Organization Announces New Name, Unveils New Logo Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska Is Now ‘Immigrant Legal Center’ 1/12/18 01/12/18 10:46:40 AM
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Organization Announces New Name, Unveils New Logo
Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska Is Now ‘Immigrant Legal Center’
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
Effective January 12, 2018, the nonprofit immigration law firm Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska will be known as Immigrant Legal Center (ILC). In conjunction with the announcement of its new name, the organization unveiled a new logo and also launched a new website at www.immigrantlc.org.
The change was announced at a news conference today.
The metro Omaha-based 501(c)(3) organization remains affiliated with the Justice For Our Neighbors Network, which offers legal clinics for immigration legal services throughout the country. ILC also continues its association with the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church, which provides resources and funding.
The mission of ILC remains the same: “to welcome immigrants into our communities by providing high-quality legal services, education and advocacy.”
“The new name, ‘Immigrant Legal Center,’ is more descriptive of the services we provide,” according to Executive Director Emiliano Lerda, J.D., LL.M.
“This change will make it easier for clients to initially find us, which may help them access the critical services they need even sooner. Clients can count on continuing to receive the same level of service and responsiveness from our attorneys, legal representatives, administration and staff.”
He noted that this name change will also provide Immigrant Legal Center with a broader platform to affect positive change through new and ongoing collaborative partnerships, advocacy and impact litigation not only within the state of Nebraska, and Southwest Iowa, but nationwide.
This broader platform, Lerda said, will let them become more involved in impact legislation. “It has been limited so far, but we look forward to doing more that has a more national reach. And when we sign an Amicus Brief for example, he said, this will give us a more broad-based platform.
“Of course, our direct service to clients is our focus and our driving factor, but our name was not very descriptive of that.”
They hope to grow their collaborative partnerships, Lerda said, while establishing new ones. “We have partnerships on rural inclusivity, a partnership with One World and with an immigrant focus on medical/legal support, and a collaboration with Completely Kids as well. Another area we are very interested in is immigrant victims of domestic violence. There is need and support for more collaboration there. Also, we are working to help immigrant workers and partner with Heartland Workers Center.”
In addition to the new brand, ILC has also announced the launch of the public phase of a capital campaign to renovate its new office building, to make the space more functional and accessible. In the fall of 2017, ILC moved its offices from 2414 E Street to an existing building at 4223 Center Street.
“Today we are launching the public phase of our Capital Campaign with a mailing to all our donors,” Lerda said. “We are asking them to make a play area for clients’ children, to furnish a community meeting room for up to 100 people in the lower level and to help us finish renovating the first floor for our offices.”
ILC currently occupies a temporary space on the third floor as the organization seeks to raise the additional $700,000 still needed to meet the campaign goal of $3.1 million.
“We are thrilled by the support of community foundations in funding several lead gifts in the early stages of our capital campaign. As of today, we have raised $2.4 million against the $3.1 million capital campaign goal with the help of the Sherwood Foundation, the William and Ruth Family Foundation, the Holland Foundation and other gifts.
“We just received an additional $100,000 this week. We are so lucky to be in Omaha, where philanthropy and community support is so strong,” Lerda said.
They are fighting the clock. “We hope to have all gifts and commitments in by the end of March, to meet some of our deadlines,” Lerda said. Community members interested in supporting ILC’s capital campaign can find more information at www.immigrantlc.org.
“Every donated dollar goes to improving the facility so ILC can execute their mission,” John Taylor of Project Advocates said.
Project Advocates worked with ILC to assess operational needs and create a strategic plan for construction. The company will continue to provide project management services for the renovation.
“It was a two-year process before we landed on this solution, which was clearly the best solution for now and the future,” Taylor added.
“Two floors of the building will eventually be available for lease,” Lerda said, “which will provide a source of revenue that will help ensure long-term sustainability for ILC. It’s just one of the many advantages the relocation has made possible.
“Our new office is more centrally located, which will allow us to expand our reach to better meet the needs of clients throughout Omaha,” Lerda said.
“The facility will provide us with adequate space for the significant growth we’ve experienced as an organization with respect to both the number of clients we serve and the ensuing staffing needs. The remodel will also accommodate our anticipated growth for the foreseeable future.”
About Immigrant Legal Center
Immigrant Legal Center (formerly Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska/JFON-NE) is a nonprofit immigration legal services agency that provides free, professional legal consultation, clinics and court representation to immigrants who have incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. The Omaha-based Immigrant Legal Center (ILC) – founded as JFON-NE in 1999 – remains an affiliate of the Justice For Our Neighbors Network of 16 Sites offering more than 40 legal clinics for immigration services across the country.
The new name and logo for ILC does not reflect a change in culture, values, or mission. ILC continues to operate with volunteer support from the public as well as funding from individuals, local foundations and the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. For more information on Immigrant Legal Center, visit www.immigrantlc.org.