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Karolina Lukasiewicz is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU) and adjunct lecturer at Silver School of Social Work, NYU. Her research is focused on welfare programs addressed to refugees and asylees in the United States. She is also a principal investigator in two projects focused on immigrant communities in NYC. She has been studying the situation of immigrants and refugees for over twelve years. She received ten various international fellowships and awards for her work with immigrant communities. Her articles have appeared in journals such as International Migration and Journal of Family Issues. Additionally to her academic engagement, Karolina is involved in several clinical initiatives as evaluator and employment trainer in organizations assisting refugees. She is a member of different professional organizations, including Influencing Social Policy and International Association for the Study of Forced Migration. Karolina received her doctoral degree in at the Jagiellonian University in Poland in the Center for Evaluation and Analysis of Public Policies.
WHO IS A REFUGEE?
Refugee Act of 1980, Based on 1951
Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 New York protocol
In 2016 FY: 84,995 refugees resettled to the U.S. and 25,154 were granted asylum
A person fearing of being persecuted for reasons of: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion
A person is an “asylum seeker” until granted “refugee status”
Asylum – protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international definition of a “refugee.”
A refugee has a right to be protected against forcible return
Eligibility for refugee status is determined outside the U.S. among applicants referred by UNHCR, successful applicants are resettled to the US.
OTHER PROTECTED IMMIGRANT STATUSES IN THE U.S.
Temporary Protected Status (In 2016 FY, 300,000 individuals had TPS),
REFUGEES ADMITTED in 2016 FY
9 VOLUNTARY AGENCIES (VOLAGS)
PROVIDING RECEPTION FOR REFUGEES BASED ON AGREEMENTS WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT
1. Church World Service (CWS) 2. Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) 3. Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) 4. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) 5. International Rescue Committee (IRC) 6. US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) 7. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) 8. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)->Catholic Charities 9. World Relief Corporation (WR)
Organizations providing services to Immigrant Communities that you can support
1. Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights 2. New York Immigration Coalition 3. Immigrant Defense Project 4. Black Alliance for Just Immigration 5. Counsel on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) 6. Families for Freedom 7. Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights 8. New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC 9. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 10. Southern Poverty Law Center
GOALS OF SOCIAL POLICES FOR REFUGEES
Economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. (The Refugee Act of 1980 INA §411.1.):
“earning a total family income at a level that enables a family unit to support itself without receipt of a cash assistance grant.” (DHHS, Code of Federal Regulations -Title 45: Public Welfare, December 2005).
CHALLENGES DURING THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States
01/27/2017 (1) suspended entry from 7 Muslim countries, (2) extreme vetting, (3) pausing refugee resettlement • Several court rulings enjoined various parts of this executive order 03/06/2017 (1) suspended entry from 6 Muslim countries (2) extreme vetting, (3) pausing refugee resettlement • on June 26th the Supreme Court decided in favour of some aspects of Trump’s executive orders • On June 30th The U.S. Department of State published guidance regarding the admission of refugees: only those refugees who already have close relatives in the U.S. are allowed to enter the U.S. 10/24/2017 Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities
EXECUTIVE ORDERS Enhancing public safety in the Interior of the United States
01/25/2017: Executive order 13768 (1) Removal priorities: broadens categories of non citizens prioritized for removal (2) State/local cooperation in immigration enforcement (3) Sanctuary jurisdictions: federal funds to be withheld from jurisdictions that prohibit exchanging information with DHS regarding immigration status of any individual (4) Hiring 10,00 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers (5) Reporting on immigration status from prisons Developments: 32.6% increase in arrests of removable citizens (between January and March 2017 compared to 2016 ); doubled arrests of individuals without criminal records; Attorney General sends letters to sanctuary cities asking to provide evidence for comply with these orders (Including NYC, LA, Chicago) ; NYC declares to limit cooperation with ICE (e.g. IDNYC)
ASSISTANCE FOR REFUGES JEOPARDIZED 2016 FY: • A rate of 270 refugees a day • 85,994 refugees planned to be resettled 2017: • A rate of 122 refugees a day • 50,000 refugees planned and less than that planned for 2016
Federal budget cuts, as a result resettlement agencies are reducing their staff in the US and worldwide, welfare programs suspended for some period of time
ON THE GROUND
• What is the impact of suspending refugee resettlement for 24 hours? • Imagine three types of security screenings lasting up to 3 years, each valid for around 90 days, different for every family member • During this 24 hour period hundreds of families had to start the screening process from the beginning • What is the impact of the suspension of social programs, e.g. Matching Grant (MG)? • Eligibility to participate in MG only up to 30 days upon arrival • Most of NYC VOLAGs suspended enrolling to MG for a couple of months • Thousands of refugees and asylees irreversibly lost their chance to participate in the program and are left unassisted
WHAT CAN WE DO?
• With your local community and local refugee resettling agency sponsor resettlement of a refugee family • Volunteer in a refugee resettlement agency: • Help with English language conversations (e.g. 1on1)–often provided by retired volunteers • Help with case work: welcome arriving refugees, prepare a house and welcome meal for them, assist at doctors appointments, sign up children to school • Organize a trip as part of cultural orientation • Organize celebrations (e.g. welcoming Thanksgiving for refugee community) • Join community gardening (IRC) • Help at Youth Academies
Do you have questions about assistance for refugees? Do you want to assist refugees and don’t know how to start?
Write to me! Karolina Lukasiewicz firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, watch a movie about Syrian refugees resettled to New Jersey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY4mI12OMjE
During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Since 1945, Pax Americana has promised peaceful international relations and an open economy, buttressed by U.S. military power. In championing “America First” isolationism and protectionism, President Trump has shifted the political mood toward selective U.S. engagement, where foreign commitments are limited to areas of vital U.S. interest and economic nationalism is the order of the day. Geopolitical allies and challengers alike are paying close attention.
