Attorney Ellen W. Freyman has been chosen as a 2015 Friendship Award recipient from the Western Massachusetts Refugee and Immigrant Consortium (WMRIC). Attorney Freyman was nominated by several of the more than 30 WMRIC partners for all her work on behalf of refugees in the greater Springfield area. The award was announced in the WMRIC’s June newsletter.
“I am so moved by Ellen’s love for and commitment to our refugee communities in the area,” said Susannah Crolius, coordinator of outreach at Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts/WMRIC. “What Ellen does on behalf of Somali refugees helps to heal the world, one person at a time.”
Attorney Freyman is a tireless advocate for and supporter of Somali communities in the greater Springfield area. She attends countless community meetings on their behalf in order to build community partnerships to nurture and empower Somali youth and adults. She also provides hands-on academic support, transportation and access to language, literacy, citizenship and skill-building classes.
“It is an honor to be recognized with the Friendship Award for my work on behalf of Somali refugees,” said Attorney Freyman. “Since tutoring a Somali teenager nearly a decade ago, I have worked to help families find not only housing, but furniture, jobs and services within our community. It is with the help of organizations like the Western Massachusetts Refugee and Immigrant Consortium that we can create a welcoming atmosphere for refugees in our area.”
The WMRIC is a collaboration of community stakeholders who educate and provide information about refugee and immigrant communities in greater Springfield. The WMRIC brings together the many community, social service, faith groups, organizations and agencies that work with refugees to share information and support. The organization celebrates the many ways that refugees and immigrants contribute positively to the fabric of communal life in the area. The Friendship Award was first awarded at the 2014 World Refugee Day celebration and recognizes individuals or organizations in western Massachusetts whose commitment to refugee individuals, families and communities has been outstanding.
Attorney Ellen W. Freyman, a resident of Longmeadow, concentrates her practice in all aspects of commercial real estate: acquisitions and sales, development, leasing and financing. She has an extensive land use practice that includes zoning, subdivision, project permitting, and environmental matters. Attorney Freyman is a graduate of the Western New England University School of Law (1988) and Pennsylvania State University (1977). One of the most highly-awarded attorneys within the Pioneer Valley, she has been recognized or awarded by: the Professional Women’s Chamber (Women of the Year, 2012); Ad Club of Western Massachusetts (Pynchon Award, 2012); Springfield Leadership Institute (Community Service Award, 2011); Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (Top Women of Law Award, 2010); the Reminder Publications (Hometown Hero Award, 2010); and BusinessWest Magazine (Difference Makers Award, 2011).