A History, a Farewell, and a Hope

From the desk of Bill Holston:

Dear Friends 

This Fourth of July I’m reflecting on the 11 years that I’ve led HRI as Executive Director. I’ve led this organization through three Presidential administrations and a Pandemic. I’ve often said, the work has always been hard, and I’ve been critical of every single presidential administration during that time. Sadly, as a country, we have not always matched our aspirations about immigration with the reality of delivering on those promises. But that’s what HRI makes happen! With our extensive network of pro bono volunteers, our dedicated staff and tireless Board, we’ve assisted thousands of people with accessing the benefits that our humanitarian immigration laws say our clients are entitled to. We help our country be the country we say we are.  

From its beginning until now, HRI has lived up to the vision which was cast by our founders Betsy Healy and Serena Connelly. That brilliant vision was to deliver high quality legal services to vulnerable immigrants through a volunteer network and to provide compassionate trauma informed social services.  We believe that the contributions our clients make to this country are a great incentive to do the extremely difficult work necessary to assist them in obtaining  access to legal status and authentic, safe lives.  

In May I announced I was leaving HRI to become the Operations Director at the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center.  I am not retiring. I don’t think one retires from the fight for justice!  

I believe good leaders know when it’s time to step aside for new and innovative ideas that will take HRI to next exciting phase. Our great Board, chaired by its first Latina president Carolyn Ruiz, has embraced this  is in a diligent process of finding a new, dynamic leader  

In 2005, I was a pro bono lawyer for HRI and a partner at Sullivan and Holston doing general litigation and business representation. I was assisting my clients Charlie and Meredith Stimson, who made an extremely generous gift to HRI in my honor.  It is something I’m incredibly grateful for. From that gift, HRI created the William O. Holston Jr. Fund to support our legal services. This year, we’re asking supporters to consider donating to the William O. Holston Jr Fund. Fund proceeds will compensate our Supervising Lawyer, who will continue the ongoing fight ensure that our clients continue to access their legal rights.  

It has been my honor to lead HRI for 11 years. I remain inspired by our clients and from watching our dedicated and talented staff.  I’m excited to support the future of HRI and look forward to the advances my successor will achieve. I can think of no greater legacy for me to leave than to secure funding for those legal services. I have been a donor to HRI since its founding and will continue to do so.  

William O. Holston Jr., J.D.  

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