Volume 170 | September1, 2022

"A More Equitable and Inclusive Montgomery County"
County Executive Marc Elrich
Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center

Computer Classes

Registration for fall 2022 computer classes is open! Learn about Microsoft Word and Excel, Google Suite, how to use the internet, how to manage and share files, and more. To apply, click here

Career Center

On September 14, Montgomery College will bring the Mobile Career Center to the Gilchrist Center's Wheaton site. For more information, please check out partner programs here.

Information and Referral

For questions or to find help in Montgomery County, call us at 240-777-4940, visit in person, or see the GET HELP section of the new website!

Volunteer Center

Student Service Learning Opportunities

All Montgomery County Public Schools students must earn 75 Student Service Learning (SSL) hours to graduate from high school. Middle school and high school students may earn SSL hours with SSL organizations and opportunities (both in-person and select virtual/remote activities) listed on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website; these organizations and opportunities are identified with the blue MCPS SSL graduation cap icon. A complete list of current nonprofit-hosted SSL opportunities may be found at the following quick links: https://bit.ly/SSLOpportunities and https://bit.ly/VirtualSSL2020.

Registered nonprofit organizations may host SSL opportunities and engage student volunteers in the valuable and meaningful work of their organization. For more information on becoming an MCPS SSL organization, please visit the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website for an overview of the SSL program and the requirements for SSL status.

The Volunteer Center is Hiring!

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is seeking a dynamic individual to join its team as a Senior Fellow. Do you enjoy giving back to your community? Do you have experience working with nonprofit and government agencies? Are you looking for a way to contribute and provide leadership for your local government for less than 40 hours a week? If so, click here for detailed job description. Position open until filled. 

Immigration, Citizenship & Legal Services

September Workshops and Information Sessions

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center and the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center will hold a legal immigration clinic for people who have a case before the immigration court. The event will take place on September 17 at the Gilchrist Center in Wheaton. See flyer in English and Spanish.

The Montgomery County Maryland Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program Legal Clinic

is resuming 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 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) is avilable 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 fall 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) 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. This is a free service. 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.

Montgomery College Offers Free Citizenship Preparation

Are you a legal, permanent resident preparing for the U.S. citizenship test and interview?

Montgomery College provides FREE citizenship preparation classes. In partnership, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services offers help with the N-400 application for naturalization. Upcoming in-person orientation sessions:

  • Tuesday, September 13 at 6:00 pm at the Rockville Campus
  • Saturday, Seotember 17 at 9:00 am at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

For more details, email citizenshipprogramr5ion@montgomerycollege.edu or see the website. View the flyer here.

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 information.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Baltimore

Quick Topics Training – Preparing Your Client's Affidavit

Wednesday, September 7, Noon – 1:00 pm

Click here for information and registration.

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA)

Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Fundamentals Training. Click here for information and registration.

Virtual Campus Training Series Session #1 -— When Sexual Violence Goes Digital, Presented by EndTAB. 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 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 will host the 14th Proclamation of African Heritage Month on September 8 at 7:00 pm. To register for this event, please click here. For more information, please email Harrieta.Shangarai@Montgomerycountymd.gov.

Asian Pacific American Advisory Group will meet on September 20. If you would like to attend or have any questions, please email Mr. Yi Shen at


Caribbean American Advisory Group will meet virtually on Tuesday September 6 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. For information about CAAG or to attend the monthly meetings, please contact Rodrigue Vital, Caribbean American Liaison, at Rodrigue.vital@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Faith Community Advisory Group will meet on September 13th at 7:00 pm. For more information, email Faith Liaison Kate Chance at kate.chance@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Latin American Advisory Group will meet in-person on September 13 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will focus on the county’s Bienvenidos Initiative in Wheaton. For more information, please email


LGBTQ Advisory Group will meet on September 12th 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 will will meet on September 20th via Zoom. Please contact the OCP Middle Eastern American Community Liaison for more information.

African Community
African Heritage Month

In recognition of African Heritage Month in September, the African Affairs Advisory Group will host the14th annual Montgomery County proclamation event on September 8th at 7:00 pm. To register in advance, please click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting. See flyer here.

Pan African Festival

The 11th Pan African Festival (PANAFEST) will be held on September 24 in Silver Spring. PANAFEST-USA celebrates African heritage and showcases the cultures of area residents of African descent. The event is organized by a coalition of area African diaspora communities led by the All Cameroonian Cultural and Development Foundation, Inc. (ACCDF) in partnership with the African Affairs Advisory Group of Montgomery County (AAAG).

