"A More Equitable and Inclusive Montgomery County"

County Executive Marc Elrich

April 3, 2023 - Volume 177

County Budget Discussions

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

Immigration, Citizenship, and Legal Services

Advisory Group Meetings

Volunteer Center

African American Community

African Community

Asian Pacific American


Caribbean American Community

Latin American Community

Middle Eastern Community

Faith Community

Sister Cities


Share Your News - To submit 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.

Mobile Job Center

WorkSource Montgomery and the Montgomery County Workforce Development Board has a brand-new Mobile Job Center! For more information or to request the MJC for a community event, please complete and submit the form located on the website.

Help Those Affected by Silver Spring Fire

The fire at the Arrive high-rise apartment complex on Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring on February 18 resulted in one fatality and injuries to multiple residents, as well as the displacement of hundreds of residents. More details are available here. At the request of Montgomery County, the Montgomery Housing Partnership is managing a dedicated relief fund to assist those affected by the fire. One hundred percent of donations will go directly to those affected. For more details, please click here.

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

This new program provides benefits for water and wastewater costs for low-income households experiencing hardship with their water bills. See flyer in English and Spanish, as well as a postcard and bilingual handout.

Nonprofit Grants

NBCUniversal Local Impact Grants Powered by Comcast NBCUniversal, NBC4 and Telemundo 44 will distribute a total of $225,000 to DMV nonprofits. Click for more information in English and Spanish. Deadline: April 21.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program Technical Assistance Webinar Series

Click here for information.

Job Openings

The Community Engagement Cluster is currently recruiting for a part time Program Manager I (IRC57674) to join the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center. For additional information, please see the job announcement at this link. Search "Available Jobs" and select “General Professional,” then click "Search."

The newly launched Montgomery County Office of Food Systems Resilience has two new job opportunities - (1) Performance Management Data Analyst and (2) Program Manager. Initial review of applications will begin on April 7th, with the positions open until filled. Click job links for details


Montgomery College's Information Technology Institute is hiring two Placement & Learning Advisors to work with the TechMap Program. The Tech Metro Area Pathways (TechMAP) Program is funded by a US Department of Labor grant to provide career pathways training in Information Technology (IT). 

Click here for position description.

Got the Power Girls Conference

Free conference for middle and high school girls and parents, May 6. Click here for flyer.

Free Webinars

Empowered Women International and LEDC offert free webinars in English and Spanish. Click here for information.

Lifelong Learning Courses

Registration is open for Montgomery College Lifelong Learning Institute Non-Credit Courses. Online and on-campus classes are available. View brochure.

Senior Planet in Montgomery County is offering virtual and in-person programs. Senior Planet helps seniors learn new skills, save money, get in shape, and make new friends. Learn more here.

ESOL Classes for Adults

Find an ESOL class from MCAEL here.

Free Adult Electric Scooter Clinics

Residents 18-and-older who are interested in electric scooter lessons will have the opportunity to attend free clinics in April, May and June sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. Read more.

FY25-30 Capital Improvement Budget Discussions

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will hold six “community conversations” at sites around the County in April and May to talk about long-term priorities and how he will address the Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget. The first event will be from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm on Wednesday, April 12 at the White Oak Community Recreation Center in Silver Spring. For the complete list of CIP community discussions and more information, click here. Cick here for flyer.

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

Spring Classes

The spring session of classes is just around the corner! Click here to access the application form for citizenship preparation classes. Registration for English classes begins on April 10, and registration for basic computer classes begins on April 17.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Town Hall Meeting

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center partnered with the Congolese Community of Washington Metropolitan to host a USCIS Town Hall meeting on March 4 for an update on asylum applications, the public charge rule, and the naturalization test. 

Mobile Career Center Visits Gilchrist Center

Thr Gilchrist Center hosted Montgomery College’s Mobile Career Center in Wheaton on March 22 and in Gaithersburg on March 23. Thanks to Montgomery College's Office of Community Engagement and Educational Opportunity Center for presenting successful events both days.

Computer Donation Program

The Gilchrist Center participated in a computer donation event organized by the Office of Broadbrand Programs-Montgomery Connects. Gilchrist Center staff assisted new computer owners with setting up their devices at the Gaithersburg Library on March 23. The event provided computers for 487 people! 

