Power To Inspire: Virtual Series

The Center is a five-year-old museum and cultural institution in Atlanta, Georgia, the cradle of civil rights. Our dynamic storytelling connects U.S. civil rights to global efforts for the rights of people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and others today. Our education and engagement programs inspire people to reflect and think critically, and our Innovation Lab galvanizes and prepares leaders to act.

Now, more than ever, our shared humanity and commitment to the Beloved Community is essential. While uncertainty may be at the forefront as we all deal with unprecedented events, hope and inspiration have always kept civil and human rights movements goingand will keep The Center going. The Power to Inspire Virtual Series includes workshops, panels, interviews, storytimes, and more that cover the work of civil and human rights defenders across the globe and touch on stories of humanity impacting all of us today. We hope you join us and engage in the content and resources we will continue to provide and #FeelThePower. 

About The Upcoming Event

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent Federal, State, and Local governments scrambling for solutions to keep their populations safe and healthy. These government programs are meant to ease the pain of business, healthcare, and individuals. But, what about those who do not have access to those programs? What happens to these communities? Join Monica Khant, the Executive Director of Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, and Gigi Pedraza, the Executive Director and Founder of Latino Community Fund Georgia, as they discuss the reality these communities are facing during this pandemic. 

Moderated by Shelly Anand, Supervising Staff Attorney at Tahirih Justice Center


Monica Modi Khant is the Executive Director for the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN) in Atlanta, GA. As Executive Director, Ms. Khant is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization and works closely with the staff and board of directors on fundraising initiatives, outreach efforts and community relations. She offers a unique perspective as an advocate for immigrant rights in the Southeast. Ms. Khant received her BA from Rutgers University in 1995 and her J.D. from New England School of Law in 1998. Upon graduation, she was the Detention Attorney at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) where she represented detained asylum seekers. In 2000, Ms. Khant continued practicing immigration law with private immigration firms in Boston, MA. In 2005, Ms. Khant was appointed as the Director of Legal Services at the International Institute of Boston (IIB) and joined GAIN in September 2006.

Ms. Khant currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) and the Advisory Board of Raksha. She is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2015 and the Regional Leadership Institute in 2018. Ms. Khant has served as Pro Bono Liaison of the Atlanta chapter of the America Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). In 2014, she received the Public Interest Award from the South Asian Bar Association (SABA). In 2017, she was honored as Atlanta Magazine’s Women Making a Mark and has received Emory Law School’s EPIC “Unsung Devotion to Those Most in Need” Award in 2018. Ms. Khant has also received the Legal Legend Award from the American Constitution Society in 2019.

Ms. Khant is an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University and teaches a semester long Senior Seminar Class on Human Trafficking & Modern Day Slavery. Monica is married to Sanjay, a physician with Emory Healthcare and has three children.


Gigi Pedraza is the founder and Executive Director of the Latino Community Fund in Georgia (LCFgeorgia.org ), a grant making public charity dedicated to catalyze investment and promote collaborative work in the Latinx/Hispanic community. LCF Georgia amplifies the diverse voice of our community through advocacy, research and leadership development; builds capacity in community-based organizations and directly invests in families and Latinxled member organizations through scholarships and grants. The Latino Community Fund is an Emmy Award Winning organization for its work in public information campaigns and has been recognized as a Best Partner Organization by Ser Familia, and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia. Mrs. Pedraza has an active role in the community; she is the Co-Chair of the Georgia Latino Complete Count Committee aiming for a full count of Latinos in Georgia in the 2020 census, she is a member of the Steering Committee at Grantmakers for Southern Progress, the past chair of the board of the Feminist Women’s Health Center and is also the recipient of numerous awards, including a Caminar Latino Leadership Award, a TUMI USA winner, a Woman of Inspiration by the Atlanta Dream, the 2018 NFL Hispanic Leadership Award and one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia Pedraza has earned an Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from the Fuqua College of Business at Duke University, a Masters in International Tourism Planning from the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain, Executive Business Certificates from the Peruvian University of Sciences in Corporate Training and Strategic Marketing and has a BA from the Hotel Management School – College of Tourism in Lima, Peru. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two smart and strong daughters and a spoiled dog.



Shelly Anand is a Supervising Staff Attorney with Tahirih Justice Center’s Atlanta Office. She represents immigrant victims of gender based violence and provides support to other members of the legal team as well as pro bono attorneys. Prior to joining Tahirih, Shelly was a Trial Attorney with the Office of the Solicitor at the US Department of Labor, where she litigated various workers’ rights cases, including Wage and Hour and Occupational Safety and Health matters, in federal district and administrative court. The majority of her cases dealt with immigrant labor, including her case against an onion grower who failed to pay overtime in South Georgia, Acosta v. Bland Farms Production & Packing LLC, and Delbert Bland, No. CV-614-053, 2017 WL 3259650 (S.D. G.A. July 31, 2017), whereby the court ordered over $1.4 million in back wages and liquidated damages to be paid to immigrant workers. Shelly was awarded the Willard Wirtz Legacy Award in May 2019 for outstanding public service as a Trial Attorney with the US Department of Labor. Prior to her time at the Department of Labor, Shelly was a Bilingual Staff Attorney with Georgia Legal Services Program where the majority of her clients were undocumented victims of domestic violence. She is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of Law and Wellesley College.

Advocate for the Advocates

Donate to GAIN & LCF Georgia and support their efforts to assist in immigrant communities when government funding is not there.

Donate to Alliance Theatre and support their efforts to invite students, parents, teachers, and families to experience the Civil Rights Movement as a living, breathing energy with practical lessons, ethical challenges, and moral choices that remain relevant today through theatre.

Rewatch The Storytime

Donate to Love Beyond Walls and support their efforts to provide hand-washing stations for those without houses in Altanta.

Rewatch The Lunch & Learn

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The mission of the Health & Human Rights Institute is to research, teach, evaluate and advocate for policies and practices that remove health disparities for disadvantaged members of racial, ethnic, geographic, socioeconomic, presently or formerly imprisoned population groups and other marginalized communities in the United States using human rights principles and norms.

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The mission of the International Human Trafficking Institute is to leverage the role of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc. as a thought leader and convener, to facilitate the collective efforts of the private and public sectors, faith-based and civic organizations to accelerate local, national and global movements  to end the trafficking of persons.

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