|Hartford Public Library's Toolkit for Welcoming and Supporting New Arrival Immigrants|
(Hartford Public Library image)
Yet, long before the current social and political turmoil one organization in particular, the Hartford Public Library, invested significant resources to become a leading light and steady hand in supporting Hartford's newcomers. Encouraged in recent years by innovative CEOs Louise Blalock, Matthew Poland, and currently Bridget Quinn-Carey, Hartford Public Library has achieved a national reputation for its immigration and citizenship programs. So much so that it enabled Homa Naficy, the library's Chief Adult Learning Officer and former Connecticut Immigrant of the Year Award recipient, and her team to implement Hartford Public Library's immigrant support initiatives. As a result of her leadership, she was chosen a 2013 Champion of Change by The White House.
|Celebrating Immigrant Diversity and Cultural Contributions|
1. Build Networks of Trust (Link)
Strategy 1: Recruit and train volunteers to serve as Cultural Navigators. These mentors are integral to easing the transition of newly arrived immigrants into their home city, Hartford.
Strategy 2: Build coalitions among key stakeholders. The Immigrant Advisory Group (IAG) serves as a city-wide vehicle for stakeholders to communicate current immigration issues and share best practices with each other. It is also a forum for participants to learn about immigrant cultures and experiences.
Strategy 3: Engage immigrants and the receiving community in Community Dialogues on topics of mutual concern. There are various approaches to this, but all lead to a plan of action. Hartford Public Library has piloted two approaches: City Wide and Neighborhood.
Strategy 4: Bridge cultures through facilitated book group discussions and films that portray the immigrant experience and its often complex cross-cultural dynamics.
Strategy 5: Foster the value that regardless of where you come from, Hartford welcomes you. Follow the steps in We Belong Here, the library's toolkit for welcoming and supporting new arrival immigrants.2. Raids & Enforcement Actions (Link)
3. What to do if you are stopped by Police, Immigration Agents, or FBI Arabic English French Spanish
5. American Library Association opposes new administration policies... Learn More
6. Hartford Public Schools Protect Immigrant Families Learn More
Hartford Public Library (HPL) Downtown Branch (500 Main Street) is recognized by the US Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to offer legal advice by its BIA accredited representatives. Only Attorneys or BIA Accredited Representatives can provide legal advice. Notary publics, businesses, immigration consultants are NOT able to give immigration legal advice. THE WRONG HELP CAN HURT!
Follow the Legal Help link above for more details.4. Area Immigration Service Providers (Link)
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Photos by Don Shaw, Jr.