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Edgardo Nestor Mansilla, 1953-, Louisville, KY. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he moved to Louisville in 1991 through a sponsorship from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1993, he received his Master of Social Work degree and became Executive Director of the Americana Community Center in Louisville, which was designed to help an influx of new immigrants – from Vietnam, Bosnia, Cuba and other countries. He had already been a community activist fighting for the rights of the poor in Argentina before moving to Kentucky. He turned the Americana Center into a place where immigrants can learn to apply for housing, jobs and education. It is a place where immigrants can celebrate their culture through music, art, literature, family and friends. He became an American citizen in 2000 and currently fights for the rights of the undocumented. He regularly visits and counsels people in detention centers who face removal from America. He organized demonstrations against a 2011 Kentucky Senate bill that could have led to racial profiling of Latinos. He has used his influence to bring people of all colors, religions, nationalities and genders together to fight for basic human rights as education, jobs, housing and healthcare. He has received a host of awards for his advocacy of human rights, including the Charles Weisberg Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
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