This year the festival will be a celebration of life after the pandemic and will be headlined by international recording artist BM from the Democratic Republic of Congo. For more information, vendor and performance opportunities, visit www.panafestusa.org.

Ethiopian Day Festival 

The 2022 Ethiopian Day Festival will take place on Sunday, September 4 at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. For more information, please contact the

Ethiopian Community Center in Maryland (ECCM), 8701 Georgia Ave, Suite 601,

Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 or call (240) 839-7805. 

African American Community

Golf Tournament Benefits Scholarship Fund

On August 21st, the Silver Spring Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity held their annual summer cookout at the Smithville School in Silver Spring. Alpha Phi Alpha strives to be visible and effective in promoting brotherhood and academic excellence while providing service and advocacy for local communities.

Asian Pacific American Community

MCMF Sponsors Senior Cookout

County Executive Elrich attended the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation's (MCMF) Senior Cookout at the Black Hill Regional Park. MCMF recognized the contributions of seniors and volunteers at the event. Click here for photo.

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
Celebrate Jamaica's 60th Year of Independence

Caribbean American Liaison Rodrigue Vital and OCP Outreach Manager Shawn Ellis represented the county at the 60th Independence Day celebration of Trinidad and Tobago at the Silver Spring Civic Building Veterans Plaza on Sunday, August 28. The event showcased the Caribbean nation’s music, foods, arts, and literature. The Office of Community Partnerships and CAAG managed a booth to welcome event attendees and to raise awareness about county programs, services, and issues such as Covid vaccination and the monkeypox health crisis.

Latin American Community

Tu Vida Health Fair and Salvadoran Day Festival

On August 6, Comunidades Transnacionales Salvadorenas (COTSA), the Latino Health Initiative, and Montgomery College hosted the 11th annual Ama Tu Vida Health Fair and Salvadoran Day Festival at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus. The fair included over 40 vendors, clinic pop-ups and health booths, and live musical entertainment. The County Executive, Montgomery College's President, the Salvadoran Consul General, and Planning Committee members appeared on stage to deliver remarks. Over 2000 people attended the celebration.

Coming Soon...Hispanic Heritage Month Event Calendar

The Office of Community Partnerships will be coordinating with county agencies and community partner organizations to produce a heritage month calendar that will highlight public events around the county. The calendar will be available in early September through the county’s social media platforms, and shared via county networks. For more information, please email jessy.mejiaterry@montgomerycountymd.gov

Middle Eastern American Community

Author Conversations

The Montgomery County Public Library is planning a fourth series of free virtual book talks to be held in the first half of 2023. MEAAG invites the community to recommend books of all kinds and topics, not limited to local authors. We have already engaged the translator of a volume of Persian poetry. Please contact the OCP’s Middle Eastern Liaison with your recommendations.

Mediterranean Festival

The Saints Peter and Paul Church in Potomac welcomes everyone to attend their annual festival, September 23-25. More details are here and here.

Faith Community

September Holidays and Days of Interest

First Installation of Adi Granth, September 1 | Labor Day, September 5 |

Pitru Paksha, September 12-25 | Vishwakarma Puja, September 16 | Rosh Hashanah, September 25-27 | Navaratri, September 26-October 4 | Birth of Confucius, September 29 |

Months of CelebrationNational Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) | Filipino American History MonthItalian-American Heritage and Culture Month |

LGBT History MonthPolish American History Month

Faith Community Advisory Group Events

September 6, 7:00 pm — The Faith Community Advisory Group will host an event with Montgomery Goes Purple to learn more about ways to support community members suffering from substance abuse. Register in advance here. Click here for flyer.

September 13, 7:00 pm — The Faith Community Advisory Group will host a townhall with Interfaith Works. Register in advance here. Click here for flyer.

September 27, 7:00 pm — The Faith Community Advisory Group will host a townhall with Lutheran Immigration Social Services. Register in advance here.

September 27, 7:00 pm — The Montgomery County Resettlement Working Group will meet to discuss ways to support Afghan and other newcomers. For more information email Faith Liaison Kate Chance, kate.chance@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Other Local Events and Opportunities

September 1, 7:15 pm — Montgomery County will hold a ceremony of remembrance

to  commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day and will launch "Montgomery Goes Purple." Read more. Click here for flyer.

