Volume 168 | July 5, 2022
"A More Equitable and Inclusive Montgomery County"
County Executive Marc Elrich
Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center
Citizen Preparation Classes
Registration for online citizenship preparation classes is open! Students will learn about the naturalization process, how to apply, and practice for the citizenship interview while learning about U.S. history and government. Free classes are offered to Montgomery County residents beginning on July 12. Registration is on a first-come, first served basis, and spots are limited. Click here for more information and to apply.

English Conversation Classes

Online English conversation classes take place weekly, and require no registration. Students will practice English, learn new vocabulary, and have fun! To join a class, see the brochure.

Computer Lab

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center is offering free Computer Open Lab at its Wheaton location until July 15. The computer lab is available for anyone who needs to access a computer. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended. Call 240-777-4940. Hours are limited, so please check here for details.

Offices are Open!

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center's offices are open! To receive information about services and programs, please visit the offices in Wheaton, East County, or Gaithersburg, or call 240-777-4940.
Volunteer Center
Awards Ceremony Honors Outstanding Volunteers
The Montgomery Serves Awards, held on June 15 at the Silver Spring Civic Building, honored eight individuals and organizations for their service to the community. Please see the program booklet to learn more about these extraordinary volunteers. View videos here.

Kathleen Meaney Stobie Retires
Kathleen Meany Stobie, a well-known and highly-regarded face of the Montgomery County Volunteer Center for 16 years, retired at the end June. She has served as the Americorps Seniors RSVP Director for 13 years, which included management of the AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program. Her expertise and commitment extended to all older adult issues. To learn more about Kathleen, please
check out the Volunteer Center's June/July newsletter.
Immigration, Citizenship & Legal Services
July Workshops and Info Sessions

The Montgomery County Maryland Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program Legal Clinic is based on a free walk-in/no appointment model. Clients request brief and limited guidance about a specific legal issue and attorneys provide information and basic legal advice without any expectation of long-term representation. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the in-person evening legal clinics continue to be postponed indefinitely. For further information on how to apply and eligibility for a FREE one-on-one telephone consultation please see flyer.

Rita Rosenkrantz Family Law Training Program provides FREE LEGAL TRAINING to attorneys who agree to take a pro bono case. To learn more about the basics of family law training and how to access the webinar, please visit the Bar Foundation CLE page of the BAMC website at www.barmont.org. For additional information, please contact Yesenia at 301-340-2534 or Yesenia@BarFoundationMC.org.

Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJ) information is available in English and Spanish.

Free Citizenship Preparation Classes at the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center offers free Citizenship Preparation classes online. Registration for the spring semester is now currently open! Click here for information on how to apply.

Free Citizenship Application Consultations by APALRC

The Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) provides free legal assistance to individuals seeking to become U.S. citizens. You must be a lawful permanent resident to apply. Please call the APALRC Helpline at (202) 393-3572 and request assistance. To learn more about the program, please visit the APALRC website. Assistance is available in many languages including Chinese, Korean, and Urdu. Note: APALRC is also holding in-person meetings at the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center in Gaithersburg on a bi-monthly basis. Click here for details.

Legal Services

HIAS Asylee Outreach Project offers free help connecting Maryland asylees (and T visa holders) with the resettlement resources and benefits available to them in the state of Maryland. Click here for more information.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Baltimore

Quick Topics Training - Trauma-Informed Care Practices: Working with Unaccompanied Minors
Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Noon -1:00 pm
Click here for information and registration.

Introductory Training - Representing Children in Immigration Matters
Thursday, July 21, 2022, 9:00 am -11:00 am
Click here for information and registration.

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS)
Using Universal Expert Declarations in Immigration Court
July 13, 2022, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Click here for information and registration.

Sexual Assault Services

MCASA is federally recognized state sexual assault coalition and responsible for certifying comprehensive rape crisis/sexual assault programs to ensure services are survivor centered. MCASA includes the Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI), which provides direct legal services to survivors of all ages across the state of Maryland. For further information please call (301) 565-2277 or visit the website Legal Services for Survivors | Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault | MCASA | Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Language Access Services for Crime Victims

The Language Access Program at Ayuda provides professionally trained, trauma-informed interpreters at no cost. Please email interpreterbank@ayuda.com with "Maryland Victims" in the subject heading to learn more and to add your organization to the list of those that will receive services.

