the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (previously known as the Office of New Bostonians) with the mandate to strengthen the ability of residents from diverse cultural and linguistic communities to fully participate in the social, economic, cultural and civic life of the city. During her tenure thus far, Alejandra has leveraged public-private partnerships to expand staff capacity and launch new initiatives, such as the Immigrant Integration & Empowerment Project, Immigrant Information Corners, a Task Force on Foreign-trained Professionals and Citizenship Day.

Prior to her appointment, Alejandra served as the Executive Director of ¿Oiste?, a statewide Latino Civic and Political Organization. In this role, she collaborated with state legislators and other governmental officials in the development and promotion of Public Policy initiatives that have directly impacted the Latino community in Massachusetts, that include Education Reform, Economic Justice Policy and Electoral Reform. Alejandra has demonstrated a strong commitment to social justice, and has worked tirelessly as an educator, community organizer, and non-profit leader. She led a statewide coalition in demanding a fair and broad state Redistricting process in 2011 that resulted in the creation of twice as many minority- majority seats in the House and the Senate.

2018 Social Innovator
PAIR Project

PAIR (Political Asylum Immigration Representation) Project

PAIR provides free legal services to indigent asylum seekers and detained immigrants, assuring fairness and access to justice. Since 1989, PAIR has served more than 11,000 asylum seekers. 

Anita Sharma, Executive Director of PAIR

Anita Sharma

Anita Sharma is the Executive Director of The Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project (PAIR). Anita received her LL.M in International Legal Studies from American University Law School, concentrating in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. She earned her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, graduating with distinction in the Intellectual Property and High Technology Law concentration. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, in English Literature from Suffolk University, where she is currently an adjunct professor of English. Anita serves as co-chair of the Liaison Committee on Asylum for the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is a steering committee member of the Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Delivery of Legal Services Section. In 2016, Anita was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for its Top Women of Law Award. Before joining PAIR in 2002, Anita worked at WARLAW, a Delhi-based NGO that focuses on women’s rights in India.

This Spring, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) will hold eight free, educational events across the city as a part of our annual March Social Issue Talk Series where funders and community leaders can hear from leading experts and our 2018 Social Innovators about the latest trends, best practices, and exciting innovations across a variety of fields.
Learn about the entire series here