September 5, 8:00 am —Montgomery County Interfaith 5K Walk/Run. For more informaiton, visit www.interfaith5k.org or www.facebook.com/mocointerfaith5K. Questions? Please contact race director Christine Dunn at interfaith5k@gmail.com

September 11, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm — IFC Annual Unity Walk. Walk with participants of all ages to visit different houses of worship and spiritual centers in upper Northwest DC to learn about and experience diverse faith traditions. Click here for details. Learn more about the Weekend of Unity.

September 12, 7:00 pm —Learn more about Securing Houses of Worship. Registration is required. Register here. Event location: Silver Spring Civic Center, Spring Room, 1 Veterans Pl, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Click here for flyer.


September 18, noon to 5:00 pm — Friendship Picnic to celebrate diverse cultures and faiths at the Wheaton Regional Park, 2000 Shorefield Road. All are welcome to this celebration, which includes traditional, kosher, halal and vegetarian lunch options. There will be a wide range of activities for children and adults including music, dancing, moon bounce, face painting, petting zoo, carousel, train rides and more. 

Faith Community Survey: Click here to describe your concerns to MCCPTA Montgomery County Council of PTA's (Parent-Teacher Association at MCPS) regarding community events. 

National Faith & Blue Weekend (Faith & Blue) will be held from October 7-10th. Learn more.


Graduate students in Georgetown’s Masters in Professional Real Estate Program will work with houses of worship to conduct a no-cost financial feasibility study of converting fallow excess land into affordable housing under a long term ground lease. To request an application for the Georgetown Feasibility Study, contact interfaith@montgomerycountymd.gov.

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.


Faith Liaison Kate Chance and County Executive Marc Elrich attended the Prayer Vigil marking the 10th anniversary of the Oak Creek shooting. Guru Gobind Singh Foundation hosted a prayer and a candle light vigil on Friday, August 5, 2022.

On August 13th, Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended a prayer breakfast at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church with the faith community to welcome and support Dr. Monifa McKnight as she officially begins her new role as MCPS superintendent.

On August 31st Faith Liaison Kate Chance attended St. Camillus Labor Day Eve Mass, which honored all essential employees.

Montgomery Sister Cities

Cultural Share Program

Montgomery Sister Cities (MSC) spent the day with Brightview Senior Community residents sharing the history of Sister Cities International and Montgomery's five sister cities - Morazan, El Salvador; Gondar, Ethiopia; Xi'an, China; Hyderabad, India and Daejon, South Korea. An in-depth conversation led by Dr. Jeannette Noltenious, chair of the Morazan sister city committee, included an overview of the committee's goals for the fiscal year. This event is the start of a Cultural Share program with Brightview residents.

Humanitiarian Walk in Silence

Join Montgomery Sister Cities at the Humanitarian Walk in Silence to highlight the need for humanity to come together as ONE. Sunday, October 23, 8:00 am, Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring. Click here for flyer.

Job Opening

Commission for Women

The Community Engagement Cluster, Commission for Women (CFW) seeks an experienced full-time Program and Events Manager (Program Manager I) Grade 23, IRC55462 to join the committed team. For additional information, please see the description, minimum qualifications, and preferred criteria sections of the job announcement at this link: Search Available Jobs. Select “General Professional and then click "Search."

News & Events Around the Region
Click Links for Details

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

Neighborhood Events Matching Funds Grant Program Application Form 

Neighborhood organizations, block groups, tenant associations, civic clubs, and other community groups that are active and in good standing may apply for funds to hold events and activities.

Are you interested in learning how to be an advocate for your community? Apply today to the Community Advocacy Institute (CAI), a program that includes monthly workshops featuring guest speakers, activities to practice advocacy skills, and networking opportunities. Applicants must be Montgomery County residents with a combined household income of $60,000 or less. This is a bilingual program in English and Spanish. Click here for flyer.

Montgomery County Community Food Rescue FY23 Mini-Grants are back! Click here for more information and application.

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.

GROW Awardee Spotlight: Mia’s Mom Daycare

Montgomery County Continues to Distribute COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits and N95 Masks to Community Organizations, Childcare Providers, and Private Schools

COVID Vaccinations

Free COVID Tests

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