Financial Assistance for Citizenship Application Fees offered by CASA

CASA, in partnership with Montgomery County, is offering financial assistance to those who are eligible to apply for citizenship but cannot afford the application fee. Click here for more information.
Advisory Group Meetings
Upcoming Meetings of County Executive's Ethnic & Faith Advisory Groups
African Affairs Advisory Group meets every second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 14th at 7:00 pm. The meeting topic is funding for entrepreneurs in Montgomery County. For more details please email Harrieta.Shangarai@Montgomerycountymd.gov.

Asian Pacific American Advisory Group will meet on July 19. If you have any questions or would like to attend, please email Mr. Yi Shen at

Caribbean American Advisory Group will be on summer break and will resume activities in September. For more information, please contact Rodrigue Vital, Caribbean American Liaison, Rodrigue.vital@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Faith Community Advisory Group will not meet during the month of July. For more information email Faith Liaison Kate Chance at kate.chance@montgomerycountymd.gov

Latin American Advisory Group will not meet in July and August. LAAG will meet in-person in September. The meeting will focus on the County’s Bienvenidos Initiative in Wheaton. For more information, please email

LGBTQ Advisory Group will meet on July 11th from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. The meeting will be held on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86801452892. For more information, please contact amena.johnson@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Middle Eastern American Advisory Group -- For information about the next public meeting, please contact the OCP Middle Eastern American Community Liaison.
African Community
Student Service Learning Hours
The Francophone Alliance presents an opportunity for SSL hours for Montgomery County students. For details, please email Faadmv@gmail.com.
African American Community
African American Living Legends Honored at Ceremony
Five notable Montgomery County residents were honored at the Juneteenth Celebration/Africa American Living Legend Awards ceremony on Friday, June 17 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

County Executive Marc Elrich presented this year's awards to Ida Pearl Green, Rosalyn Cain King, Anita Neal, Ambassador Curtis A. Ward (pictured at left) and Alma L. Williams. The honorees were recognized for their role in shaping the cultural heritage of the African American community through their lives of service, advocacy and selfless acts of kindness. Click here to view additional photos.
25th Annual Juneteenth Celebration

On Saturday, June 18th, Montgomery County held its annual Juneteenth Celebration on the grounds of the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown. This was the County’s 25th annual celebration of Juneteenth. The legendary Washington, DC Go-Go Band Rare Essence played to a packed crowd. Click here to view additional photos.
Asian Pacific American Community
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
To conclude Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Office of Community Partnerships in collaboration with the Asian American Health Initiatives held a virtual conversation with Asian community members. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss issues in the Asian community and to give the audience a glimpse of the Asian American experience. To view the program, please click here.
County Executive Marc Elrich attended the 20th anniversary gala of the Coordination Council of Chinese American Associations (CCCAA). In his remarks, he emphasized the importance of partnerships with community organizations. The CCCAA is an umbrella organization composed of approximately 36 Chinese community groups. CCCAA works on common goals of its member groups, including COVID-19 education, food drives, cultural events and community events.
Asian Pacific Island Desi American (APIDA) Studies Program

During the rise of hate crimes against Asians last year, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) held several dialogues with Asian students. As a result, MCPS will pilot an Asian Pacific Island Desi American (APIDA) Studies program in the 2022 fall semester at Clarksburg, Richard Montgomery and Paint Branch High Schools. READ MORE.
Caribbean American Community
Caribbean American Heritage Month (CAHM)
The 2022 Caribbean American Heritage Month Celebration and Proclamation was held on June 14th. County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Gabe Albornoz presented a joint proclamation, acknowledging CAAG’s work during the 2020 Census and the contributions and resilience of the Caribbean community during the pandemic. Three Caribbean Americans were honored for their outstanding service to the community: Jacqueline Samuda, Jazmyn McKoy, and Dr. Vincent R. Liburd. Read more.
Latin American Community
Small Business Series for Latino Entrepreneurs 
During the month of June, the Office of Community Partnerships in collaboration with the County Executive’s Small Business Navigator team, the County’s Procurement Office, and the Salvadoran Consulate in Silver Spring, hosted over 30 Latino entrepreneurs interested in learning how to do business with Montgomery County. A series of three workshops were conducted entirely in Spanish to help inform and guide attendees on the County’s Certification Process, the Vendor Registration System, and other County opportunities for contracting. The demand for similar events was clear from participant feedback, and similar efforts will be planned. For more information, please email jessy.mejiaterry@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Support Volunteer Efforts to Welcome Migrants

