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African Services Committee Update 

Dear Friends, 

Thirty seven years after ASC's founding, much of the world reels in the wake of recent political and economic setbacks and uncertainty in our country and abroad.

Today, there are an estimated 22.5 million refugees with a staggering 65 million people forcibly displaced worldwide. Any level of predictability of laws, institutions, and funding streams that protect the marginalized among us is vanishing.

What do we, as individuals, do? Pick up the phone and reach out to your elected officials. Demand that your voice be heard. Support the causes you believe should continue to thrive. Be kind to one another.

Imagine yourself as a recent immigrant walking through our doors seeking asylum, recently diagnosed with HIV or viral hepatitis, little knowledge of the language, caring for young children without shelter or a steady job, seeking refuge from a life of trauma and discrimination. Since 1981 our dedicated staff has helped hundreds of thousands overcome hardship and poverty with care and cultural sensitivity.

We are providing free and affordable legal immigration services to newcomers, distributing nutritious food to thousands of families, supporting LGBT asylum seekers, teaching literacy to new immigrant adult learners, navigating clients to much-needed health care, testing for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. 

In a week we'll be hosting a delegation to visit ASC's Health and Community Development Centers. These clinics - staffed entirely by Ethiopian doctors, nurses, lab techs and case managers  - do so much with very little to help thousands of the most vulnerable families get back on their feet. Despite relentless funding gaps, I feel optimistic for the future as we begin to provide additional needed services such as cervical cancer screening, while continuing to serve as model centers. 

We have much to be grateful for and thank you, our supporters, for helping to provide the support needed to allow us to do our work, which is needed now more than ever. Please give generously. Help us continue to receive and motivate new immigrants along a path of self reliance, healing and stability. 

And stop by our one of our clinics in Ethiopia or our Harlem office - we'd love to see you anytime.

Warmly, 

Asfaha 

 
Asfaha Hadera
Founder and Co-Executive Director

ASC Bids ESL Coordinator Fond Farewell 
 
African Services Committee bid a fond farewell to ESL Coordinator, Sanae Nakayama, who moved back to her home country of Japan recently after volunteering at ASC for about five years. 

"I love teaching English to these students," Sanae said. "I've been mainly teaching non-literal adults and it is wonderful seeing students be able to read or write for the first time."

Prior to moving to the United States from Japan, Sanae was a very accomplished professional musician and music teacher. She turned to teaching English  after she developed a disorder that prevented her from playing the flute. 

"Teaching  English might not be as flashy as when I used to perform the flute on stage. I just find it so gratifying to be able to help people," Sanae said.  "I feel like I've earned another fantastic career."

You'll be missed Sanae!

ASC's ESL program is always looking for volunteer teachers. For more information, please contact ESL Coordinator Andrew Greene here.


New York Times Speaks With ICLC About DACA Mail Delays
 
The New York Times spoke with African Services Committee's  Immigrant Community Law Center - ICLC attorney, Mauricio Noroña, about the disastrous effects of DACA renewal mail delays: 

Mauricio Noroña, a lawyer at Immigrant Community Law Center in Manhattan called the 1,900 figure, "astounding." He saw the devastating effects the mail delays had on one of his clients, whom he declined to name, saying she was afraid of repercussions from the government.

"She lost her job, lost her apartment, and is now temporarily staying with family in her home state," Mr. Noroña said. "More worrisome, our client is at risk of being placed in removal proceedings pending her DACA renewal, a process that may take months because U.S.C.I.S. didn't commit to expedite affected cases." Full story here


Strengthening Immigrant NYC
 
African Services Committee staff and clients, joined statewide  The New York Immigration Coalition  member organizations on a NYIC -led "strengthening Immigrant NYC" trip to Albany recently where advocates met with nearly fifty elected officials to boost support for the immigrant community across New York.

ASC Policy Advocate bakary Tandia and ASC Supervising Attorney Corina Bogaciu. 

ASC Hosts Dance Fitness and Boot Camp Shape Up NYC Exercise Classes
 
Fitness instructor, Beverly Brown's Shape Up NYC Dance Fitness exercise class at African Services Committee is free and open to the public every Wednesday at 6:30 pm and instructor Tobi Abegunde holds Boot Camp at ASC every Friday at 6 pm! Join us on ASC's 3rd floor. 
All welcome! Free!



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. 15, 2017. 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. 






Upcoming

Celebration of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial at MEC

At the Center for Black Literature Black History Month event, Lloyd Weaver will share keen insights on the personal and political life of Douglass and on the implications on his legacy today. Weaver will also share insights on Anna Murray Douglass, abolitionist and first wife of Frederick Douglass-insights not previously known.

When: Monday, Feb. 26
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Where: Medgar Evers College, CUNY, 1650 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, New York, 11225

Free. Click here for more information. 



Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Concert
  
When: Thursday, Feb. 15
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Where: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037

Free. Register here



The Power of Black Feminism: Race, Class & Liberation

A discussion on the history of Black feminism and the lessons for a new generation of activists today.
 
When: Wednesday, Feb. 14 
7 PM - 9 PM
 
Where: Brooklyn Free School, 372 Clinton Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11238

Contact: 718.499.2707
 




The 60s - The Summer of Law and Disorder: Harlem Riot of 1964

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents a panel discussion about the Harlem Riot of 1964 in the aftermath of the police shooting of ninth grader James Powell and the "law-and-order" policies championed by presidential contenders on the campaign trail of '64. The Harlem Riot solicited a variety of responses from community stakeholders and precipitated a summer of urban unrest around the country.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 21
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Where: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, New York 10037

Free. Click here.
 




Black Panther Women

The Center at West Park and Women of Color Productions present Black Panther Women by Jacqueline Wade
The Black Panther Party changed the course of history in the turbulent 1960s and 70s. We know the men that made a difference...but what about the women? Black Panther Women features an all-female cast playing all roles- male and female.

When: Friday, Feb. 16 
8 PM - 10 PM
 
Where: Sanctuary Theater 
Located at the Center at West Park, 165 West 86th Street (Entrance on Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY, 10024)


Tickets $15 to $25 here