Wendy Young, Class of 1983

A test of a society is how well it treats children—a test that you are doing your best to help our nation pass. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arrive in the U.S. each year, fleeing war and gang violence or trying to reunite with a parent. They have no right to legal representation, but that’s where you come in. As the president of KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), you oversee a pro bono movement of law firms, universities, NGOs, and individuals to provide quality and compassionate counsel that increases threefold the chance of a child being allowed to stay. You have trained and deployed more than twenty thousand lawyers from hundreds of organizations. At the same time you have worked in Washington toward making our system as child-sensitive as possible. You have held policy-setting positions with the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Refugees; the office of the U.N. Refugee Agency; the Women’s Refugee Commission; the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and the National Council of La Raza. KIND also is developing programs to help children who are sent home to reintegrate more smoothly with their families and communities. Given the impact of your work and the enormity and timeliness of the issue, it is no surprise then that you have been honored as a Keeper of the American Dream by The National Immigration Forum and even as a Leading Global Thinker by the magazine Foreign Policy.

In recognition of your distinguished achievement in immigration law, Williams
College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.

September 16, 2017