"A More Equitable and Inclusive Montgomery County"

County Executive Marc Elrich

July 31, 2023 - Volume 180

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

Immigration, Citizenship, and Legal Services

Advisory Group Meetings

Volunteer Center

African Community

African American Community

Asian Pacific American


Caribbean American Community

Latin American Community

Middle Eastern Community

Faith Community

Montgomery 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.

Grant Opportunities

Montgomery County Announces $1 Million in Grant Funding for Small, Emerging and Volunteer-Led Nonprofit Organizations to Support Grassroots Projects. Learn more.

Montgomery County Announces $5.75 Million for Nonprofit Grant Programs Targeting Youth, Seniors, Residents with Disabilities and Underserved Communities. Learn more.

Montgomery County’s Asian American Health Initiative (AAHI), which is part of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, is accepting applications for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Healthy Communities Fund grant program. (DEADLINE is July 31 at 11:59 pm).Find more information here.

Free Computer Distribution Program

Montgomery Connects, Montgomery County’s digital equity and inclusion program, has launched a new program to distribute 34,000 free laptop computers to low-income families. Learn more.

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.

Wheaton TGIF Summer Concert Series


The Wheaton Arts & Entertainment District is teaming up with the iconic Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center this year for its TGIF Summer Concert Series, offering an after-work summer celebration on Friday evenings through August 25. See flyer for details.

WSSC Water’s Get Current Amnesty Program

This program is being extended through August 31, providing bill credits and waiving late payment charges and turn-on fees for qualifying customers. Click here for application information.Click here for bilingual flyers and social media posts.

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.

Join the Montgomery County Food Council

The Montgomery County Food Council is now accepting applications for new Council and Board of Directors Members. Click here for more intormation.

Intro to Homebuying

Ready to buy your first home in Maryland? Please register to take this class by filling out the intake form at the following link. Sponsored by the Latino Economic Development Center.

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.

Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

Community Action Navigator Joins Gilchrist Team

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center is partnering with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Community Action Agency to host a Community Action Navigator, Trica Young, at the Center's Wheaton and Gaithersburg sites. Trica can assist with applications for Federal, County, and community-based benefits, and provide referrals for people who need assistance with food, clothing, and furniture. This partnership consolidates the Gilchrist Center's efforts to increase access to programs and resources available in Montgomery County. See more information here.

Temporary Protected Status Re-registration Period

The re-registration period for people who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador is currently open! The 60-day re-registration period is from July 12, 2023 through September 10, 2023. Note that re-registration for TPS for Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua will take place later this year. Visit the USCIS website for more details.

For help finding assistance in Montgomery County, call the Gilchrist immigrant Resource Center at 240-777-4940 or visit the website.

Correction: The success story published in the July Newsletter was written by Jean Jacques Luboya (not Jony Guisao Ospina).

Immigration, CItizenship, and Legal Services

August 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 the flyer and the brochure in English or Spanish.

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 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.

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 via Zoom and in-person.

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

  • Wednesday, August 17 at 6:00 pm at the Rockville Campus
  • Saturday, August 19 at 9:00 am at the Rockville Campus

Classes will run for 10 weeks from October to December.

For more details, email [email protected], visit the website, or view this flyer.

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.

University of Maryland Safe Center Training

The University of Maryland SUPPORT, ADVOCACY, FREEDOM, AND EMPOWERMENT (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors provides survivor-centered and trauma-informed services that empower trafficking survivors to heal and reclaim their lives.

The Safe Center is offering a training session on August 10 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, "Identifying and Referring Children Exhibiting Signs of Being Trafficked for Sex or Labor." The training will educate providers and community organizations about identifying human trafficking in children and how to refer survivors to the center. See flyer for details.

KIND Trainings

Quick Topics Training - Implications of Criminal History on Your Client’s Immigration Case

August 10, 2023, Noon -1:00 pm.

Please register by Friday, August 4 here


Introductory Training - Representing Children in Immigration Matters  

August 17, 2023, 9:00 am -11:00 am

Please register by Friday, August 11 here.

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 will meet on August 10, 2023, at at 7:00 pm. For more details email [email protected].

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

Asian Pacific American Advisory Group will not meet in August and will reconvene in September. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Yi Shen at [email protected].