From the “Golden Age of Radio” to a Golden Gift to English Students - Thanks, Dick Bertel

The staff and students of the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center bid farewell to Dick Bertel, who retired as a beloved English teacher after 7 years of fun, educational, and stimulating weekly Advanced Conversation classes. Every Friday morning, 10-15 students from around the world and across Montgomery County have gathered with Dick, his co-teacher Jack Ferrante, and other volunteer assistants for a lively conversation on current events, U.S. customs and holidays, historical events, and the oddities of the English language. Dick’s engaging and welcoming style created a community of learners who will miss him dearly. To learn more about him, including students’ testimonies and a summary of his professional achievements in radio and television broadcasting, click here.

Immigration, CItizenship, and Legal Services

April Workshops and Information Sessions

The Montgomery County Maryland Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program Legal Clinic offers free in-person consultations twice per month at the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center's Gaithersburg and Wheaton sites! Visit the website for details. For further information about pro bono services, please see brochure and flyer.

The Rita Rosenkrantz Family Law Training Program provides free legal training for 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 For additional information, please contact Yesenia at 301-340-2534 or [email protected].

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 and in person. Registration for the spring 2023 session is currently open! Click here for information on how to apply.

Free Citizenship Application Consultations by APALRC

The Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) will hold in-person appointments for those seeking assistance with applying for Citizenship and Naturalization at the Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center in Gaithersburg at the Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave, 2nd floor. Clinics are held every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Click here for details.

Assistance is available in many languages including Chinese, Korean, and Urdu. You must be a lawful permanent resident to apply. Please click here to request assistance or call the APALRC Helpline at (202) 393-3572. For additional information, visit the APALRC website.

In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, APALRC will host a citizenship application workshop at the Rockville Memorial Library on May 6 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The workshop is by appointment only. To schedule a time, please contact (202) 393- 3572. Please see the attached flyer or visit Citizenship Application Workshop – Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center for further information. 

HIAS Legal Services

HIAS provides legal services to asylum seekers, asylees, and others who are seeking humanitarian relief. All clients must fear returning to country of origin, and must reside within Maryland, DC, or Virginia. To receive a free immigration consultation, please contact the legal intake line at (301) 844-7248 on the first Friday of every month between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Interpreters are available. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Montgomery College Free Citizenship Preparation Program

Are you a legal, permanent resident preparing for the U.S. citizenship test and interview? Montgomery College provides FREE citizenship preparation classes online and in-person.

In partnership, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services offers help with the N-400 application for naturalization. Upcoming orientation sessions:

  • Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 pm at the Rockville Campus
  • Saturday, May 20 at 9:00 am at the Rockville Campus

Classes will run for 10 weeks from July to September.

For more details, email [email protected] or visit the website. View the flyer here.

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA)

MCASA provides direct legal services to survivors of all ages across the state of Maryland. For more information, visit the website or call 301-565-2277.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Baltimore

Quick Topics Training - Filing FOIA Requests for Your Client’s Case, April 19, 2023, Noon - 1:00 pm. Click here for information and registration.

Introductory Training - Representing Children in Immigration Matters, April 20, 2023, 9:00 am -11:00 am. Click here for information and registration.

Language Access Services for Crime Victims

The Language Access Program at Ayuda provides professionally trained, trauma-informed interpreters at no cost. Please email [email protected] 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

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.

County Executive's Advisory Groups

Upcoming Meetings of County Executive's Ethnic & Faith Advisory Groups

African Affairs Advisory Group meets every second Thursday of the month. During 2022-2023, the meetings will take place in different locations around the county to better connect with communities across the region. The next meeting will be held on April 13. For more details, please email [email protected].

African American Advisory Group -- For more information, contact [email protected].

Asian Pacific American Advisory Group will not meet in April and will reconvene in May. If you would like more information, please email Mr. Yi Shen at [email protected]

Caribbean American Advisory Group will meet virtually on Tuesday, April 4 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. For more information, please email Rodrigue Vital, Caribbean American Liaison at [email protected].

Faith Advisory Group will meet on Monday, April 20 at 6:00 pm. For more information, contact [email protected].

Latin American Advisory Group will meet on Tuesday, April 25. Further details TBD. The LAAG will begin a year-long overview of various County departments in order to assess their policies and programs as they relate to the Latino community. Invitations to department heads will be based on the priorities listed in the Latino Action Agenda Report For more information, email Jessy Mejia Terry, Latino Liaison, at [email protected].

LGBTQ Advisory Group will meet on Monday, April 17 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Please click here for Zoom link. For more information, contact [email protected].

