September Community Partner Grant Recipient Highlights

Each month we highlight Westminster’s community partner grant recipients. This September learn more about Tubman, Minnesota African Women’s Association, and Advocates for Human Rights.

By Nancy Berg


For more than four decades, Tubman has provided essential support to people of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds who face relationship violence, sexual assault, exploitation, homelessness, addiction and mental health challenges. Tubman remains a leader in relationship violence prevention and intervention, responds to calls for help 24-hours a day and operates the largest shelter for survivors in Minnesota. Tubman continues to expand community housing services across the metro and provide legal advocacy and a host of related services that support resilience and independence. Tubman’s volunteers receive in-depth orientation and make a difference in every facet of Tubman’s work—from childcare champions to pro bono legal support. Despite the prolonged uncertainty, pain and loss brought on with the pandemic, and further compounded by systematic racism and inequities, Tubman helps the people they serve continue to live into the motto of their inspiration and namesake, Harriet Tuman, “Keep going.”

Minnesota African Women’s Association

The Minnesota African Women’s Association (MAWA) remains an invaluable resource for local immigrant girls and their families. MAWA offers two primary programs: the African Girls’ Initiative for Leadership and Empowerment (AGILE) and African Women’s Empowerment (AWE). The AGILE program educates young women on critically important topics including attending college, STEM, teen pregnancy prevention, HIV/AIDS education, financial literacy and environmental awareness. The AWE program focuses on job readiness and training.  Melissa Nambangi, a long-time member of Westminster, is MAWA’s founder and executive director and her commitment and passion is contagious. MAWA’s impact is seen and felt in the communities MAWA serves helping young women build confidence and leadership skills, while working with their African cultural experiences and values as they seek solutions in their new culture.

Advocates for Human Rights

by Kay Thomas

The mission of the Advocates for Human Rights (Advocates) is to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. Advocates provides pro bono legal assistance to:

  • unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children;
  • people seeking protection from persecution, torture, and trafficking; and
  • persons detained by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

With other human rights organizations around the world, Advocates promotes procedural and policy changes that respect the rights of all people to live with dignity, justice, equality and peace.

Emerging needs Advocates identified include welcoming and providing legal assistance to Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, continuing to fight for a just immigration system, supporting asylees and immigrants in advocacy at the United Nations, and closing loopholes in sexual assault laws in Minnesota and beyond.

Westminster member Karen Evans serves as president of Advocates’ Board of Directors. Additionally, Westminster members currently serve as Immigration Court Observers. Visit Advocates’ website to learn about the many ways we may serve in support Advocates’ mission.

© Westminster Presbyterian Church | 2024