Phoenix, AZ – On Friday, March 2, 2012, Dr. Warren H. Stewart Sr. was elected the new chairman of the National Immigration Forum Board of Directors. Serving on the Forum’s board since 2010, Dr. Stewart is senior pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, Ariz., and has been a leading advocate against Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law.
In his 35-year pastoral career, Dr. Stewart has focused on issues of justice, including efforts to establish a Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday in Arizona. Drawing parallels between the 20th century Civil Rights Movement and today’s efforts to recognize, celebrate, and build consensus about the contributions of immigrants in America, Dr. Stewart is perfectly poised to lead the Forum forward.
“To advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to our nation is to fortify a pillar of America’s history, heritage and hope,” Dr. Stewart said. “After all, immigrants—voluntary and involuntary—founded and built the United States. The demographics of our country are changing, but our differences and diversity make our country stronger when we recognize one another’s contributions.”
“Arizona has long benefited from the Pastors fierce advocacy for human rights. He has a rich history of working with Immigrant Rights groups including being a founding advisory board member of Promise Arizona” commented Petra Falcon, executive director for Promise Arizona. “We believe the pastor has the vision crucial to move the national dialogue in the right direction.”