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In This Issue
Welcome 2015!
ASC Legal Awarded Grant
Clinic on Ebola-Related TPS
Mojito Seattle Launches ASC Ethiopia Campaign
Grand Fête de Fin d'Année
Hallways of ASC
New NYC ID Available
Fun in the City: Exhibition: AFTER AFROPOLITAN
2013 Annual Report
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Dear Friends,


As we welcome 2015, let's briefly look back 34 years at a very important year in history, 1981. It was an eventful one to be sure: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized what would later be identified as the first case of AIDS. The year saw slavery abolished in Mauritania; 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, survived an attempt on his life while an assassin killed Egyptian president Anwar Sadat; and a coup d'�tat removed President Hilla Limann's PNP government in Ghana. The world also mourned the loss of legend Bob Marley and Muhammad Ali fought his final fight. The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees its second Nobel Peace Prize in 1981, saying:


"Today, in many parts of the world, we witness tremendous and increasing numbers of refugees, estimated at between fourteen and eighteen million in all. ... Today we have, in addition, two million refugees from Afghanistan and an equal number from Ethiopia."


And it was in 1981 that Asfaha Hadera founded African Services Committee in a tiny Bronx basement apartment, having experienced first-hand the realities of refugee life after fleeing his home country of Ethiopia.  


It is remarkable imagining that ASC has been serving African, Caribbean and other immigrant communities in New York City since then. Today ASC serves more than 12,500 clients each year out of our multi-service office in Harlem, and we continue to expand and enhance our services as well as our reach within this broad and dynamic community.


2015 looks to be a very exciting year: We are expanding our nominal fee legal clinic, while continuing to provide nutritious food to thousands of families. We are teaching literacy and English language skills to dozens of new immigrant adult learners, navigating clients to much-needed health care, testing for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B, and screening for diabetes and hypertension. We are helping prevent the spread and stigma of the deadly Ebola virus, providing case management and counseling to hundreds of new immigrant clients faced with trauma, and scaling up our five multi-service, grassroots clinics in Ethiopia.


But all of this would not be possible without you, our supporters. You have been with us -- believing in us and the work we do -- all these years, and we are so very grateful. Stop by our Harlem office or one of our clinics in Ethiopia --we'd love to have you anytime. As always, thank you.


Best regards,


Kim Nichols

Co-Executive Director

News and Activities

ASC Legal Awarded Grant 


ASC Receives $225K in Change Capital
from NYC Community Resilience Fund 


African Services Committee has been awarded a grant of $225K by Nonprofit Finance Fund designed to support plans for enhancing financial viability and adaptability, thereby improving ASC's ability to consistently deliver critical programs and services.


The grants are part of $1.6 million in awards to seven nonprofits as part of the Community Resilience Fund, a collaborative effort designed to bolster New York City's social safety net. The awards are designed to fund specific plans to improve the long-term financial sustainability of critical human services providers. 


ASC is planning to develop and expand its Nominal Fee Legal Clinic (NFLC) for immigrants, which we have identified as a viable path to greater organizational sustainability. ASC will build organizational financial health by expanding the professional staffing and legal clinic space with the CRF Change Capital, thus increasing general operating revenue, funding positions for needed executive, operations, and management staff, and planning and financing future real estate expansion.  ASC is addressing opportunities for greater sustainability by meeting the ever-increasing demand for quality, affordable immigration legal services and seeking extraordinary revenue, from a variety of sources, to improve the NFLC's capacity, quality of service, affordability, and bottom line operating results.


Click here for the full story.


 Ebola-Related TPS


ASC, Partners to Conduct Legal Clinic on Ebola-Related TPS 


On Feb. 7, 2015 African Services Committee's legal team will be partnering with Staten Island Liberian Community Association, the United States Sierra Leonean Association and the Guinea Association of Staten Island to conduct a free Ebola-related temporary protected status (TPS) legal clinic for nationals of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The clinic will take place at the United States Sierra Leonean Association, Lobby AB, 141 Park Hill, Staten Island. 


Attorneys will explain what TPS grants, help attendees complete the TPS application, explain fees and the fee waiver process, work permit application and answer questions. TPS is a temporary benefit status for nationals of designated countries, usually those that have experienced a conflict, natural disaster, or some other extraordinary event. TPS gives these nationals a safe haven from feeling legally compelled to return to their country while their country experiences one of these extreme events. Haiti was designated as eligible for TPS following the earthquake in 2010.


Click here to view and download the TPS checklist in English and here for the French version.


For more information or questions about the clinic call 212.222.3882 or email



ASC Holds Legal Information Session on Ebola-Related TPS



African Services Committee's legal team held a Legal Information Session on Dec. 17, 2014 at ASC's fourth floor conference room in Harlem for anyone interested in learning more about TPS, immigration and Ebola.


ASC attorneys answered many questions and explained what TPS grants and what it does not grant. For example, TPS is not a path to a green card. TPS is not a path to citizenship. The status is temporary in nature. ASC attorneys explained the fees involved in applying, which are roughly the cost of a work permit, plus a biometrics services fee. The session also explained the fee waiver process.


The session was followed by a lively "community conversation on Ebola," facilitated by Dr. Yinka M. Akinsulure-Smith.  



