Hispanic Heritage Foundation and YWCA USA Lead Delegation to McAllen, Texas

A- A A+

Hispanic Heritage Foundation and YWCA USA Lead Delegation to McAllen, Texas

Contact: Tiffany Wang

Hispanic Heritage Foundation and YWCA USA Lead Delegation of Advocates to McAllen, Texas, In Support of Refugee and Immigrant Families and Children Separated At the Border

Group will meet with Sister Norma Pimentel, host a vigil, prayer breakfast and women’s circle, and deliver food at the Humanitarian Respite Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 26) – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and YWCA USA are leading a delegation of advocates to McAllen, Texas, on June 27 and 28, in support of refugee and immigrant families and children. The group will meet with Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, at the Humanitarian Respite Center; host a vigil at the Ursula Detention Facility; organize a prayer breakfast and women’s circle; and announce the formation of a coalition of organizations and create a collection of available resources related to refugee and immigrant families and children.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, YWCA USA and this delegation are in the Rio Grande Valley with Sister Norma to pray for and support all refugee and immigrant families, and youth that add tremendous value to our community,” said Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “We will get guidance from Sister Norma as to how we can best help from our positions going forward. We need to collectively share the American spirit of ‘lifting the lamp beside the golden door’ that welcomed immigrants at the turn of the last century.”

“As one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the country, we at YWCA know firsthand how crucial it is to take a stand against injustice,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA. “YWCAs across the country have always opened their doors and provided resources to women, children, and families who are in need. We have always pressed forward and demanded change. From YWCA El Paso del Norte Region to YWCA Brooklyn, we are continuing that important legacy by offering support to the immigrant families being impacted and traumatized by cruel anti-immigrant policies. YWCA refuses to stand by silently while policies that harm women, families, and communities of color are enacted.”


Wednesday, June 27

  • 5:00 p.m. – Briefing on the state of separated families and unaccompanied minors by Sister Norma Pimentel (Humanitarian Respite Center, 1721 Beaumont Ave., McAllen, Texas)
  • 8:30 p.m. – Vigil (Ursula Detention Facility)

Thursday, June 28 (Humanitarian Respite Center, 1721 Beaumont Ave., McAllen, Texas)

  • 7:30 a.m. – Prayer breakfast with Sister Norma Pimentel
  • 8:30 a.m. – Women’s circle discussion with Alejandra Castillo
  • 9:30 a.m. – Announcement


  • Margarita Baca-Gomez, Administrator, YWCA El Paso Early Learning Academies
  • Catherine V. Beane, Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy, YWCA USA
  • Sindy Benavides, COO and Acting CEO, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Roberto Callejas, Chief of Staff, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Stacie Olivares-Castain, Board Member, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA
  • Norma Cardenas CHt., CEO, Essence Marketing, LLC
  • Luis Cardona, National Compadres Network and Youth Violence Prevention Specialist
  • Maria Cardona, CNN Commentator; Principal, Dewey Square Group
  • Jordan Ching, Firm Director and Documentarian, Northbound Films
  • Tsi-Tsi-Ki Felix, Journalist and Host of Perspectiva Nacional, Entravision
  • Giselle Fernandez, Journalist, Producer, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur
  • Delia Garcia, Executive Director, National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association
  • Alicia Gill, Director, Research and Program Evaluation, YWCA USA
  • Adan Gonzalez, Founder, Puede Network
  • Amina Ishaq, Houston Chapter of Muslim Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC), Interfaith Lead at Maryam Islamic Center (MIC) under Islamic Society of greater Houston (ISGH)
  • Kim Kamen, American Jewish Committee (AJC)
  • Domenika Lynch, President and CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
  • Abel Nunez, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
  • Robyn O’Bryen, Author
  • Father Jacek Orzechowski, Catholic Charities
  • Monica Ramirez, Founder and Board President, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
  • Juan Sepulveda, Professor of Urban Education, Trinity University; Board Member, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Sonja Sanders, Administrator, YWCA El Paso Empowerment and Diversity Programs
  • Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Alejandro Velez, Co-Founder, Back to the Roots

The natural and organic food industry is also joining the effort: Back to the Roots co-founders Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, RxBar founder Peter Rahal, Nature’s Path executive vice president Arjan Stephens, and Thrive Market founders Nick Green and Gunnar Lovelace are donating hundreds of thousands of servings of healthy food to the Humanitarian Respite Center run by Sister Pimentel.

About Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) focuses on education, workforce development, service and culture. HHF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, with satellite workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, San Antonio, and Miami. Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org and follow HHF on Facebook and Twitter for more information.


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.