The Rev. Michael Mann and Rev. Lisl Heymans Paul will receive the Champions of Justice – Founders Award from Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors at the JFON 5th Anniversary Dinner, Sept. 18, 2016, at 4:30 pm at Elgin Community College.
“We wanted to start a tradition where every year we honor an outstanding contributor to Northern IL JFON,” explained Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo, JFON Board Chairperson. “It made absolute sense to us that in our founding year of the tradition we honor the founders of Northern Illinois JFON. Many people contributed in bringing JFON to the Northern Illinois Conference, but none were more focused, persistent and active than Michael and Lisl.”
Conversations around bringing JFON to the Northern Illinois Conference began in 2010. With the blessing of Bishop Hee-Soo Jung and his Cabinet, Mann began reaching out to put together a regional board and identifying the mission, goals and structure of Northern Illinois JFON, including the decision of where the first clinic would be located.
Mann and Heymans Paul were joined early on by Lonnie Chafin, Judy Siaba, Rev. Alka Lyle and Rev. Donna Atkinson to round out the regional board. They began dialogue with leadership in the Aurora Cluster as the ideal first spot for a clinic and the Cluster determined that Fourth Street UMC, with its downtown location and accessibility to public transportation would be the best church to host the clinic. With a plan in place, the board, with Heymans Paul’s leadership as the first chairperson, and Mann’s leadership as acting administrator, submitted a proposal to UMCOR in January 2011 to become the 10th JFON site in the country.
Please join JFON on Sept. 18 as we honor Michael and Lisl and celebrate our fifth year providing immigration legal services, education and advocacy across northern Illinois. For tickets and sponsorship information visit: nijfon.org.