The Undocumented Truth at the Border: A Conversation with Sister Norma Pimentel of the South Texas Humanitarian Center
Date: Monday, April 29, 2019 | 4–6 p.m.
Location: McLaren Conference Center
Sister Norma Pimentel, M.J. is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley as well as an advocate for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers entering the South Texas Border. She was a force on the front lines of the 2014 surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States during the "unaccompanied minors" crisis which forged the establishment of the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. These efforts captured the world's attention, drawing new media from around the globe to the Rio Grande Valley to cover the journey of the many unaccompanied minors fleeing safety.
Now in 2019, Sister Norma continues her work to welcome and care for the many asylum seeking families coming across the South Texas Border. She has worked with the separated children and families, offering them care and support to heal during such a critical time. Her care and unwavering support stand on the side of advocacy and humanity to provide dignity and a welcome to each person entering the center. As the numbers have continued to escalate, Sister Norma's work has stood as a beacon of hope for those entering the Humanitarian center as they continue their journey into the United States.
Sister Norma's work has been recognized nationally by Pope Francis and recently received the University of Notre Dame's 2018 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. This past year USF Faculty and students have been part of the work of the Bay Area Border Relief team that has gone on several trips to work with Sister Norma and her team in McAllen, Texas. As part of an ongoing commitment to continue to serve at the border, University of San Francisco and the Bay Area Border Relief team are proud to continue this work forward.
USF is honored to have Sister Norma visit USF to share with us the work she is doing on the front lines at the South Texas Border. Our time with her at USF will be a bridge for us to connect to the stories, struggles, and hopes for all those seeking asylum in the United States. President Fitzgerald, Dean Shabnam Koirala-Azad, and Professor Bill Hing will welcome Sister Norma to USF with their opening remarks.