168th Commencement: Watch Live
Attorney Soma S. Syed ’03 was recently honored for her work in public interest and civil rights at the 4th Annual Prestigious Gala Awards organized by the National Action Network. She also delivered the keynote address at the March 26 gala on Long Island.
In addition to her award from the West Nassau Chapter of the National Action Network, Syed received a Certificate of Recognition from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ’82; proclamations from New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino; the Congressional Achievement Award; NYS Legislative Resolution 1019; and a Citation of Merit from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“I spoke of having dreams,” Syed said of her keynote, “following through with actions and plans, never giving up, not letting fears and doubts harbor and linger for long in mind and heart, appreciating the civil rights we have, and fighting for them and every one of us.”
Syed reported that she has been advocating on behalf of both undocumented and legal immigrants, and has been active against executive orders issued by the president of the U.S. that bar citizens and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Syed volunteered at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the first days of the president’s initial travel order in January. She prepared and participated in informational meetings and discussions about rights of U.S. citizens and green card holders, appeared on television programs to discuss immigration and civil rights law, and coordinated efforts with larger organizations for persons affected by possible violations of their civil, constitutional, and privacy rights.
Syed said she attended Albany Law School because of its program in public interest law.
“I took advantage of the Law Clinic & Justice Center and courses in government ethics, constitutional and civil procedure law, and New York practice,” she said. “Professors and fellow students have provided a constant source of information, camaraderie and inspiration.”