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Immigrant rights activist Jorge Barón receives MLK Medal of Distinguished Service

Summary

“Jorge truly exemplifies what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for by fighting for a world that is inclusive and welcoming to all people regardless of where they were born or how they got here”

Story

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Jorge Barón has been a strong voice in the community for a decade, fighting for those who arrive in the U.S. as immigrants. Baron, Executive Director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), today received the District Four Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service from Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles for his work throughout the region.

“Jorge truly exemplifies what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for by fighting for a world that is inclusive and welcoming to all people regardless of where they were born or how they got here,” said Kohl-Welles. “We applaud Jorge’s leadership in enhancing immigrant rights and are thankful for the positive impact he continues to have on the residents of King County.”

Barón understands the challenges facing people who immigrate to America, having come to the country from Bogotá, Colombia when he was 13 years old. Barón has gone on to graduate from Duke University and receive a law degree from Yale. Barón joined the NWIRP— a nationally-recognized legal services organization dedicated solely to advancing and defending the rights of low-income immigrants and refugees—in 2008, becoming the agency’s Executive Director two years later.

The NWIRP has been active in the battle to defend the rights of both undocumented residents and those fearing deportation as a result of the efforts of the Trump Administration. When not working with the NWIRP staff who are in court defending those rights, he’s in the community leading workshops on “Immigration 101” so that immigrants and refugees are aware of their rights.

Barón has been recognized for his work locally by El Centro de la Raza, The Washington State Labor Council, and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington.

The annual presentation of the MLK Medal of Distinguished Service is the Council’s way of thanking those who have made a particularly strong impact on the county and to encourage others to renew their dedication to serve their community.

This is the third year Councilmembers have recognized individuals in their districts who have answered the question asked by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “What are you doing for others?”

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206-296-1024
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council@kingcounty.gov