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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, June 14, 2018 1:00 am

Women's group plans rejoinder to Sessions

Journal Gazette

A grass-roots group dedicated to ensuring women's voices are heard has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. today immediately after a speech on immigration policy U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will give at Parkview Field.

The Advancing Voices of Women announced that the news conference will be at Legacy Salon A at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, 1150 S. Harrison St., adjacent to Parkview Field.

“AVOW's stance is that every woman and child should feel safe in their own home and community,” the organization said in a news release Wednesday afternoon. “Violence against women and children is not a partisan issue but an issue of conscience.”

Participants scheduled to speak include representatives of local groups supporting immigrants and refugees along with community members who provide services to those experiencing domestic violence and gang violence.

Speakers scheduled to take part at the event:

• Luther Whitfield, senior pastor at New Covenant Worship Center

• Lisa Koop, associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center and adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School

• Brisseida Hernandez, attorney with the immigration law office of Brian A. Seyfried 

• Rachel Tobin-Smith, former director of SCAN (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect)

Sessions will also be invited to the news conference, the release said. 

“The Attorney General's treatment of asylum seekers is nothing short of a cruel attack on human rights and family integrity,” Koop said in a statement.

“My colleagues at the National Immigrant Justice Center and I represent mothers who have been torn from their children at the border.

“They come bearing the wounds of abuse by domestic partners who have beaten them mercilessly and gangs who have raped them and threatened to kill their children. They fled to save their children only to have them ripped away.

“By separating families and attempting to eviscerate legal protections for refugees, this Attorney General is sentencing refugees to death and stripping all Americans of our identity as a nation of compassion and a nation of laws.”