Founded by social worker Serena Simmons Connelly and lawyer Elizabeth Healy, the Dallas-based Human Rights Initiative of North Texas has grown into an award-winning agency helping immigrant survivors of human rights abuses from all over the world. The courageous and resilient clients are eligible to apply for legal status under the humanitarian provisions of United States immigration laws and policies: they are asylum seekers fleeing persecution; children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected; and victims of family violence and violent crimes.
HRI's legal team partners with a network of over 250 pro bono attorneys from top DFW firms and corporations to help clients access the U.S. Immigration System, and the Social Services team offers transitional support and referrals to help address trauma and ease the hardships of profound displacement. At HRI, all services are free, and all are designed to help forge a path to safety, stability, and opportunity.
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas depends on two major sources of support: volunteers and financial contributions.
Work pro bono: Free, quality legal representation is essential to the mission and invaluable to its clients. They recruit attorneys to help advocate for clients, providing expertise, training, and support.
Become a volunteer: The mission depends greatly on a core of diversely skilled and passionate volunteers. From translator to event volunteer, there are many roles you can play to help HRI.
Attend an event: Events are great opportunities to meet and connect with others who share your passion to help. All monies raised through events directly support HRI's mission.
Rock Your Heart Out! is HRI's signature fundraising event, which gives voice to immigrant experience through storytelling, art, and music. It recognizes devastating circumstances without reducing people to their worst experiences. It honors suffering and perseverance even while celebrating culture and creativity. They also unveil brand-new works of art that interpret stories of former HRI clients, who come to the U.S. from all over the world to seek safety from oppression, domestic violence, and abuse. This artwork is auctioned at RYHO, to benefit HRI, so that they can continue helping vulnerable refugees and immigrants.