CAIR Coalition's 2021 Focused on Freedom Virtual Awards Gala

A man sitting and behind him is a blue sky and clouds. The words "CAIR Coaltion Virtual Awards Gala" is on the right side in yellow.

2021 CAIR Coalition Virtual Awards Gala: Focused on Freedom

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

5:30pm EST

Location: Virtual 



Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition works with our partners to protect the rights, the lives, and the families of immigrants in the Capital region and beyond. Our annual signature event brings together several hundred supporters from across DC, Maryland, and Virginia committed to seeking justice for immigrant adults and children threatened with detention and deportation. The evening provides us with an opportunity to honor our champions, including our pro bono advocates, leaders on Capitol Hill, and committed law firms that provide millions of dollars in pro bono legal services on an annual basis.

Sponsorship opportunities are available!

We will have more to announce soon, but please consider supporting CAIR Coalition today through this important event by becoming a sponsor or a member of our growing host committee. You can sign up today by visiting here or by contacting Bryn Cavin at


2021 National Advocate Award: Valeria Luiselli

Luiselli in a blue jacket standing in front of a gray wall

Valeria Luiselli, was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of  Sidewalks, Faces in the Crowd, The Story of My Teeth; Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions and Lost Children Archive. She is the recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship and the winner of DUBLIN Literary Award, two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, The Carnegie Medal, an American Book Award,  and has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the Booker Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney's, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She is a Writer in Residence at Bard College and lives in New York City.  

2021 Detained Adult Champion Award

Sidley written in blue

CAIR Coalition will honor Sidley Austin LLP for the firm’s leadership in taking on pro bono cases and being a great partner for over 10 years. During the pandemic, teams at Sidley Austin took two full merits cases while continuing to work on a number of ongoing cases from previous years. The cases that Sidley Austin has taken range from bond cases so people may live in freedom, to fear-based cases for permanent protection.

2021 Detained Children's Champion Award

Freddie written in blue and Mac written in green

CAIR Coalition has chosen to honor Freddie Mac for the firm's outstanding dedication to detained children. Freddie Mac has cultivated a team of attorneys now well versed in the intricacies of special immigrant status including navigating filings and appearances in Virginia state courts, before USCIS, and in removal proceedings in immigration court. The dedicated advocates at Freddie Mac have worked closely with the children and their caregivers taking a client-centered, individualized, and deliberate approach to each case even in the face of shutdowns during the pandemic

2020 Impacting Justice Award

Crowell logo written in black and red

​CAIR Coalition will recognize Crowell & Moring LLP with the 2020 Impacting Justice Award. The firm has gone above and beyond to develop impact litigation in defense of the rights of asylum seekers fleeing persecution based on their family ties. Thanks to the outstanding appellate litigation, template briefing, and resource development efforts to challenge former Attorney General Barr’s decision attempting to curtail family-based asylum, asylum seekers’ rights have been better protected.


2021 Gold Sponsors ($10,000 - $24,999)

Alston & Bird Logo
Mayer Brown logo
Hogan Lovells Logo
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher Foundation logo
Steptoe logo
Samantha Trepel and Aaron Lemon-Strauss
Cooley logo
Williams and Connolly logo
Gibson Dunn logo
Tom Gallagher
Wiley Rein logo
Covington logo
Crowell Moring logo


2021 Silver Sponsors ($5,000 - $9,999)

Morgan Lewis logo
Fish and Richardson logo
Beveridge and Diamond logo
O'Melveny and Meyer logo
Cleary Gottlieb logo
Akin Gump logo
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck logo
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe logo
Arent Fox logo
Vinson & Elkins LLP logo
Lynne Cripe & Ray Bonniwell
Samantha Lee
WilmerHale logo


2021 Host Committee ($2,500 to $4,999)

Friends of Don Beyer
Daniel Park
Helen and Bill Ackerman
Baker McKenzie logo
Law Offices of Julia Toro
Baker Botts logo
Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP logo
Paul Khoury
Nadeam Elshami
Sharita Gruberg
Brendan Carroll
Buckley LLP logo
Peter Schechter & Rosa Puech
Michael Ward
Wilson Sonsini Foundation logo