Middle Eastern American Advisory Group will not meet in April. Please contact OCP Middle Eastern Liaison [email protected] for more information.

Volunteer Center

Montgomery Serves Awards

The deadline for nominations for the Montgomery Serves Awards, our County's highest honor for volunteerism, has been extended to Friday, April 14, 2023 at 5:00 PM.


The Montgomery Serves Awards recognize special volunteer accomplishments in 2022 in four categories:

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - To recognize an individual’s service performed in 2022

YOUTH VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - To recognize a volunteer age 18 or younger for service performed in 2022

VOLUNTEER GROUP OF THE YEAR - To recognize a group or team of two people or more who volunteered on the same project(s) in 2022

BUSINESS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR -To recognize a corporation for community service performed in 2022

NEAL POTTER PATH OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - To honor individuals age 60 and better for their lifetime of volunteer service to Montgomery County

To submit nominations, click here!

African American Community

Take Control of Your Health

The African American Health Program (AAHP) and its partner organizations will host the 10th annual AAHP Community Day from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College. Walk/run/bike activities will begin at 7:45 am.

This year’s theme, “Take Control of Your Health,” highlights ongoing efforts to eliminate health disparities and increase the number of Blacks in Montgomery County who are healthy at every stage of life. While focused on health prevention strategies, AAHP Community Day is a “community” event that incorporates food, health-related information, fun and exciting activities. This free event is open to all ages. Click here for flyer.

For more information, please call (240) 777-1833 or email [email protected]. If interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Pat Grant at [email protected].

Game Changer Conference for Young Males

On March 25, Unity Christian Fellowship, Inc. held its 11th Annual Game Changer Conference for Young Males at The Universities at Shady Grove, designed for elementary (4th and 5th grades), middle, and high school students.  

The theme was: The World is Shifting - Being Focus Forward is a Game Changer: how will you pursue excellence in home, school and community?

Parents were invited to participate in the event, which included a Parent Advocacy Roundtable Breakout Session designed to help parents, guardians, and dads be better advocates for their children.

Dr. Joey Jones, Principal at Robert Frost Middle School, served as the keynote speaker.

African Community

The 2023 Annual African Diaspora Women's Celebration

Prince George's County African Diaspora Board hosted the 2023 Annual African Diaspora International Women's Day celebration on March 17. The theme was "Embrace Equity," which corresponded with Women’s History Month. The event honored women from all walks of life and recognized their ongoing contributions. Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Aruna Miller delivered the keynote address. To view a video of the program, click here.

African Women's Power Brunch

The 5th annual African Women's Power Brunch was held on March 25 in honor of International Women's Day. The event focused on connecting, educating, inspiring, and equipping African women through celebrating, sharing inspiring stories, and discussing issues that affect women today. View the event flyer here.

Asian Pacific American Community

Anti-Asian Hate Webinar

The Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC), State's Attorney's Office, Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) and the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) partnered to hold an Anti-Asian Hate webinar on March 29. The webinar featured a "Know Your Rights and Bystander Intervention" presentation; The State's Attorney's Office discussed the legal process once someone is arrested for hate related incidents; MCPD presented hate crime statistics for 2022 and discussed safety tips.

Solar New Year Festivals

Cambodian, Thai, Laotian, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and various Southeast Asian communities will be celebrating New Year from April 13-16. Click here to learn about the various new year celebrations.

Sikh Celebration

Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is the most important holiday for the Sikh community. It is a celebration of spring harvest in Indian and Sikh culture and will be celebrated on April 14. To learn more about the holiday, please click here.

Caribbbean American Community

Local Organizations Prepare for Haitian Flag Day Events

The Association of Haitian Professionals (AHP) and the Institute of Grace (IOG) have reached out to the Caribbean Liaison regarding their events in May to celebrate Haiti's flag day. The African American Health Initiative Program (AAHP) will conduct health education and offer healthcare services and outreach at these events. The Caribbean Liaison plans to attend both events on behalf of the County Executive.   

