News + Events

We are thrilled to announce MIRA’s 28th annual Immigrants’ Day at the State House!

Each year hundreds of immigrant and refugee constituents from across the Commonwealth come together in the State House to celebrate their contributions and advocate for their legislative and budget priorities. This year, on Thursday March 28th, we will be advocating for new arrivals, language access, the Safe Communities Act, and internationally trained physician licensure.

Despite legal barriers and an increase in hate towards immigrants and refugees, we continue to move forward together, fostering the courage it takes to fuel change.

At Immigrants’ Day you will hear personal stories from political and community leaders, as well as have the opportunity to speak directly with legislators about policies that affect our communities.

We hope you will join us! More details coming soon!

Please register here.

You can learn about MIRA’s legislative priorities that we will be advocating for at the State House here


9-10am Networking and Story Collection

9:30am Cultural Performance by BMBCC’s Haitian Choir

10am Speaker Series

10:45am Annual Group Photo

11am Legislator office visits and literature drop

Speaker Series:

  • Cristian Dubon Solis, Stories Inspiring Movements (SIM)
  • Gladys Vega, La Colaborativa
  • Liz Sweet, MIRA Coalition
  • House Speaker Ronald Mariano
  • Representative Manny Cruz
  • Senator Lydia Edwards
  • Maroni Minter, MIRA Coalition – Master of Ceremonies

Also available:

  • Interpretation
  • Kids’ space
  • Massachusetts Welcomes Campaign story collection and merchandise
  • MIRA petition
  • Community table for community advocacy materials

Meet the speakers:

Cristian Dubon Solis is the Program Coordinator for Stories Inspiring Movements (SIM). He graduated from high school in 2020 and hopes to begin his higher education journey sometime next Fall. For the longest time he felt he didn’t have a community; people he could talk to about what he was experiencing and feeling as a young immigrant. He felt alone. Then he got involved with SIM, and he realized that there are so many more people out there that feel the same way. He is here to tell all young immigrants, children of immigrants, or people that may feel alone that there is a community for you, waiting to listen.

Gladys Vega joined La Colaborativa (formerly Chelsea Collaborative) in 1990 and became executive director in 2006. She has worked as an organizer and an advocate to insure that the Latino community has a role in determining the ways its needs and concerns are addressed. She believes that empowerment of the individual leads to empowerment of the community and that social action is the vehicle an empowered community can use to achieve its goals.

Gladys is the architect of most of the La Colaborativa’s community coalitions and has played leadership roles in organizing for immigrants’ rights, tenants’ rights, welfare rights, open space and the environment, multicultural and anti-racism programs, and in numerous grassroots campaigns.

MIRA’s Executive Director Elizabeth Sweet brings to MIRA an 18-year record of advocating for immigrants and refugees. For the past six years, she served in senior leadership roles at HIAS (founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), most recently as its Chief Operating Officer.

A graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, Sweet set out to defend immigrants and asylum seekers in immigration detention during their deportation hearings. She later became the first full-time Director of the American Bar Association Immigration Justice Project in San Diego and then the Associate Director of the American Bar Commission on Immigration in Washington, DC.

For the past six years, she has also served as the Chair of the Board of Detention Watch Network, a national coalition building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States.

Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy) has represented the 3rd Norfolk District, comprised of Quincy, Weymouth, and Holbrook in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1991. He was elected Speaker of the House in December 2020 after serving as Majority Leader since 2011. 

Throughout his career, Speaker Mariano has been a driving force behind groundbreaking legislation related to health care, criminal justice, gun control, and education. Serving as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, Speaker Mariano was a key architect of the Commonwealth’s landmark health care reform of 2006, which went on to serve as a model for the Affordable Care Act. He was also a principal proponent of transitioning the state’s automobile insurance market to managed competition in 2008.

Speaker Mariano is a lifelong resident of Quincy Point and is married to Eve Powell, a retired Quincy Public School teacher. He attended Quincy Public Schools, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He taught in the Quincy Public Schools for 12 years and served as a member of the Quincy School Committee for 18 years. He is a lifelong basketball fan and coached Quincy Youth Basketball for many years.