Over the past months, several non-profit organizations have been leading a volunteer effort to welcome, provide temporary respite, and help new arrivals from the southern border reconnect with family at their destination. In Montgomery County, we are supporting this volunteer effort by asking our neighbors for hygiene kit donations. Hygiene kits for males, females, and children should include new socks, undershirts, underpants, and other basics. There are several other ways to help these efforts. Please click here to learn how to become involved.
LGBTQ Community
LGBTQ Community Survey
To ensure that Montgomery County is safe and welcoming to the LGBTQ community, we are conducting an LGBTQ Community Survey. View flyer and take the survey here.
Middle Eastern American Community
Voter Education Initiative (VEI)

MEAAG's VEI campaign is in its final days, ending with the county’s primary election day on July 19th. We are reminding the community to register to vote, research their ballot decisions before voting, and decide whether to vote by mail, early at the polls, or at their polling station on the 19th.

Summer Picnic
Untitled Design
MEAAG will hold its summer picnic on Sunday, July 17 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Rockville Town Square. All are welcome at this free event! There will be voting information, a potluck meal, and intergenerational recreational activities. Please register here or contact the OCP’s Middle Eastern Liaison for more information.

Author Conversations
“Stories to Broaden Understanding,” MEAAG's third series of virtual book talks conducted in collaboration with Montgomery County Public Libraries, ended on a high note. More than 20 cookbook lovers engaged with Laila el-Haddad on her latest work, The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey. On June 14th, the author and her audience discussed the in-depth fieldwork she and her co-author conducted to document and photograph the cooks, recipes, kitchens and colorfully spicy and nutritious Gazan cuisine.
Middle Eastern American Heritage Month Celebration Video

As reported in the June newsletter, MEAAG's May 14th in-person celebration was joyous. Thanks to Sussan Yekta, Director/Producer at DLife.tv, for volunteering to record and produce a video that captures the beautiful music, artwork, heritage table displays, and other festivities. View the video here.
Faith Community
July Holidays and Days of Interest

Independence Day, July 4 | Hajj and Eid ul-Adha, July 7-12 | Guru Purnima, July 13-14 | Dharma Day, July 13
Faith Community Town Halls

On July 12th at 7:00 pm, a Faith Community Townhall will feature Montgomery County Green Bank. Please register in advance here.

Montgomery County Resettlement Working Group

The Montgomery County Resettlement Working Group will meet on July 24 at 7:00 pm to discuss ways to support Afghan and other newcomers. For more information, email Faith Liaison Kate Chance.


Click here to read about the Faith Community's June activities.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program

Nonprofits, synagogues, churches, mosques, and other houses of worship are eligible for federal support for physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program. If your organization has questions or would like a letter of recommendation for its application, please contact Bart Kennedy, Grants Coordinator for Senator Van Hollen, at bart_kennedy@vanhollen.senate.gov.
Sister Cities
Sister Cities Night at Big Train Baseball
June 25 was Sister Cities Night at Povich Field in Bethesda for the summer collegiate Big Train Baseball game. Montgomery Sister Cities (MSC) and Rockville Sister Cities Corporation (RSCC) collaborated on a successful event sharing information about each of the Sister Cities in China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, India, South Korea, and Taiwan. Tracey-Alexis Dixon, Chair of MSC and Drew Powell, Chair of RSCC threw the first pitch! Learn more about Montgomery Sister Cities here.
News & Events Around the Region
Click Links for Details
WorkSource Montgomery (WSM) has awarded $500,000 in COVID-19 financial assistance under its GROW program to small businesses in Montgomery County that were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. WSM plans to award another $1 million dollars over the next year until funds are exhausted. Click here for details. For more information or to apply, click here.

For more information on voter registration, requesting a mail-in ballot, and voting, click here. The upcoming primary election is July 19, 2022.

Participate in Vietnamese American Services' 2022 Mid-Autumn Festival as a vendor, sponsor, volunteer, or performer. Click here for registration forms. Applications are open until August.

Get involved with MANNA's Community Food Rescue Program.

Calling all creative minds! Through the Climate Action Plan, the County is hoping to lower the impact of climate change. Please send us words, phrases or a sentence that will inspire your neighbors to take action on simple climate solutions. Send us your ideas through THIS FORM. These materials are available in other languages; email DEP.contests@montgomerycountymd.gov

Lifelong Learning Courses -- Summer registration is open for Montgomery College Lifelong Learning Institute Non-Credit Courses. Offering Zoom and on-campus classes! Click here for registration information.

Share Your News
We Want to Hear From You!
To submit your news and events of interest to those serving Montgomery County's emerging communities and neighbors in need, email complete details and/or a news release to the OCP Newsletter.

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