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African Services Committee Update
Immigrant Rights Forum Masjid Tawhid Mosque: The community turned out at Masjid Tawhid mosque in Brooklyn on April 30 to hear updates on immigration from ASC Supervising Attorney Mauricio Noroña (pictured speaking above), human rights from NYC Commission on Human Rights Christelle Onwu, and Census 2020 from ASC Policy Advocate Bakary Tandia (pictured below). Thanks to organizers Association Des Narois D'Amerique du Nord in collaboration with Soninkara in America and NYC Commission On Human Rights for partnering with ASC on this important event. 
Trump Announces Sweeping Changes to Asylum Process
The White House announced this week that it will propose regulations requiring immigration judges to adjudicate asylum applications within 180 days of filing, charge fees for asylum applications, and deny work authorization benefits to asylum applicants who entered the country unlawfully. 

“These changes are yet another shameful attempt by this administration to pick on the most vulnerable and will further erode longstanding protections afforded to those fleeing persecution abroad,” says Mauricio Noroña Interim Supervising Attorney at African Services Committee and Immigrant Community Law Center. 
“The White House must stop promoting the distorted idea that those who have lost everything at home are somehow trying to game a system that was designed to protect them. When judges are forced to adjudicate complex cases under the pressure of a countdown timer, due process is quickly discarded.”

Current funding sources are insufficient to meet the need immigration legal service providers are facing, or to provide help to the thousands of New Yorkers living in daily fear. Providers with experience and expertise in areas of immigration law and policy are best positioned to provide the required services in the necessary timelines. As much as possible, funding should go directly to providers to maximize use of the trust they have within their communities as well as their intrinsic knowledge of the immigration system. 

Help us in this fight. Please support our work today.
SAVE THE DATE: African Union Meet & Greet at ASC May 18
Presented by African Life Center and the African community, African Services Committee is honored to host a "Meet and Greet" with Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, African Union Permanent Representative to the United States of America on Saturday, May 18th, 2019 at African Services Committee's 4th floor event space in Harlem.

Learn more and register free here .
ASC Attorney Speaks With VOA about Africans Bearing Brunt of Proposed Travel Barriers
ASC's Equal Justice Works Fellow, staff attorney Samah Mcgona Sisay was interviewed in studio with Voice of America's Ramon Taylor to discuss African asylum-seekers bearing the brunt of proposed travel barriers.
“The government has chosen to focus on rates versus numbers because it fits their narrative that all immigrants are poor and brown or black... I strongly believe that the reason why we even have talks of trying to limit the number of visiting visas is because the whole objective, it seems, of this administration in regards to immigration is finding ways to go around the law, to go around the legislature to change things that are obligations the United States has to uphold like family unification or  asylum ," Samah said.

Click here for the full text story and here for the television version.
Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Week with Studio Squared | Collaging Migration at ASC
African Services Committee was honored to celebrate NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs' Immigrant Heritage Week with a “Studio Squared | Collaging Migration” art-making workshop hosted by The Studio Museum in Harlem at ASC’s event space.
The community turned out Wednesday, April 17, sharing stories of migration within and across borders by experimenting with vibrant colors and geometric shapes — creating multiple collages that reflected their experiences. Inspired by the work of Jacob Lawrence, this hands-on workshop began with a brief discussion of selected images from his Migration Series.

Big thanks to our neighbors at the Studio Museum in Harlem and teaching artist Monique Schubert. This art workshop is ASC's second in an ongoing series in partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem . Stay tuned as we cook up another fun workshop this summer.
ASC Hosts Mount Sinai HONE for Hepatitis Testing Event
African Services Committee was thrilled to host Mount Sinai Hepatitis Outreach Network as we conducted free hepatitis B and C screening at our Testing Center in Harlem. 

Viral hepatitis disproportionately affects African, Asian, and Pacific Islander immigrant communities in the U.S. An estimated ten percent of African immigrants in the U.S. are affected by hepatitis B alone, with less than 20 percent aware of their infection because symptoms might not show up for decades, according to a recent  Hepatitis B Foundation  report.
All are welcome to walk in to ASC’s Testing Center in Harlem Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, to receive free and confidential screening for viral hepatitis, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, diabetes, hypertension, maternal and infant health education, low-fee TB testing, navigation to affordable care, and referral to cancer screening. 

