Saving Beverly: An Evening to Remember
The Saving Beverly Fundraising Dinner Adventure, co-sponsored by California Western School of Law, was held Friday October 3 at the University of San Diego Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice to support Access, Inc.‘s work on behalf of immigrant victims of domestic violence was a success.
Between the dinner and other fundraising efforts, enough money has been raised to provide pro bono legal representation to nine immigrant victims of domestic violence through California Western’s immigration clinic. These legal services established legal residency and financial security through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA.)
Professor Linda Morton, Dean of Experiential Learning at California Western, gave a welcome address that tied into the inspiration for the event—the fictional character from The Mango Bride, “Beverly”—a Filipina woman whose dream of having a better life with her American spouse turned into a tragic nightmare of psychological and physical torture. It was the vision of The Mango Bride’s author Marivi Soliven to have this fundraiser to help real life Beverlys, like “Esperanza”—an immigrant woman from Mexico who managed to escape the cycle of abuse after finding support and hope at Access, Inc.
Morton explained how California Western School of Law’s innovative programs, including the immigration clinic, provide opportunities for law students to find their passion and use their legal skills and creativity to solve the world’s complex problems. One such problem is domestic violence among the most hidden of victims—those who are undocumented and depend on the abusive spouse to establish their legal identity.
“The fundraising experience through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse challenge to the Saving Beverly event was especially meaningful for me,” said California Western adjunct professor Anne S. Bautista ’97, director of the law school’s immigration clinic in partnership with Access Inc. “My desire to empower vulnerable women and make a difference in their lives and the lives of their children was brought full circle—from all the supportive words from both women and men who said it was about time we discuss the problem of domestic violence in our communities.”
Follow the link for more information about California Western’s immigration clinic.