429 West 127th Street, New York, NY 10027 t: 212.222.3882 f: 212.222.7067
African Services Committee Update
‘Public Charge’ Proposed Rule Devastating to Immigrants and Families
Threatens to Imperil Public Health Initiatives
African Services Committee condemns in the strongest possible terms the administration’s proposed revision to the “public charge” rule, and stands in solidarity with immigrant families and their allies across the country against any expansion of the “public charge” provisions.

Click here to read more.
Take Action Today
Momentum is growing to block one of the Trump administration’s latest shameful attacks on immigrants, and tens of thousands of people have already submitted their comments to the government. The proposed “public charge” rule change -- which could block immigrant families who use certain government programs from a secure future in the United States — is literally a matter of life and death for some immigrant families. In this fight, African Services Committee has joined the nationwide campaign,  Protecting Immigrant Families.

One of the programs that will receive additional scrutiny under the rule change is Medicaid, which helps many older adults, people with disabilities, and people with chronic illnesses thrive. Immigrants working toward a future in the United States shouldn’t be afraid to use these vital services.

There are many reasons that this policy is abhorrent for immigrant families – and for the United States overall. We need to speak out – every one of us. Please click here and submit your comment. It will be sent directly to the government . The administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique comment on the proposed regulation before issuing a final rule. A flood of comments can slow down the process and shape the administration’s decisions. 

The proposed changes to the public charge rule turn the road to permanent status for immigrant families into an obstacle course that's not negotiable for anyone who is older, disabled, or has chronic illnesses. America should be better than this.

Let’s fight back against this policy, which discriminates against immigrants on the basis of disability, scares people with chronic illnesses away from getting the health care they need, and outrightly discriminates against anyone over the age of 61.
Top Image: African Services Committee’s Advocacy Director, Amanda Lugg, among more than a dozen immigrants and allies arrested in protest while fighting to  protect families against Trump’s cruel  public charge  proposal. Thanks to the New York Immigration Coalition for mobilizing this act of resistance and to all the steadfast activists who joined. Second image: ASC’s Supervising Attorney Corina Bogaciu (right) presented on Public Charge at the “Mobilize, Organize, Resist: Immigrant Justice Lawyering in New York” conference at John Jay College recently.
Le Spiderman Honored at ASC
Sept 29 marked a very special night at African Services Committee as we joined Soninkara in America, The Council of African Imams, and community leaders in honoring Mamoudou Gassama, also known as "Le Spiderman” (pictured center). On May 26, 2018, Mamoudou Gassama reached international acclaim for his heroism after climbing four stories on the outside of a block of flats in Paris, in 30 seconds, to save a four-year-old boy who was hanging from a balcony. Many thanks to Mamoudou and to all who stopped by ASC to pay tribute to the Le Spiderman’s bravery and selflessness.
Busy Autumn at ASC's Health Testing Center
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 in west Harlem, ASC’s testing team is busy this Fall with these upcoming events:

  • mobile viral hepatitis testing at Bronx-based Mas-jib mosque Nov. 2,
  • Mount Sinai mobile mammography screening at ASC on Nov. 14,
  • and monthly maternal infant health and family planning workshops. 
For more information or ASC’s health testing or to sign up for a maternal infant health or family planning workshop, contact ASC Testing Center Coordinator Halimatou Konte at 212.222.3882 or halimatouk@africanservices.org

About the photo: ASC's Navigation to Care Coordinator, Adama, counsels a mobile testing center client at a recent Senegalese Association of America (ASA) - hosted, all-day health screening event for the Harlem community. ASC’s Testing Center team and partners provided free and confidential testing for Hepatitis B and C, blood glucose, blood pressure, as well as info on ASC’s navigation to care, and maternal infant health programs. Thanks to our longtime partners at ASA for hosting the event. *TB test is $40.
Gender-Based Violence Legal Representation at ASC

ASC announces a two-year legal services initiative aimed at increasing the number of African and Caribbean immigrant women in New York City who are empowered to seek relief as survivors of gender-based violence. The project is thanks to BNY Mellon and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP sponsored Equal Justice Works fellow Samah Mcgona Sisay (pictured here), who is leading the project.
“The experiences of immigrant women impacted by gender-based violence are often exacerbated by their specific position as immigrants, such as difficulties obtaining employment and lack of access to information and legal representation,” says Samah, who immigrated to the United States from Liberia at a young age and has spent years advocating and engaging with African and Caribbean immigrant communities — including a recent summer legal internship at ASC. “Empowering immigrant women to seek relief as survivors of gender-based violence requires the inclusion of transgender immigrant women who, like cis-gender women, are impacted by violence due to their race, immigration status, and gender identity.”

Over the next two years at ASC, Samah will provide free legal representation on family court matters and a wide range of immigration matters 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. “This work is especially necessary within African and Caribbean communities where sexism and transphobia are major issues that hinder women’s ability to seek services and advocate for change.”

Welcome Samah! Click here to read her bio.
Money Management Workshop for French-Speakers
ASC is hosting a free money management workshop for French speakers on Nov. 6, 2018 from 10 am to 1 pm in ASC's third floor conference room. Attendees will learn about the financial system, budgeting, saving, credit, and more.

Questions? Contact Mariama at 212.222.3882 or mariamad@africanservices.org
WNYC talks with ASC Attorney about Proving Client's Persecution
“He could tell by my emotion that asylum had been granted,” WNYC talked with ASC Staff Attorney Deirdre Stradone to learn about how she helped her asylum-seeking client, Ricardo, prove he experienced trauma — resulting in a well-founded fear of returning home — long after physical wounds healed.

Click here to hear the full report.

"He was persecuted because of his homosexuality and he could not rely on the government for protection — they were unable or willing to protect him," Stradone said. "A big part of asylum is proving that you're persecuted because of a protected group and you can't rely on the government to help you.”

Stradone believed Ricardo's story of persecution, but she saw a hurdle in his case. She had to prove that Ricardo continued to feel unsafe as a gay man in Colombia even though the last violent incident was back in 2011. That's where the psychological evaluation came in. Dr. Kim Baranowski (pictured here), a counseling psychologist and the associate director of the Mount Sinai Human Rights Program, volunteers her time interviewing asylum seekers. Thanks to WNYC's Matt Katz for reporting this important piece
ASC Ethiopia: Community-Based Response to Community Need

ASC's clients in Ethiopia represent the most marginalized segments of the community, who find it difficult to get medical and social support, particularly integrated support, from larger institutions. ASC Ethiopia has not received expected support this year from multi-lateral donors. The population suffers from a huge burden of potentially preventable diseases such as HIV, TB, viral hepatitis; and over 40 percent of the population are living on less one dollar per day. Take a look at these videos spotlighting African Services Committee's Health and Community Development Centers in Mek’ele and Ziwey as well as ASC Ethiopia client Alemitu (right).
ASC Ethiopia provides a true community-based response to community need, and support is needed now more than ever to keep our Ethiopia clinics open. Click here to donate.
A look at African Services Committee's Health and Community Development Center in Mek’ele, Ethiopia.
African Services Committee's Health and Community Development Center in Ziway, Ethiopia.
Old School R&B Dance Fitness at African Services Committee
ASC is thrilled to once again host a Shape Up NYC exercise course every Monday from 6 to 7 pm. Beverly will lead an old-school R&B dance class at ASC’s 3rd floor event space, which uses easy to follow dance steps to maintain cardiovascular health. All welcome! No prior dance experience needed to participate. Free!

Click here for more info.
English as a Second Language
ASC’s lauded 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 taught 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 .

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

ASC's Holiday Party DEC. 14