2020 First of NJ and NY Beacon of Hope Awards Dinner

February 25, 2020 |

Please join First Friends of New Jersey and New York for our biggest night of the year as we come together annually to celebrate and honor many in the field of immigration rights.

Date And Time

Tue, April 28, 2020
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT


Mayfair Farms
481 Eagle Rock Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052

Sign Up for Event

Our honored guest, 2020 Beacon of Hope Award winner and featured speaker this evening will be Dr. Elizabeth F. Cohen, Professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and noted author on immigration.

Dr. Cohen's new book, Illegal: How America's Lawless Immigration Regime Threatens Us All, reveals that our current immigration crisis has roots in early twentieth century white nationalist politics. Dr. Cohen makes a compelling argument that the country must act quickly to rein in the powers of the current immigration regime and revive saner approaches based on existing law or else all citizens are at risk.

Dr. Cohen has published 3 other books, Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics, Citizenship, and The Political Value of Time and her articles and Op-Ed pieces have appeared in the NY Times and Washington Post, among others.

We will also be presenting our first Faithful Friends Award to the Dominican Sisters in Committed Collaboration. The Dominican Sisters has been stalwart supporters of First Friends for over a decade through grants, Stamp Out Despair packing parties, visitation and other volunteer engagements. Please join us as we thank them for their mission-driven work.

We will also celebrate:

  • Post-release asylum seekers who sacrificed so much to improve their living conditions
  • First Friends volunteers who continue to sacrifice and give of themselves to improve the lives of immigrants
  • First Friends staffers that work tirelessly to connect detainees to the outside world, and
  • Partner organizations that work together with us to advocate, defend and provide comfort to detainees and post-release friends.

Dinner will be served and you will have an opportunity to meet post-release asylum seekers that have benefited from First Friends programs.

Our Progress

In 2019

207Total Detained Friends Enrolled
181Total Detained Friends Visited
140Total Pen Pals Receiving Letters