ESTHER awards its 2016 Community Award for an individual to Norys Piña for her work to improve the quality of life for immigrants throughout our community. She passionately educates immigrants about their rights and has formed a group, Unidos por un Futuro Mejor, to work for systemic change in our community, state, and nation. Her passion rises from her own story and that of those around her.
Norys advocated for driver’s cards for undocumented immigrants and quickly drew together funding and people to fill three buses to participate in a statewide “A Day Without Latinos” demonstration at the state capitol on February 18, 2016. She has been active in ESTHER’s Latino Simulations and Voices of Hope theatre productions. Most recently, Norys has organized a community-wide Latino Voter Engagement campaign.
When asked what sustains her work in ensuring rights for immigrants, Norys says, “I find hope and strength to keep fighting in the faces of my kids, in the stories of my friends, in the lives of all good people who deserve the opportunity to use their full potential, in the humanity in each of us crying out for equity. Just the thought of not fighting for our rights and keep silent scares me more than anything else.”