Category: Immigration

Center for Latino Progress Celebrates 35 Years

comments Comments Off
By , June 3, 2014 1:32 pm

Jane Swift speaking in the Washington Room of Mather Hall at Trinity College

“I came from humble beginnings,” Jane Swift said, describing her time as a work study student at Trinity College, who scrubbed meal trays in the lower level of Mather Hall.

The former Governor of Massachusetts and current Chief Executive Officer of Middlebury Interactive Languages said she had two advantages: a mother who valued education and having English as her native language.

Swift was the keynote speaker at the Center for Latino Progress 35th Anniversary Breakfast this morning at Trinity College. Continue reading 'Center for Latino Progress Celebrates 35 Years'»

New Lives/New England, Traditional Art

comments Comments Off
By , March 12, 2014 10:16 am

Fatima Vejzovic squats in front of the çilimi weaving loom. She’s being asked questions about the process, but does not have enough English vocabulary to respond. She motions in a way that indicates everyone should kindly shut up and just watch. No interpreter needed. She shows with her hands how she counts out to thread the thick yarn to create patterns. Above the loom, a completed rug shows what this piece-in-progress will generally look like when finished.

Vejzovic, a Bosnian refugee, is only one of the artists whose work is currently on display at the Institute for Community Research as part of the New Lives/New England touring exhibit. The artists are refugees and other new immigrants living in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. Tapestries, bags, mittens, and lace are among the works from members of the Assyrian, Bosnian, Burmese Karen, Somali, and Somali Bantu communities.

Lynne Williamson, Director of the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program at the ICR, said that handicrafting can be therapeutic for those who have experienced trauma. Having their works on display and creating opportunities for the public to interact with artists, she said, encourages people to view the creators in ways other than just “women in headscarves.” Continue reading 'New Lives/New England, Traditional Art'»

Multicultural Festival Promotes Immigration Reform

comments Comments Off
By , June 4, 2013 7:12 am

Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) and Connecticut Immigrant Voices Coalition (CIVIC) sponsored a rally and festival in Bushnell Park this weekend, with the afternoon’s events including musical performances, dance, and the telling of personal challenges with the immigration experience. Continue reading 'Multicultural Festival Promotes Immigration Reform'»

Hartford March for Immigration Reform

By , April 10, 2013 10:44 pm

On the National Day of Action for immigration reform, Hartford joined cities across the United States as people took to the streets downtown during evening rush hour.

The Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) organized the event, with rallies at both the Old State House and State Capitol, and a march in between.

CIRA is comprised of many organizations including the ACLU of CT, African American Affairs Commission, AFT Connecticut, Apostle Immigrant Services, Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Brazilian Immigrant Center, Center for Latino Progress, Comunidad Inmigrante de East Haven, Connecticut AFL-CIO, Connecticut Center for New Economy, Connecticut Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention, Connecticut Students for a Dream, Immigration Rights Task Force of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, Immigration Task Force of New York Annual Conference of United Methodist Church, International Institute of Connecticut, Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), Junta for Progressive Action, Latino Advocacy Foundation, MECha de Yale, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), New Haven Peoples Center, Oficina Católica de Justicia Social de La Arquidiócesis de Hartford, Seminarians for a Democratic Society, SEIU-32BJ, SEIU-State Council, Somos CT, Unidad Latina en Acción, UNITE HERE, and United Action Connecticut.

Continue reading 'Hartford March for Immigration Reform'»

Happy New Year!

By , January 13, 2013 9:52 pm

Today, the Karen celebrate the first day of their New Year — 2752.

The local Karen community prepared a buffet-style breakfast, which lasted for hours before the formal program began in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library.

The Asylum Hill neighborhood is where many of the Karen now live. This population, primarily originating from Burma¹ and Thailand, has come to the United States as refugees.

That is only one piece of this ethnic group’s history. During the celebration, there was a “culture show” to provide a glimpse of what life had been like in Burma. The dramatic reenactments showed life in a society of farmers, hunters, and gatherers. Courtship rituals and the typical marriage ceremony, along with a wrist-tying ceremony, were demonstrated. This show gave insight into a cooperative model of education in which children are expected to learn from their peers. Similarly, the values of kindness, helpfulness, and cooperation are seen in how household chores are shared between the sexes.

Continue reading 'Happy New Year!'»

Still Revolutionary, Real Hartford-Style

comments Comments Off
By , May 24, 2012 10:04 am

Connecticut is not boring. It is revolutionary. Still.

But tourism websites and ad agencies never capture this for a multitude of reasons, giving the masses yet another branding campaign to mock.

One reason these don’t work: they are too slick. We know someone is trying to sell us on a trip here or there. The realness is removed through photography and videography that is just too polished. There’s no human voice there.