Caribbean American Advisory Group has adjourned for the summer. The next virtual meeting will be held on September 6, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. To learn more about CAAG or to attend the meeting, please contact Rodrigue Vital, Caribbean American Liaison, at [email protected].

Faith Advisory Group will meet on August 21 at 6:00 pm. The group has taken a break for the summer, and this meeting will focus on discussing priorities for the upcoming year. For more information contact [email protected].

Latin American Advisory Group -- For more information about the next meeting, email Jessy Mejia Terry, Latino Liaison, at [email protected].

LGBTQ Advisory Group will meet on August 21 from 6:00 pm to 7:30[email protected].

Middle Eastern American Advisory Group will not meet during the month of August. For information about the September monthly meeting, please contact the Middle Eastern Liaison for more information about upcoming meetings.

Volunteer Center

Make This a Summer of Service! 

Find hundreds of ways to serve on the Volunteer Center website. There are a number of great summer events in addition to ongoing opportunities.

To find more volunteer needs, browse All Opportunities and select one or more search filters and/or keywords to narrow the results. 

For more information about how to volunteer or connect with volunteers, contact the Montgomery County Volunteer Center by email, [email protected], or by phone, 240-777-2600

African Community

July Events

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, along with Councilmember Kristin Mink, proclaimed the week of July 22 to July 29 as Oromo Week. Formerly known as the Oromo Sports Federation in North America Festival, Orono Week featured a series of competitive soccer matches, which showcased athletic prowess and passion, and provided an opportunity to unite Oromo Americans, foster cultural exchange, and promote diversity. Click here to view a video.

World Kiswahili Day Commemoration

July 7th marked the Second Annual World Kiswahili Day commemoration. Kiswahili is the first African Language to be recognized by the United Nations as one of its official international working languages. The celebration took place at the African Union Mission and was hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Tanzania in Washington DC to honor its official national language. Language adaptation is one of the United Nations efforts to promote multilingualism, international dialogue, diversity, and inclusion. 

In early July, the Senegal-DMV Organization hosted SanFest, an event to celebrate culture and promote tourism, education, health, and diversity within communities. For more information, visit Senegalese Association Of The DMV (

Upcoming Events

September 5 - Proclamation in honor of African Heritage Month

September 23 - The Pan African Festival in Montgomery County 

For more details email [email protected].    

Asian Pacific American Community

County Executive Meets with Asian Leaders

County Executive Elrich attended the 30th Anniversary celebration of the US-China Association of Commerce and 13th presidential inauguration.

Korean Embassy Minister and Consul General Seijoong Kwon invited County Executive Elrich to lunch as a gesture of friendship and a formal goodbye as he returns to Korea for new assignments.

The Chinese community held a welcoming banquet for the new Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng. County Executive Elrich spoke about the economic benefits of trade between countries as a road map to peace.  

County Executive Elrich met with Vice Mayor Park from Daejeon Metro City in South Korea, Montgomery County's Sister City. To learn more about the Sister City relationship, click here.

Caribbean American Community

Local Haitians Demonstrate Near White House

Haitians from the DMV and other states rallied in Lafayette Park near the White House on July 21 to protest the US’s slow response to the insecurities and gang activities that have beset their home country for many years. In an effort to engage more people, the organizers of the demonstration held a meeting on the previous evening at a local Haitian restaurant in downtown Silver Spring, where they discussed some of their grievances while also making it clear that they will continue to protest on a regular basis.

Latin American Community

Community Conversation to be held on August 8

The Latin American Advisory Group will be hosting its first community conversation, “Latino Economic Development in Montgomery County" on Tuesday, August 8, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the MNCPPC Building, 2425 Reedie Drive Wheaton, MD 20902. This program will feature panelists from the County Executive’s Business and Economic Development team and other business leaders in the County. The Advisory Group aims to expand its engagement with the Latino community during these conversations and provide the public a platform to engage with County leaders on the topics that focus on the Administration’s priority areas. The event will be in-person, but virtual space also will be provided. To request the link or for more details, please contact [email protected]

Ama Tu Vida Health Fair at Salvadoran American Day Festival

The Latino Health Initiative in collaboration with COTSA (Comunidades Transnacionales Salvadoreñas), and Montgomery College will host the annual Ama Tu Vida “Love Your Life” Health Fair from noon – 4:00 pm during the Salvadoran American Day Festival, which will run concurrently from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus (51 Mannakee Rd). The event will feature health services and County resource tables with live musical entertainment, food, toys, games, and more.Click here for flyer.

