At their annual gala last night, the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) project recognized Dimagi as a Business Leader in Human Rights. Dimagi was one of eight awardees recognized, the majority being individuals that provide pro bono services towards asylum seekers and immigrants.
Dimagi’s Manager of Legal Strategy and Operations Arya Shekar accepted the award on behalf of Dimagi. After graduating from law school, Arya worked closely with PAIR through a Public Interest Fellowship. In the post below, Arya writes about her own passion for human rights and about Dimagi’s work in this area.
When I graduated from law school, I received a Public Interest Fellowship to work with David McHaffey, one of the most sought after asylum attorneys in the United States. David serves on the Executive Board of the PAIR (Political Asylum/Immigration Representation) Project in Boston, which provides free legal representation to refugee and asylum seekers from all over the world. In my work with him, I had the privilege of facilitating BU Law’s first Immigration/Detention Clinic, in which law students effectively learned how to represent PAIR’s detained clients.
Because I did not see myself becoming an immigration attorney in the long run, I eventually left that world to come to a new one. This was the world of international development, technological innovation, and global access to healthcare: the world of being an in-house lawyer at Dimagi. To be honest, I never really saw the two worlds colliding–never until yesterday, when the PAIR Project, for its 25th anniversary, decided to present Dimagi an award for being a Business Leader in Human Rights.
It is appropriate then, that an organization like the PAIR Project would choose to highlight the efforts of Dimagi to address social inequalities in a sustainable way. For these reasons, yesterday was a proud moment for me as an attorney and as a member of the amazing staff at Dimagi. The future of human rights advocacy, as I learned from this experience, is growing in new, innovative, and exciting directions, and it is a privilege to be part of that future.