In a very emotional ceremony led by the rector of UNAM, Enrique Graue Wiechers, the award ceremony of the "Alfonso García Robles" 2023 Recognition for outstanding work in favor of migrants took place. UNAM Chicago was pleased that the Romero Center, an organization that was nominated by UNAM Chicago a few months ago, received the award.
During her speech, Daysi Funes, director of the Romero Center, emphasized that UNAM and the Romero Center share a common goal: to serve humanity by enriching fundamental systems of care for those who migrate from their country of origin, understanding the transnational causes of migration and defending human rights.
The Romero Center grew out of the volunteer efforts of Salvadoran immigrants who arrived in the city in the early 1980s. The organization is named in honor of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a tragically assassinated Salvadoran Catholic priest.
The recognition ceremony takes on particular importance in the current context that the city of Chicago is experiencing with the arrival of thousands of migrants where the immigration issue dominates the public conversation and in which the Romero Center has played a key role in helping them to achieve a better life.
In his participation, Rector Graue explained that the origin and reason for this award was an initiative of the UNAM due to the escalation of aggressions from the U.S. government against undocumented Latinos and children of migrants attending universities in that country, which put at risk the continuity of their studies.
At the same time, UNAM's offices in the United States played a fundamental role in advising Mexicans who wanted to become U.S. citizens.
In this context, the UNAM Rector's Office decided to create this award in 2017, whose purpose is to make visible and thank in some way the work of civil society associations that selflessly, silently and without reflectors act in favor of the migrant population, which only wants to live in peace and with dignity, said the rector.
It is a recognition of UNAM to the effort, solidarity and professionalism of those who have been awarded.
It is a manifestation of the values and aspirations of the UNAM and a reminder that collective effort makes it possible to build a world with greater opportunities, fairer and less unequal, concluded Graue.
The recognition ceremony takes on particular importance in the current context of the city of Chicago with the arrival of thousands of migrants where the immigration issue dominates the public conversation and in which the Romero Center has played a key role in helping them to achieve a better life.