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The Tahirih Justice Center
, a nationally recognized leader in the fight to end violence against women and girls, will host its 2nd annual Gala in Orange County, California on Saturday, September 28, 2019. The Gala celebrates Tahirih’s 22 successful years as an organization, answering more than 27,000 pleas for help from courageous immigrant women and girls who are changing the world – one person, one family, and one community at a time. Together with 300 guests, Tahirih will honor clients who have overcome overwhelming adversity in their pursuit of justice and the champions who stand beside them, determined to create a world where all women and girls may live in safety and with dignity.

Acting as Masters of Ceremonies are actor and philanthropist, Rainn Wilson, best known for playing “Dwight” on NBC’s Emmy-winning show The Office, and fiction writer, Holiday Reinhorn, best known for her collection of short stories Big Cats. Longtime supporters of Tahirih, Rainn and Holiday are dedicated to ending violence against women and creating a world where women and men enjoy equality. “The truth is, we have never been in the kind of fight that Tahirih’s clients are in now. We’ve never had to battle for safety and freedom in the same way that Tahirih staff and volunteers do every day on behalf of women and children around the world, and we are truly honored to recognize and stand with those on the frontlines.”

Tahirih is honored to welcome former client and survivor of forced marriage, Neha Batool, as the evening’s Courageous Voice Speaker. When she was just a teenager, Neha’s family told her she would be married to a man whom she did not choose as her life partner. With no hope of convincing her family otherwise, and with pain in her heart, she left home in the middle of the night, with a few suitcases and the family car. Thanks to the support of her high school counselors, local law enforcement, Second Story, and of course the Tahirih Justice Center, Neha closed her bank account; sold her car; changed her name, email, phone, and computer settings; enrolled in online classes at a different school; and moved into a shelter to ensure her safety. Over the next two years, she gained citizenship status and changed her name. She explored colleges, and scholarships and eventually received her Bachelor’s degree. She accepted internship placements with the Tahirih Justice Center and Second Story, which sparked her career interest in the field of mental health. “Without the support of the Tahirih Justice Center and other extraordinary individuals and organizations in my life, I would not have discovered the sea of opportunities and resources available to women like me, searching for a better life. I would not have become the role model I am proud to be for my sisters and their daughters. I, who once tiptoed in a dark carpeted hallway escaping a forced marriage have now fostered new values and new identities, which inspire me to carve a path for others, in their fight for social justice”

Hosted by Gala Co-Chairs, Christine Hallen-Berg and Vincent LaBarbera, Tijana and Paul Hamilton, and Sarah and David Vanderveen, the evening will share with new and old friends the importance of Tahirih’s services across the nation and officially welcome guests to the Tahirih family. “The work of Tahirih would not be possible without the incredible support from our champions in Orange County. It is a true honor to witness the impact we can make when we all come together, stand up for equality, and demand justice. Together, we honor the incredible courage shown by women and girls who refuse to be victims of human rights abuses. Together, we recommit ourselves to the outstretched arms of humanity and decency and love.”

The Gala will be held at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, CA and will feature a general reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, a seated dinner, and a celebratory program including both a live and silent auction. Benefactor and Defender level sponsors include Lugano Diamonds and First American Title Insurance Company, respectively

To learn more about this event, contact Carey Eisenberg at CareyE@tahirih.org or 571-282-6172

Tahirih Justice Center is a national nonprofit that protects courageous immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence by elevating their voices in communities, courts, and Congress. For more information, visit tahirih.org.