Neighborhoods

 

Immigration: Councilwoman Helen Gym Calls For Reform, Reflects On City’s Progress

Immigration: Councilwoman Helen Gym Calls For Reform, Reflects On City’s Progress

As the daughter of immigrants, Councilwoman Helen Gym has dedicated much of her time in public service as an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council to advocating for the city’s immigrant and refugee communities. Gym is a former teacher and organizer, notably having worked at Asian-Americans United. She is also the first Asian-American woman to […]

 

Immigration: When English Isn’t The Native Language, Difficulties Arise

Immigration: When English Isn’t The Native Language, Difficulties Arise

Viral incidents of people berating others for not speaking English have gripped the internet. In one case, a New Jersey teacher insisted students “speak American.” In another, a New York lawyer threatened to call Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers after hearing employees and customers speaking Spanish at a lunch spot. “It’s America,” he cried. For […]

 

Housing: How Ceiba Guides Immigrants Seeking A Home

Housing: How Ceiba Guides Immigrants Seeking A Home

As a product of collaboration between four other Latino-focused groups (Esperanza, Norris Square Community Alliance, Concilio de Organizaciones Hispanas de Filadelfia and Finanta), Ceiba is an organization which offers a range of services, including advocacy work and financial literacy programs. Another Ceiba program assists immigrants with a fundamental need: housing. It connects a variety of people […]

 

Immigration: Saida Harpi Uses ESL Classes To Find Common Ground And Unite Communities

Immigration: Saida Harpi Uses ESL Classes To Find Common Ground And Unite Communities

In Saida Harpi’s English language classroom, immigrants from any country are welcome. The blanket offering means the students in Harpi and her coworkers’ classes often come from a variety of countries — including Vietnam, Russia and Algeria — with an equally staggered set of native languages and English skills. Since becoming the lead English teacher […]

 

Housing: Octavia Hill Association’s History Of Offering Immigrant Housing

Housing: Octavia Hill Association’s History Of Offering Immigrant Housing

As waves of immigrants from European countries poured into a crowded Philadelphia, the Octavia Hill Association (OHA) was founded in 1896 to help them find housing. Now, 122 years later, OHA is still around and still manages some of the same properties. In 19th century London, England, Octavia Hill — displeased with her city’s housing situation […]

 

Immigration: Akbar Ahmadzai Helps Non-English Speakers Receive City Services

Immigration: Akbar Ahmadzai Helps Non-English Speakers Receive City Services

At the Nationalities Services Center, Akbar Ahmadzai can help native speakers of 150 languages better understand English. Ahmadzai, the director of language access and proficiency, oversees two programs: NSC’s year-round ESL classes and its interpretation and translation program. Annually, he said NSC helps more than 5,000 people with English proficiency. NSC project managers and independent […]

 

Immigration: Maria Sotomayor Leads Refugee And Immigrant Youth In Social Advocacy

Immigration: Maria Sotomayor Leads Refugee And Immigrant Youth In Social Advocacy

Immigrating to the United States from Ecuador when she was 10 years old, Maria Sotomayor quickly realized immigrants to the U.S. faced an entirely different world than she expected. “My parents had lived here before that, and I had expected them to have a really big house and a nice job and all the things […]

 

Adoption: Korean Adoptees Bond Through Shared Experiences And Monthly Meals

Adoption: Korean Adoptees Bond Through Shared Experiences And Monthly Meals

Liz Mehaffey Wade, 34 and a resident of the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, is the executive director of the Korean Adoptee Association of Philadelphia. Wade was adopted from outside Daegu, South Korea, when she was 3 months old before moving to northern New Jersey. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania, […]

 

Immigration: Councilman Mark Squilla Helps Serve Immigrant Communities

Immigration: Councilman Mark Squilla Helps Serve Immigrant Communities

Councilman Mark Squilla is the councilman for the First District in Philadelphia City Council. Squilla is the representative for several Philadelphia neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Kensington, Bella Vista, Northern Liberties, Fishtown and Port Richmond. A native of South Philadelphia, Squilla has been engaged in public service for close to 30 years, serving on the Philadelphia Democratic […]

 

Immigration: Sundrop Carter And The Energy Of The Philadelphia Activist Community

Immigration: Sundrop Carter And The Energy Of The Philadelphia Activist Community

Sundrop Carter of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition recently celebrated her five year anniversary with the organization. Now in her third year as the executive director, she enjoys working to infuse the collective thinking of those seeking justice for immigrant communities across the state. What influenced your current focus on immigration? It sounds bad […]