Subject: A time for kindness...

Summer is upon us and we are pleased to share our June newsletter. Thank you for your interest in our Welcome Center and the immigrant and refugee families we serve.

The current situation at the border is heartbreaking and outrageous. Our government has crossed a moral line by pulling immigrant children away from parents, housing them in cages, and closing our doors to the world's most vulnerable people. It is inhumane and unjust. 

We cannot be numbed by these daily announcements on immigration. I encourage you to offer one act of kindness to an immigrant family, make one phone call to a legislator, make one donation to an immigrant support group, or volunteer one hour to a worthy cause. Do whatever you can to voice your opposition to the current policies, and to stand alongside immigrant families at this time. 

In spite of this political darkness, our staff at the IIIC Welcome Center are pressing ahead with their hard work and dedication. I am deeply grateful to each of them. It is no surprise that we were recently recognized as a Gold Star organization by Guidestar. 

I invite you to take one hour out of your summer schedule to visit our Center. Come and see the important work that is going on, and the strong sense of welcome, mutuality, and acceptance we promote. The poet Rumi wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Surely, in days like these, we need safe places of acceptance that are free from judgment. The IIIC is one of those “fields” in the heart of downtown Boston. Come and visit!

Hoping you have a nice Father's Day weekend and Eid Mubarak to all who are celebrating!

Kind wishes,

Ronnie Millar
IIIC Executive Director
IIIC Advocacy Update

On Monday, June 11th, Attorney General Sessions unilaterally decided to reverse 20 years of legal advocacy work that protects the rights of immigrant survivors of domestic violence who are seeking asylum. Sessions’ decision jeopardizes the future of thousands of immigrants, particularly women fleeing domestic abuse, victims of gang violence, LGBTQ persecution and more.

This week, the IIIC participated in two actions to protect immigrant rights here in Massachusetts. We attended the "Keeping Families Together Rally" on Thursday, and on Wednesday members from a coalition dedicated to fair immigration policies, including representatives from the IIIC, gathered at the State House to lobby legislators to include provisions that protect immigrant families in this year’s state budget. The four main provisions were:
  • End local police inquiries about immigration status.
  • Ensure immigrants in police custody are informed of their legal rights.
  • End “287(g)” agreements between local sheriffs and ICE so that state and local law enforcement resources are not co-opted for federal immigration enforcement.
  • Say no to any discriminatory registry based on race, religion, or other protected characteristics.
We hope that lawmakers and the Governor will help send the message that Massachusetts protects all of its residents, regardless of where they were born or their immigration status. 

IIIC Celebrates Pride Month and Immigrant Heritage Month
Join us this weekend, on Saturday, June 16th, to continue our celebrations of Pride and Immigrant Heritage Month! At our annual intercultural event, Black, Green, and the Rainbow,  we will discuss and learn more about matters of equality, will celebrate the LGBTQ+ immigrant community, and will consider the road to further progress. 

This promises to be a brilliant afternoon, with music by youth performers from Zumix, food, and a dynamic panel discussion with Grainne Close, Michael Dowling, and Fari Sattar, moderated by IIIC's Board of Directors Vice President Colette O'Neill. All are welcome! Please visit our event page for more details and to register.
We had a fantastic time at Boston's Pride Parade and Festival this past weekend, as the IIIC walked under the "Irish for Pride" banner alongside seventeen fellow Irish organizations and with more than 150 participants (including a number of bodhrán players)! This was a beautiful day, filled with joy, solidarity, and sunshine.

Thank you to all who joined us, and to the Irish Consulate Boston for your tremendous support.

IIIC Students Prepare to Graduate and Get Creative!
Our spring ESOL students graduated this week with the confidence they need to integrate into the Greater Boston community and thrive.  

One student in our Intermediate Course, Veronica, shares, "This class has helped me so much. Now I can do my job better than before, I can talk with other people, and I feel comfortable. This is the beginning - I hope to continue studying here and to keep improving. Thank you to the IIIC."

As a fun way to end their semester (pictured above) both of our morning and evening ESOL classes recently enjoyed a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, which generously provides free tours to immigrant language learners across the city. The trip was an  opportunity for students to learn more about their new city's art and culture, and to practice their English language skills.

Summertime courses will soon be underway, and students in these classes are already looking forward to a number of creative cultural excursions!
Join us for free Irish Chat Nights! 
We are delighted to host informal Irish chat nights again this summer, particularly after their popularity in 2017, in partnership with Cumann na Gaeilge - Boston. 

Conversations will be held on June 21, July 26, and August 23 from 6:15-8:15 PM here on the 8th floor of One State Street, Boston. This is an exciting way to celebrate 125 years of the Irish language! All levels of Irish language ability are more than welcome! 
Volunteer Spotlight: Kate Norton

A warm welcome to Kate Norton, who has joined the IIIC as our new Learning Exchange Program intern! 

A rising junior at Colgate University pursing a double major in French and Sociology, Kate was drawn to the IIIC's mission as an organization that promotes diversity, equality, and inclusion. An internship here seemed like a great step towards her future career goals; after Kate completes her undergraduate degree she has ambitions of attending law school.

Here at the IIIC, Kate provides critical assistance to Irish students who come to the US for a three month summer international exchange. She helps students find housing, improve their resumes, and provides cultural recommendations. Kate provides and promotes a comfortable environment for these young Irish students to become acclimatized to Boston and to stay connected with their families back home. 

Of her experience so far, Kate shares, "I really enjoy the welcoming environment here; everyone is so friendly. I also enjoy that my job is fairly independent while also allowing for one-on-one consulting with Irish students." Throughout the summer, Kate hopes to embrace opportunities that improve her leadership skills. She recently managed and spoke at our Summer Exchange Visitor Welcome Session, taking her first firm step towards this goal. 

Kate shared a fun-fact with us: she spent her last semester in Dijon, France, where she visited eight countries! Kate ultimately hopes to live in France one day, and is a really internationally-minded individual! 

The future looks bright for you, Kate, and we are delighted that you are here at the IIIC to develop the skills you need to see out your dreams! Thank you for all of your support for the Irish students who will seek our services this summer. 
Eid Mubarak from the IIIC team! 
The Irish International Immigrant Center empowers more than 3,500 immigrants and refugees annually, from over 120 different countries, by providing the legal, wellness, and education support they need to build successful lives. Building on our Irish roots of welcoming others and social justice, we help newcomers find community and we are committed to standing up for immigration policies that are humane and just. America is a nation of immigrants, and despite the current political climate, we are proud to continue the tradition of welcoming immigrants to this country and working together to create a better future for all. 

Please support our work by making a donation.

The IIIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. All donations are tax-deductible. | 617.542.7654
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