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African Services Committee Update 
A Look at 2017
Serving Immigrants for 36 Years

Dear Friends, 

A banner with the words "When the masses revolt, change is imminent," dated Nov. 5, 2008, still hangs in ASC's Harlem office. Much has changed since this banner of hope was unfurled in celebration of former President Obama's victory, nearly a decade ago. The words it bears symbolize new meaning.
African Services mobilizes on all fronts to defend what has been nothing less than an assault on immigrant rights by a fledgling president.
As our dedicated and diverse staff of more than 125 workers in New York City and Ethiopia begin to settle in to this unpredictable year, rest assured we will fight forward -- as we have over the last 36 years  -- by providing direct services and advocacy for immigrant rights in the U.S. and abroad.

Our Testing Center helps immigrants learn their health status and link to critical care and treatment and we are determined to help improve the health care delivery system as an active member of the DSRIP Communities Together for Health Equity Consortium.

Our housing team places those most in need in affordable housing, while hundreds of families receive caring support from our case managers and mental health counselors, surmounting challenges related to trauma, depression, illness and anxiety.
ASC's tireless attorneys volunteered at JFK during the recent Muslim ban, while not missing a step back in the office, helping newcomers achieve basic human rights protections, adjust their status and educate to dispel myths and misunderstandings in an effort to prevent legal service provider fraud.

Our pantry provides nutritious food to thousands of families and our award-winning English as a Second Language program enables newcomers with the language and literacy skills they need to continue their education, become legal permanent residents and citizens and find employment.

African Services Committee Ethiopia's five model HIV/TB, reproductive health, and community development centers thrive despite a recent funding gap in support.

We are looking to securing African Services Committee long-term space this year, supported by our capital campaign, Home for African Services.
And the future looks strong with our newly-formed Rising Leaders Council, made up of young professionals committed to helping immigrants and their families prosper.
We have much to be grateful for and thank you, our supporters, for helping to provide the critical funding needed to allow us to do our work, which is needed now more than ever. Stop by our Harlem office or one of our clinics in Ethiopia -- we'd love to have you anytime.
The banner seems unlikely to come down in the near future.  
Best regards,
Kim Nichols
Co-Executive Director
Immigrant Rights are Human Rights! No Ban No Wall!  

From rallies outside Trump Tower to volunteering and prayer at JFK, here is a look at some of the many ways ASC staff and clients have been tirelessly advocating for immigrant rights. Thanks to partner organizations, like the New York Immigration Coalition for organizing many of these events.

ASC staff rallying outside Trump Hotel and Tower on the eve of inauguration day. 

Listen (French) to African Services policy advocate Bakary Tandia speak with Voice of America about Trump's immigration ban.

African Services
Immigrant Community Law Center attorneys and colleagues volunteering for a second day at JFK.

ASC attorney Deirdre Stradone (center left) and ASC supervising attorney Corina Bogaciu (right) and colleagues volunteering to assist immigrant detainees at JFK.

African Services policy advocate Bakary Tandia, left, stands with Imam Al-Hajj Tali 'Abdur-Rashid (pictured above and left), of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, at the Interfaith Action and Jummah Prayer at JFK, Feb. 3. The Imam gave a powerful sermon denouncing Trump's executive orders against immigrants.  

Front and flip side of new ASC ICLC Know Your Rights pocket cards.

ASC Rising Leaders Council Launch Reception

The Rock and Ilfenesh Hadera Give Rising Leaders Special Shout Out

Check out photos from African Services Committee's spectacular Rising Leaders Council launch event recently in Harlem.

Fifty people strong met African Services Committee, got a shout out from Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Ilfenesh Hadera, and had cocktails at the Red Rooster. Rising Leaders learned how broad the space to support critical services for New Yorkers from the African Diaspora facing discrimination, sickness, homelessness and hunger. We met energetic people and heard great i deas.

Thank you to those who made it to the launch. Those who were not able to join are welcome to future events.

We are excited about building a vibrant, committed and connected community to support African Services and each other.

Click here to learn more.

C ontact us at risingleaders@africanservices.org

Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Ilfenesh Hadera Give African Services' Rising Leaders Special Shout Out: Click here to watch the video.

"Let's dance, let's shout! Shake your body down to the ground," blares on the speakers as trainer Alexandre Bournery leads another Shape Up NYC exercise cardio-bodyweight class at ASC's 4th floor event space.

Mondays: Free Shape Up NYC Fitness Classes at ASC  

ASC is thrilled to once again host a Shape Up NYC exercise course beginning this Monday, Jan. 23! Alexandre Bournery will lead cardio-bodyweight classes every Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at ASC's 4th floor event space.
Using bodyweight to strengthen muscles, cardio-bodyweight class participants can look forward to a very active and fun hour of fitness. All welcome. Free.

Click here to learn more.

Bakery Begins Weekly Donation to ASC Food Pantry

ASC is excited to announce that Orwasher's Bakery recently began donating dozens of loaves of fresh bread to ASC's food pantry every week. They have two locations: one on the Upper Westside and one on the Upper East Side. The leftover bread is baked the same day it is delivered to ASC.

Thank you Orwasher's!

Click here to learn more.
ASC staff unload a bounty of winter coats to give to African Services clients thanks to New York Cares - needed now more than ever. Click here to learn more about how you can help support the more than 6,500 immigrants who come to ASC in Harlem each year for health, housing, legal, educational and social services.

Please donate to ASC today.

Image of ASC Testing Center TB testing by Andrew Hinderaker for Al Jazeera

Thanks to Americares, ASC's Testing Center in Harlem has flu shot vouchers for uninsured clients. The voucher entitles the holder to a free flu shot at any Walgreens or Duane Reade.