For more information, please reach Jessy Mejia Terry, at [email protected]

Middle Eastern American Community

MEAAG June Meeting

MEAAG held its monthly public meeting on July 6 on Zoom. Participants discussed MEAAG’s leadership and the upcoming election, as well as MEAAG’s upcoming activities that include the voter education initiative, meet-the-author conversation, and community demand-driven conversations.

Mental Health Summit Report

The American Muslim Senior Society’s 2022-2023 Mental Health Summit Report is now available. The report, “Addressing the Mental Health Crisis Within Communities of Color: Raising Up Seniors and their Families,” is the result of three years of Countywide community dialogues, webinars, and townhall meetings with seniors and their families, ethnically and economically diverse community groups, service providers, County and community agencies, interfaith and community leaders, and policymakers. The report underscores the urgent need for a robust mental health action plan for the county’s diverse, older residents and their caregiving families and is the basis for a second, soon-to-be-announced, “Call to Action” summit in 2023.

Faith Community

August Holidays and Days of Interest

Farvardegan, Muktad, Gatha Prayers, 8/11 | Feast of Assumption, 8/15 | Parsi New Year, 8/16 | Khordad Sol, 8/21 | Ullambana Day (Mahayana, Theravada), 8/30 | Raksha Bandhan, 8/30

Upcoming Events

August 14 - The Religious Land Use Working Group will meet at noon. For more information, email [email protected]

August 23 - The Resettlement Working Group will meet at 7:00 pm. For more information, please email [email protected].

July Activities

Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society of Washington’s event on Islam, Judaism and Democracy on July 9.

Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended a meeting on July 11 with the faith community to discuss the Rockville Town Center Master Plan, hosted by Rockville’s Community Planning and Development Services.

County Executive Marc Elrich and Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended the launch event of the Anti-Hate Task Force on July 11. A recording of the event can be viewed here: Anti Hate Task Force - Montgomery County Council (

Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended an event for the Afghan community hosted by East County Regional Service Center and Enclave Apartments on July 27.

Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended the Muslim Community Center’s interfaith open house on July 29.

Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended the Islamic Society of the Washington Area’s welcome event for the Gambian Muslim community on July 29.

Montgomery Sister Cities

Multi-Cultural Humanitarian Event

Join Montgomery Sister Cities on September 17, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm for a Multi-Cultural Humanitarian event at the Silver Spring Civic Center Building's Great Hall. Engage and enjoy performances by MSC's five Sister City programs: Morazán, El Salvador; Gondar, Ethiopia; Xi'an, China; Hyderabad, India; and Daejeon, South Korea! This celebration of Montgomery County's diversity will feature hands-on activities, international music, authentic food samples, and lively dance performances. If interested in being a vendor, please contact [email protected].

MSC presents Picnic and Game Night with Big Train Baseball

Montgomery Sisters Cities was featured at Shirley Povich Field on July 1 at the Big Train Baseball game. Participants enjoyed a picnic and the game, and watched exciting performances representing Montgomery Sister Cities, the Taiji Friends Club of Greater Washington, and the Qipao (Cheongsam) Club of Northern Virginia.

Left to right: Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles, MSC chair Tracey-Alexis Dixon, Big Train Baseball Founder Bruce Adams, African Affairs Advisory Group Chair Mumin Barre 

Performance by the Taiji Friends Club of Greater Washington (TFCGW)

Performance by the Qipao (Cheongsam) Club of Northern Virginia

Performers and guests at Big Train Baseball

Morazan Sister City 

The Morazan Sister City Committee is planning its annual fundraising gala, to be held on Friday, September 22, from 6:30 pm to midnight at the Silver Spring Civic Center. The gala will be held during Hispanic Heritage month. For more details, please contact [email protected].

Want to learn more about Montgomery Sister Cities? Please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] or learn more at