Contrast that with two homegrown sites that exist primarily for the authors’ own amusement. Connecticut Museum Quest, authored by Stephen Wood, comes with its own mission statement: “destroying the myth that there is nothing to do here.”  Wood, often with his family in tow, travels around the state exploring museums, trails, food, and specializing in the quirky. This is how I learned there is something called “peak-bagging,” which is not what it sounds like. If all you know about Connecticut is Mystic Seaport, Mark Twain, and Mohegan Sun, this is the site to visit. He’ll show you everything on and off the beaten path, make you laugh while doing it, and tell the truth about which places have employees with nasty attitudes or venues with inconsistent hours. Even if you have lived in Connecticut your entire life, this site will introduce you to at least one thing you did not know existed.

The Size of Connecticut is a blog about the author’s “attempt to discover (and live in and travel around and photograph) these 4,845 sq. miles.” Johnna Kaplan was raised in Westport, where she understandably developed a skewed sense of what the rest of Connecticut was like; now, in New London, she travels the state learning about life outside of Fairfield County. This is where to find out about synagogues randomly in the middle of nowhere, replica schoolhouses, and what might attract young(ish) people (back) to Connecticut. Yes, she writes about Nathan Hale, but her portrayal has flavor.

There is nothing touristy about these sites, yet they are compelling in ways that the well-funded official sites are not.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism’s website is not without merit. There is information. It does make Connecticut appear attractive. But there are gaps. Look at the “Creative in Connecticut” list, for example. Someone unfamiliar with our state may glance at it and believe that we lack in creativity; we simply lack in people willing to put together comprehensive lists about creative offerings. To be fair, the “This Weekend” lists are better than the “Getaways.”

The other major failing of the “Still Revolutionary” official propaganda is that it wholly ignores activism in Connecticut today. Governor Malloy should get credit for acknowledging Connecticut’s role in the sexual revolution, but he speaks of it in the wrong verb tense. Continue reading 'Still Revolutionary, Real Hartford-Style'»

Discussion of Islam and Free Screening of Amreeka

comments Comments Off
By , May 22, 2012 5:00 am

To this day there are individuals who believe President Obama is a Muslim, and of them, those who believe this is a deficit. Every few years the American Psychiatric Association revisits the question of whether racism and other forms of extreme bias should be considered forms of mental illness, to the dismay of those who predict hate crimes being committed by those who will then be able to claim insanity in defense of their actions.

The origins of negative images surrounding Islam will be a topic for discussion this Wednesday at the Hartford Public Library. The panel discussion will include: Dr. M. Reza Mansoor, MD Founding Member of Muslim Coalition of CT; Kareem W. Shora, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security; Rabia Chaudhry Esq, President, Safe Nation Collaborative; and Mongi Dhaouadi, Executive Director, Council of American Islamic Relations.

This discussion will begin at 6p.m. in the “Center for Contemporary Culture.” A free screening of Amreeka, a comedy, will immediately follow the discussion at 7:15 on May 23, 2012.

From Talk to Action on Adult Learning as a Pathway to Change

By , May 16, 2012 6:49 am

Pushpins pierced over twenty countries on a world map, showing the diverse origins of those participating in or just stopping by to learn about the community dialogues on adult education. Among those represented: Nepal, Russia, Germany, Sudan, and Colombia. A range of experience was represented, from those who were born in the United States, to those making the move as children, to those uprooted as refugees. In Hartford, this kind of diversity is not out of the ordinary.

The grant funding these forums intends “to give immigrants a specific sense of belonging in America, and experience as active community participants and future civic-minded individuals.” This project — “Creating a Vibrant Hartford: Adult Learning as a Pathway to Change” — allowed participants, immigrants and native-born alike, to participate in a democratic process. Continue reading 'From Talk to Action on Adult Learning as a Pathway to Change'»

Community Dialogues on Adult Learning

comments Comments Off
By , March 26, 2012 3:28 pm

As over ninety people filed into the library atrium, they were greeted by the aroma of vegetable pakora, a welcome alternative to the standard satisfying-but-dull sandwiches; a pianist played tunes to create an inviting mood for the Community Dialogue Kick-off Event last week.

“Diversity also means inclusiveness,” Mayor Segarra told the crowd, as he spoke in support for greater access to learning opportunities, especially for immigrants. A part of inclusiveness, he suggested, was making sure that immigrant community is not “placed in a holding pattern for ten or fifteen years.”

Segarra –  who described how at age fifteen, without a diploma, he attended college — was one of several speakers advocating for “Adult Learning as a Pathway to Change,” the theme of the Community Dialogues. Continue reading 'Community Dialogues on Adult Learning'»

Immigrant Civic Engagement Project Community Dialogue

comments Comments Off
By , February 11, 2012 6:27 pm

A pilot community dialogue will be taking place at the Hartford Public Library on Saturday, February 18, 2012, from 9 until noon.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because a similar dialogue took place last summer.

This pilot dialogue is intended to give interested parties practice with the community dialogue before the Immigrant Civic Engagement Project moves into its recruitment phase. Continue reading 'Immigrant Civic Engagement Project Community Dialogue'»

Payment Options


Sign up for our monthly newsletter!

Panorama theme by Themocracy