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Welcoming Committee

Co-Chairpersons: Nancy Caddigan and Jennifer Cassidy

Contact info:  welcoming@asylumhill.org  or (860) 695-6316

Committee meeting: Committee meets monthly on the last Thursday of the month, 5:00 PM at the Center for Health Equity, 140 Woodland St.

 

Rena at mic

AHNA’s Welcoming Committee is the seventh and newest committee. It was born from collaboration with the Hartford Public Library through a grant from The Institute of Museum and library Services. Recognizing that nearly 30% of Asylum Hill Residents are foreign born and many of those come to America and Hartford as refugees, special attention needed to be paid to them to assist their integration into the Neighborhood. Two large gatherings in November 2012 and May 2013, brought together members of many of the various foreign born communities and the welcoming community of long time residents to learn about one another and to begin an ongoing conversation.

From these meetings grew the Welcoming Committee which was so named by the members themselves and which quickly began to meet monthly and brainstorm ways to help the integration process.

 

WBHereAH

 

The results have been concrete and rapid;

  • A series of monthly free Foreign language films at the Carriage House Theatre
  • Weekly ESL classes at the Mark Twain Branch Library to improve English proficiency for both driver’s license and citizenship
  • A a Story Night in collaboration with CT Public Broadcasting Network in which immigrants told there stories in their first language and a member of the receiving community read a translation in English to the audience. (a video summary is available here)
  • A Community Center initiative that included a series of focus group discussions, with a final report several large group meetings and the formation of three sub-committees focused on aspects of the sustained effort including
    • a Committee to Identify Potential Sites,
    • Committee of Assets and Services 
    •  Feasibility Committee ( an Extension of the Facility Criteria workgroup)