Latin American Community

Bienvenidos Resource Fair

The Bienvenidos Resource Fair was held at Montgomery Village Middle School on Saturday, March 11. With over 200 attendees and more than 30 resource tables, it was the largest Bienvenidos Fair since the event began in 2022. County agencies represented included Department of Health, Ride-On, Department of Recreation, Montgomery County Public Schools, along with other community partners. Families learned about services and resources available to all County residents, and obtained information about the Bienvenidos Initiative. The next fair will be held in June at a location in East County. For more details, or to reserve a resource table at the fair, please email Jessy Mejia Terry, Latino Liaison, at [email protected]

Middle Eastern American Community

Arab American Heritage Month Celebration

MEAAG will celebrate Arab American Heritage Month in April in collaboration with Arab Americans of Montgomery County. Details are being finalized; please check MEAAG’s calendar. Local Arab American community businesses, nonprofits, artists, and vendors are invited to exhibit free of charge at this public event, but no sales transactions are permitted. Please contact the Office of Community Partnerships' Middle Eastern Liaison ASAP for more information. To learn about current and future events, visit MEAAG’s webpage.

Middle Eastern American Heritage Month

On March 11, MEAAG organized a public celebration at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria. The celebration’s theme was local humanitarian efforts. Luby Ismail, a leading authority and expert on cultural competence, religious diversity, Arab cultures, and Islamophobia, served as emcee. Local Middle Eastern American community businesses, nonprofits, artists, and vendors exhibited their services and goods. County Executive Marc Elrich, and County Council President Evan Glass jointly presented the Middle Eastern American Heritage Month proclamation.

Throughout Middle Eastern American Heritage Month in March, MEAAG furnished a display in the lobby of Rockville Memorial Library.

The Holy Month of Ramadan Events

During the Holy Month of Ramadan, observed from March 22 to April 20, many mosques, Islamic centers, and other organizations are sponsoring Iftar (breaking the fast) and charity events. Please contact the Middle Eastern Liaison for more information.

On March 21, County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Evan Glass presented a joint proclamation recognizing the holy month of Ramadan. Representatives of Montgomery County's rich and diverse community gathered to celebrate.

Happy Nowruz

The Iranian New Year, Nowruz, was celebrated on March 20. It marks the the start of spring and the beginning of a new year. Nowruz is a time of renewal, hope, and joy. During this time, families gather together to share traditional meals and exchange gifts while also honoring their heritage and cultural traditions.

Author Conversations

MEAAG and the Montgomery County Public Libraries have been hosting the fourth series of free meet-the-author book talks from February-April 2023. All talks run from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. On March 7th, MEAAG held the first in-person conversation with Mojdeh Bahar, an Iranian American author. She discussed her new translation of the poetry volume, Milkvetch & Violets, at Rockville Memorial Library. An online dialogue with Diana Abu-Jaber (American Jordanian) on her latest novel, Fencing with the King, will take place on April 11. Register here. Both books are available at, where you can choose to have sales benefit Friends of the Montgomery County Library (FOLMC). View flyer here.

Faith Community

April Holidays and Days of Interest

Passover, 4/5 | Holy (Maundy) Thursday, 4/6 | Theravada New Year, 4/6 | Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu), 4/5 | Orthodox Holy Thursday, 4/6 | Good Friday, 4/7 | Easter, 4/9 | Vaisakhi, 4/13

Orthodox Good Friday, 4/14 | Orthodox Easter, 4/16 | Yom Ha'Shoah, 4/17 | First Day of Ridván, 4/19 | Festival of Ridvan, 4/19 | Eid al-Fitr, 4/21 | Ninth Day of Ridván, 4/28

Upcoming Events

On April 4, the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation, Montgomery County Muslim Council, and the County Executive will host an interfaith Iftar. Click here for the invitation.

Montgomery County Resettlement Working Group will meet on April 18 at 7:00 pm. For more information, email [email protected].

March Activities

March 16 -- Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended a vigil and fundraiser for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. Event sponsors included Maryland Turkish American Inhabitants (MARTI), Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC), Montgomery County Muslim Foundation and Embrace Relief Organization.

March 20th -- The Faith Community Advisory Group hosted their monthly meeting. They discussed the budget, how FCAG requests were acknowledged in the budget, and ways to learn more about the LGBT community. For more information email i[email protected]

March 21 -- Montgomery County Resettlement Working Group met. For more information email [email protected].

March 23 -- County Executive Marc Elrich and Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended a panel on anti-Semitism hosted by the Committee Against Hate/Violence. View a recording here.

Montgomery Sister Cities

Morazan Sister City

The Morazan Sister City comittee met with County Executive Marc Elrich in March to begin the planning process for the County Executive’s trip to Morazan, El Salvador in 2024. At a heritage event in October 2022, Mr. Elrich announced that he would be leading this cultural exchange trip with the Sister City. For more details, please email Jessy Mejia Terry, Latino Liaison, at [email protected]