On May 19th, 2012, One America, (former Hate Free Zone) held its annual dinner at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. Some 700 people attended the special event. It was special because Ms. Pramila Jayapal, the Founder and Executive Director stepped down from devoting over a decade to fighting for civil and immigrant rights. Her devotion was indeed recognized by the authorities and it was declared that May 19th will be declared as “Pramila Jayapal Day” in King County, Seattle.
It was a fun filled evening of entertainment and tributes to all that Ms. Jayapal and One America achieved over the course of it’s successful existence. There were touching tributes from various people in the community, friends, supporters, volunteers and a video message from Senator Gutierrez.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association, Washington Chapter (AILAWA) has enjoyed a close alliance with One America over the years. For example, Citizenship Day has been an extremely successful joint venture helping people obtain US citizenship. AILA members, including myself, attended to show support.
In her powerful and inspiring speech, Ms. Jayapal left the audience in awe of her. She said “Everyday, we wake-up with a choice – a choice of what kind of human being we want to be. A choice of what kind of world we want to create and what kind of action we’ll take to create it. In making these choices, we form movements. In making these choices, we form community. In making those choices, we change the world. ”
Regarding what she would be doing in the future, it seems she is still deciding. She said “I am leaving One America to follow this passion I have…I will be right here with all of you and with One America”.
She said “I am in love with the future we haven’t written yet.” We haven’t seen the last of Ms. Jayapal and can expect much greater things I am sure. Watson Immigration Law thanks One America and Ms. Jayapal for fighting immigrant rights and so much more, and wish them all the best in the future.