Senator Lydia Edwards is a career advocate, activist, and voice on behalf of society’s most vulnerable. She was raised all over the world by her military mom but chose to make East Boston her home.

Prior to being elected to the State Senate and Boston City Council, Lydia worked extensively in the legal field. She worked as a public interest attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services focusing on labor issues such as fighting for access to unemployment insurance, back wages, fair treatment for domestic workers, and combating human trafficking and immigrant rights.

Senator Edwards coordinated a statewide campaign to pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights – and she won. Following the bill’s passage, she was named Bostonian of the Year, Honorable Mention, by the Boston Globe. In February 2023, Senator Edwards was named chair of the Joint Housing Committee in the MA state legislature. In addition to her role as a State Senator, she serves as First Lieutenant Officer in the Massachusetts National Guard working as a Judge Advocate General, where she addresses military legal matters.

Representative Manny Cruz is an elected school committee member, entrepreneur, and community leader in the city of Salem and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Upon graduating from the Salem Public
Schools, he attended Salem State University and he later transferred to Northeastern University where he graduated with honors and a degree in Political Science. Manny previously served as the legislative aide for former State Representative Juana Matias (D, Lawrence) and State Representative Paul F. Tucker (D, Salem) where he specialized in education and immigration policy. In 2017 Manny became an elected member of the Salem School Committee where he now serves the students and families of the Salem Public School District. Manny is the first Afro-Latino of Dominican descent to serve on the Salem School Committee. He has been
appointed to the Personnel, Policy, and Building and Grounds subcommittees, and also serves as the school committee’s liaison on student voice. Manny now serves as the Advocacy Director for Latinos for Education and leads organizations efforts to close the digital divide, scale up early college and is the senior policy advisor to the Educator Diversity Act Coalition. On his personal time, Manny is a mentor for youth and is highly involved with youth-serving organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, and LEAP for Education. He serves on the boards
of LEAP for Education, The Massachusetts Alliance for Early College and Plummer Youth Promise. In 2022 he was successfully elected to serve in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and became the first Afro-Latino State Representative for the 7th Essex District-

Master of Ceremonies

MIRA’s Political Director Maroni Minter (He/Him) was born and raised in Gabon, a French speaking country on the west coast of Africa. He moved to Vermont in 2004 and graduated from Northern Vermont University in 2012.

Most recently, he was the US Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry, leading the strategy development and execution of the company’s U.S. based issue advocacy/activism campaigns that align with Ben & Jerry’s progressive values.

Before joining Ben & Jerry, Maroni was the Campaign Director with ACLU-VT, where he oversaw the organization’s campaigns and related initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels, including managing ACLU of Vermont’s Smart Justice Vermont campaign, helping to manage political and electoral engagement, and criminal justice reform campaigns.

He started his career as an organizer with Let’s Grow Kids, a non-profit organization with proven successes creating social transformation, advocating for the creation of a universal childcare system in Vermont. He then was promoted to the Field Manager and State House Coordinator, where his primary role was to engage volunteers and legislators across the state to become stronger advocates and to take action on behalf of all children.

Outside of work, Maroni likes to coach youth soccer, snowboard, volunteer, hike and most importantly he loves being a dad and spending time with his 10-year-old son. Maroni is also the co-founder of the Waterbury Area Anti-Racism Coalition (WAARC), a non-profit organization based in Waterbury Vermont since 2020, that is working to create a community where every person can fully experience freedom, belonging, and love on a daily basis.

The BMBCC Choir is a group of newly arrived immigrants who met at ESL classes in Brockton at the Boston Missionary Baptist Community Center. Most of them had arrived within the last six months. Despite facing various challenges in adapting to their new town, they discovered a shared talent: singing. The BMBCC Choir serves as not only a magnificent artistic endeavor but also as a supportive community space where individuals uplift and encourage one another.

Volunteer at Immigrants’ Day 2024



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