Click here to learn more.
ASC's  Fête de Fin d'Année Photos 
In case you missed it: ASC's Harlem headquarters was filled to capacity as ASC staff, clients, friends, family and colleagues turned out to enjoy a global array of delicious food, drinks, dancing, drumming and good cheer at ASC's fête de fin d'année on Dec. 9, 2016. The holiday party is in so many ways the highlight of the year -- our way of showing our gratitude to all clients, supporters and staff. Click here to check out all of the spectacular photos thanks to Michael Korte / MKDAM.com.


Represent! Check out ASC's Latest Annual R

From a remarkable look at ASC client, Yanique, to a spotlight on ASC Ethiopia, to a feature on our Case Management team, 2015 was a spectacular year. Click here to download a printable PDF of the report. Big thanks to award-winning Mackenzie Crone for once again designing the report! 
Upcoming in NYC

The Apollo Theater presents:
AFROPUNK'S Unapologetically Black


Saturday, Feb 25 at 7:30PM

Creative and Musical Direction by Robert Glasper with Igmar Thomas & The Revive Big Band Featuring special guests Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio), Robert Glasper, Bilal, Toshi Reagon, Staceyann Chin and surprise special guests!

The Apollo Theater partners with the international cultural movement, AFROPUNK, to pay homage to black protest music and iconic and contemporary artists who have celebrated the power of being unapologetically black. This show will feature special guests from both the popular and alternative music scenes with an all-star big band.
In 2003, Matthew Morgan produced Afro-Punk the seminal cult classic documentary spotlighting Black Punks in America Directed by James Spooner. The focus was giving a voice to thousands of multi-cultural kids fiercely identifying with a lifestyle path-less-traveled. Morgan, a music industry executive, instinctively understood that the indie rock/punk/hardcore scene had powerful appeal beyond the predictable Caucasian audience.

More info here.
Ron Tarver 
A Ride by North Philly Rows, 1993
Archival ink jet print, 28 × 30 in.
Courtesy the artist

The Studio Museum in Harlem:  
Black Cowboy
Exhibition runs to March 5, 2017
Mention the word "cowboy," and the image that most often comes to mind-from American paintings, vintage films and television shows-is a lone ranger astride a noble white horse overlooking the plains of the Wild West. The exhibition Black Cowboy is a contribution toward overcoming the historical omission of African-American communities with long histories of keeping and training horses, and toward demonstrating that their tradition is alive and well today. Visitors to the exhibition will find cowboys in unexpected locations-riding down a busy city avenue, for example-or in complex situations, such as a rodeo held within the confines of a state prison. The images will show that African-American children and women, too, can take on the aura of this figure, who symbolizes our country's independence and stoic pride. Black Cowboy expands our idea of what constitutes an American icon and legacy, and complicates a narrative that has been tightly woven into our popular culture.

More info here.  

Seneca Village Tour

Seneca Village was an important community of predominantly African-American property owners living in an area that now makes up part of Central Park.

Join Central Park Conservancy guides on this tour to learn about the lives of Seneca Village's residents in the 1800s and the community's place in pre-Park New York City. Highlights of this tour include Summit Rock, Tanner's Spring, Winterdale Arch, and sites where important residences and churches existed before the development of the Park.

Click here to learn more.
Harlem is Music

Running to Feb. 22
The Interchurch Center
475 Riverside Drive at 120th Street and Claremont Avenue

In honor of Black History Month, Community Works and The Interchurch Center present a celebration titled, Harlem is.....Music. The month-long celebration will include a full calendar of gallery talks and music, along side the exhibit, Harlem's Black & Jewish Music Culture (1890-1930), sheet-music from that era that tells the story of collaborations between the neighborhood's black and Jewish composers, performers, and music publishers. The archival materials and documents were created by Harlem historian and Columbia University Community Scholar, John Reddick.

Eirik Omlie, Communications Director Recommends:
Dhafer Youssef
Feb. 8
(Le) Poisson Rouge

The Tunisian singer and oud player Dhafer Youssef once said quite spontaneously, "There is no prototype for beauty." This disarmingly unconditional statement is in fact sufficient to sum up the motivation and sound of his latest album Diwan Of Beauty & Odd, released on Sept. 16, 2016 on OKeh Records.

Youssef is presenting this project in the United States for the first time at two special shows in New York, NY on Wednesday, February 8 at (Le) Poisson Rouge and in Boston, MA on Friday, February 10 at Berklee Performance Center. He will be joined by pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

Learn more here.
World Music Institute Presents:
Noura Mint Seymali 
Feb. 24
(Le) Poisson Rouge

Noura Mint Seymali is one of Mauritania's foremost musical emissaries and national star of the West African country. Born into a lineage of significant moorish griots, a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa, Noura's career began at age 13 as a supporting vocalist to her legendary step-mother Dimi Mint Abba. Her grandmother trained her in musical technique and Noura mastered the ardine, a traditional 9-string harp reserved for women. Having performed on stages across the world, and by collaborating with African music greats, Noura Mint Seymali has established herself as one of the next generation's most promising artists and an unforgettable voice of Africa.

Learn more here.
World Music Institute, French Institute & Alliance Française de NY Present:

Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Ségal
March 3, 8 pm 
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall  
55 East 59th Street  

When Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Ségal released their first collaborative album, Chamber Music, they caught the music world by surprise. Everything about this duo was unexpected: the Malian master of the kora; the French cellist with the unlikely background in trip-hop; and the elegant, soulful music they made together.

Sissoko and Ségal have created their own cross-cultural hybrid tradition, one that draws on the ancient well of West African troubadour songs, the rich heritage of Baroque music, and an elusive but somehow clearly modern sensibility. This concert is presented as part of World Music Institute's Collaborations series.

More info here.