Thanks to Mount Sinai HONE testing and outreach team — pictured here with ASC’s Testing Center Coordinator, Halimatou (center) — for spending the day with us.
ASC’s Pro Bono Legal Program Addresses Flood of Newcomers Seeking Immigration Legal Services
African Services Committee’s Pro Bono Legal Program helps boost ASC’s capacity to represent immigrants coming to our doors seeking immigration legal services. Private pro bono partners contributed nearly 2000 hours and more than a dozen volunteer attorneys contributed more than 4000 hours of time in 2018 — handling several asylum and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases.
“It is an amazing and substantial amount of work and everyone benefits from our Pro Bono program: Young associates get to go to the asylum office and develop their trial and litigation skills, our clients benefit from being represented, and ASC benefits by being able to serve more people," says ASC Senior Immigration Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator Aminat Sabak.

Learn more about participating in our Pro Bono Program here and check out a video here to hear ASC/ ICLC Pro Bono Attorneys talk about their experience in the program.
ASC Ethiopia
African Services Committee’s Henry van Ameringen Health and Community Development Center, located in the Shola Market in Addis Ababa, was the first HIV testing location established upon ASC Co-Executive Director, Asfaha Hadera's return to Ethiopia in 2003. 
For decades, African Services Committee has enjoyed participating in the New York City AIDS Walk to raise needed funding for our programs in Ethiopia. Due to recent changes in AIDS Walk NY’s fundraising mechanism, we decided to fundraise independently for ASC Ethiopia this Spring.

A little bit goes a long way in supporting our Health and Community Development Centers in Ethiopia. The need for support has never been greater and we take every dollar donated to ASC very seriously. 
We work hard to ensure that your generous donations go directly to supporting the destitute communities we serve in Ethiopia. Our Ethiopia programs serve patients who are impacted by climate disaster, human rights abuses, war and ethnic persecution, famine, and diseases of poverty. These programs are a true community-based response to community need, and support is needed now more than ever to keep our Ethiopia clinics open. Please click here to donate today.
MOIA Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Conduct Trauma-Informed Training for ASC Staff
NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence recently conducted a trauma-informed training for ASC and  Immigrant Community Law Center - ICLC  staff.

ASC's Equal Justice Works Gender-Based Violence project provides free legal services to African and Caribbean immigrant women and girls (cisgender women, transgender women, and gender non-conforming femmes) who have faced some form of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence can include sexual violence, intimate partner violence, violence from employers or family members, hate crimes, and abuse and abandonment.
The project assists with family court matters and a wide range of immigration matters. Specific forms of immigration relief available to survivors of violence include asylum, U visa, T Visa, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petition, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). 

Learn more here .
Maternal Infant Health and Family Planning Workshops at ASC
In addition to offering free testing for HIV, viral hepatitis, blood glucose, blood pressure, TB*, and STIs to walk-in clients throughout the week at ASC’s testing center, ASC’s Testing Center team is busy holding monthly maternal and infant health and family planning workshops. The workshops are free and in French and English.

Learn more about upcoming workshops by contacting Adama at (646) 209-4740 or email Halimatou at halimatouk@africanservices.org
ASC's ICLC Paralegal: I Was Raised to Help As Much As I Can
“My parents raised me to always help people as much as I can,” says African Services Committee’s  Immigrant Community Law Center - ICLC paralegal, Kawtar. “Even in situations in which I have to stand alone against everyone else.” 

Click here to watch the video.
ASC's Navigation to Care
Navigating the health care system can be daunting for anyone and for those recently arriving to the U.S., not familiar with the health care system, perhaps speaking little or no English — the challenge can seem insurmountable. African Services Committee’s multilingual patient navigators provide an integral part of ASC’s Testing Center in Harlem by helping clients enroll in affordable health care in NYC public hospitals and providing hospital escort and medical interpretation. 

Once a week, African Services hosts a health orientation, which aims to familiarize immigrants in need of care with their health rights and the public services available to them. Visit  www.africanservices.org  or call 212.222.3882 to learn more.
English as a Second Language Program
ASC’s English as a Second Language program provides free, tailored language and literacy lessons to help immigrants communicate and build opportunity for themselves and their families. ESOL instructors and volunteer tutors teach an average of a dozen students of all nationalities, in each of three class levels, languages and academic backgrounds twice a week.

Currently, classes meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. To register, come to African Services during those times and speak with an ESL coordinator to be evaluated and placed in the correct level learning group.
For more information and to learn about volunteering as an ESL instructor please call (212) 222-3882 or email  Andrew Greene , TESOL Coordinator, here .
Free ​Dance Fitness Classes at ASC Twice a Week
ASC's Harlem HQ is currently hosting two Shape Up NYC​ classes: Old School R&B Dance Fitness and Dance for Life. All welcome. FREE. 

  • Old School R&B Dance Fitness class continues on Mondays at 6pm. 
  • Dance for Life takes place every Wednesday at 5:30pm.

Click here for more info.
ASC's dedicated staff will continue to fight for our clients. We need you to join the fight, too, by