Raising Critical Support to Help the Most Vulnerable 

The exceedingly generous folks at Seattle's landmark restaurant MOJITO aren't just about serving the finest Latin American cuisine; they are also dedicated to extending a helping hand to some of the most vulnerable and at risk populations around the globe. Thanks to owners Luam Wersom and Juan Carlos Ganz, this year Mojito is helping African Services Committee raise critical financial support for their five grassroots health clinics in Ethiopia, which are providing comprehensive HIV/ TB prevention, testing and care services for the most vulnerable children and families-many of whom have been orphaned by AIDS or come from families living on less than $1 a day.  A donation of as little as $15 to African Services Committee can provide one week of nutrition and food supplies for a family in Ethiopia. Donations go directly to those in need.


Please click here to donate. Simply select "ASC Ethiopia (general)" to designate the donation to ASC's Ethiopia program and write "Mojito Seattle" under the section "I want my donation to be dedicated" to dedicate the donation to Mojito Seattle. 


Click here to learn more. 


Holiday Party Cheer!

    ASC's Grand F�te de Fin d'Ann�e 


ASC's third and fourth floors in Harlem were 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 f�te de fin d'ann�e on Dec. 12, 2014. 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.

It was such a pleasure seeing so many new and old ASC friends, such as 7th District Council Member Mark D. Levine (pictured below, left center, with Asfaha Hadera in photo courtesy of Peter Schaaf/, stop by to enjoy the festivities. Big thanks also to Queen of Sheba for donating delicious Ethiopia cuisine.  




Hallways of ASC

Diana, who came to the United States from Zambia, is thrilled as African Services Committee's supervising attorney, Kate Webster, delivers a long-awaited green card.  Great way to start off the New Year!


African Services' passionate and dedicated attorneys provide low-cost or free legal services, for those who qualify, to families and individuals in need of immigration assistance. All are welcome regardless of race, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. All services are confidential. 


For a consultation with an African Services immigration attorney, call 212.222.3882 or email



ASC Nutrition Program Cooks Up Healthy Holiday Feast


African Services Committee Nutrition Program staff demonstrated once again that the holidays can be filled with healthy choices as they served up a delicious holiday feast to roughly 50 nutrition program participants in December.


African Services' food pantry serves more than 6,500 individuals and families each year in need of supplemental nutrition. In addition to supplemental nutrition, pantry staff and volunteers lead weekly nutrition and cooking classes to assist clients in making the right nutrition choices for themselves and their families.


Each household receives a one-week supply of non-perishable food items. We also provide organic fruits and vegetables in the summer months through a partnership with the Central Harlem Community Supported Agriculture Program.


Learn more about ASC's Nutrition Program and Food Pantry here.




New NYC ID Available Regardless of Immigration Status

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently launched New York City's new, free identification card initiative for all New York City residents-regardless of immigration status! Learn more here

Fun in the City
Eirik Omlie, Communications Director recommends...



On view: February 4 to March 6, 2015


CCCADI with AfriPOP! and Weeksville Heritage Society


Opening Night


WHEN: February 4, 2015 | 6pm - 9pm

WHERE: Weeksville Heritage Center | 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213



The exhibition tributes Africa's vanguard legacy while peering at yet unchartered territories of experience and imagination in the African Diaspora. The exhibition asks how has Afropolitan crystallized aspects of our genius? What aspects of our experiences fall outside the Afropolitan gaze? And, of course what comes next, After Afropolitan?


Click here for more information. 



Eirik Omlie, Communications Director recommends...



WHEN: Every Wednesday 10 pm

WHERE: Barb�s Brooklyn 

376 9th St. (corner of 6th Ave.) Park Slope, Brooklyn 347.422.0248


In the 1960's and 1970's, the government of Guinea engaged in a campaign known as Authenticit�. It was a drive to create a new musical movement that would be specifically Guinean, but would include the modern wonders that were the electric guitar, the electric bass and the drumset. Musicians were given instruments and orchestras were formed. Surprisingly, the results proved mesmerizing and a myriad new bands were born. Many of them would go on to have a profound and lasting impact on African music. Mamady Kouyate was one of those pioneers. He played in various bands - his own band, Les Ambassadeurs du Mandingue, being one of them - but is probably best known as the guitarist in the classic Bembeya Jazz National. Kouyate, who now lives in NY, has reformed the Mandingo Ambassadors, updating the sound of his youth, but keeping it very close to the standard of Authenticit�. The new All-Star band includes Mamady "Djelike" Kouyate, guitar, leader; Bebe Camara, vocal; Eudy Fernandez, trumpet; Oran Etkin, tenor sax, clarinet; Sylvain Leroux, flute, Fula flute, alto sax; Sam Dickey, guitar; Nick Cudahy, bass; Andy Algire, drums; Foluso Mimy, percussion.  "Dazzling vocal and guitar patterns over a rhythm section that is like a perfect system," wrote Ben Ratliff, NY Times


Click here for more information.  


Looking Back at a Great Year for ASC

Check out ASC's 2013 Annual Report

From a spotlight on an amazing ASC client, to a feature on ASC's navigation to care, to celebrating 10 years of services in Ethiopia, 2013 was an outstanding year for African Services Committee. 

Click here to download a printable PDF of the 2013 Annual Report. 

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