Date: 4th Thurs, Jan. 25
Reviewer: Julie Kleszczewski
Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is projecting an autocratic model of governance abroad and working to undermine the influence of liberal democracies, namely along Russia’s historical borderlands. Russia caused an international uproar in 2016, when it interfered in the U.S. presidential contest. But Putin’s foreign policy toolkit includes other instruments, from alliances with autocrats to proxy wars with the U.S. in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. How does Putin conceive of national interests, and why do Russian citizens support him? How should the United States respond to Putin’s foreign policy ambitions?
Date: 2th Thurs, Feb 8
Reviewer: Dr. Elaine Fenton
In the last 15 years, China has implemented a wide-ranging strategy of economic outreach and expansion of all its national capacities, including military and diplomatic capacities. Where the United States has taken a step back from multilateral trade agreements and discarded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), China has made inroads through efforts like the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). What are Beijing’s geopolitical objectives? What leadership and political conditions in each society underlie growing Sino-American tensions? What policies might Washington adopt to address this circumstance?
Date: 4th Thurs, Feb.22
Reviewer: Jayne Herrick
State and non-state actors today must maneuver a complex and rapidly evolving media landscape. Conventional journalism now competes with user-generated content. Official channels of communication can be circumvented through social media. Foreign policy is tweeted from the White House and “fake news” has entered the zeitgeist. Cyberwarfare, hacking and misinformation pose complex security threats. How are actors using media to pursue and defend their interests in the international arena? What are the implications for U.S. policy?
Date: 2nd Thurs, Mar 8
Of all NATO allies, Turkey represents the most daunting challenge for the Trump administration. In the wake of a failed military coup in July 2016, the autocratic trend in Ankara took a turn for the worse. One year on, an overwhelming majority of the population considers the United States to be their country’s greatest security threat. In this age of a worsening “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, even more important than its place on the map is what Turkey symbolically represents as the most institutionally Westernized Muslim country in the world.
Date: 4th Thurs, Mar.22
Reviewer: Maria Ellis
The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. Some argue for an “America First” paradigm, with a large military to ensure security, while others call for a more assertive posture overseas. Some advocate for a restoration of American multilateral leadership and a strengthened role for diplomacy. Still others envision a restrained U.S. role, involving a more limited military. How does the military function in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities?
Date: 2nd Thurs, April 12
The African National Congress (ANC) party has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. But the party today suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation. It faces growing threats from both left and right opposition parties, even as intraparty divisions surface. Given America’s history of opportunistic engagement with Africa, there are few prospects for a closer relationship between the two countries. Meanwhile, a weaker ANC could lead to political fragmentation in this relatively new democracy.
Date: 4th Thurs, April.26
The collective action of countries, communities and organizations over the last 30 years has literally saved millions of lives around the world. Yet terrible inequalities in health and wellbeing persist. The world now faces a mix of old and new health challenges, including the preventable deaths of mothers and children, continuing epidemics of infectious diseases, and rising rates of chronic disease. We also remain vulnerable to the emergence of new and deadly pandemics. For these reasons, the next several decades will be just as important—if not more so—than the last in determining wellbeing across nations.
Date: 2th Thurs, May 10
Reviewer: Dr. C.S. Rani
Charles Room, The Harvard Club, 27 W 44th St., 5:30—7:30 p.m.
For more information, email Julie K: email@example.com
*Check back with us for a finalized list of authors and titles for each topic.
Yes, AAUW grants International Fellowships which are intended to provide fellows with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills that will directly benefit their home countries.
To support the continuation of fellows’ work after they return home, AAUW awards a limited number of International Project Grants to International Fellows who have successfully completed the course of study for which they received an AAUW International Fellowship.
The grants support community-based projects that benefit women and girls in the fellow’s home country. The applications start from August 1 to January 15. See below our 2017-2018 Fellowships and Grants Awardees.
Alumnae of our International Fellowships and International Project Grants have tackled women’s equality issues in their communities head-on. From securing property rights for widows to building safe hearths for cassava production, these women are helping the most vulnerable — and the most resilient — members of their communities.
Melita Vaz (2016-17) used her grant to increase opportunities for school girls in underprivileged communities in Mumbai, India to learn about opportunities in STEM fields and, in turn, develop their resilience, mental health, and economic opportunities.
Dr. Vaz used her 2002-03 International Fellowship to earn a doctoral degree in social work. Passionate about helping underprivileged women and girls overcome challenges through developing systemic support systems, Dr. Vaz has applied her research skills and her vision to organizations such as the Tata Institute of Social Services, the Population Council, and the Government of India.
Mary Priscilla Dzansi-McPalm (2012-13) helped women and girls in Ghana improve their earning and safety by helping them develop the skills and technology needed to more safely and efficiently process and market cassava. Dr. Dzansi-McPalm is dean at the School of Creative Arts at the University of Education in Winneba, Ghana. She was a 2001-02 International Fellow.
Diedie Weng: Project: Yongji Organic Farmer Video Network Training Program, China
Diedie Weng (2011-12) trained women farmers in participatory video production to engage farmers in documenting and discussing local techniques and challenges in organic agriculture in northern China. Since completing her grant, Weng has gone on to producing films, including “The Beekeeper and his Son,” her first feature documentary, which premiered at the 2016 DOC NYC film festival. Weng was a 2005-06 International Fellow.
Anita Nahal, Ph.D., CDP, is a poet, flash fiction writer, children’s books author, D&I consultant and professor. You can find her recent works in Aberration Labyrinth, Confluence, Better Than Starbucks, aaduna, River Poets Journal, and Colere. She has read her poems at Busboys and Poets, DC, at the 100,000 Poets For Change, Souderton, PA, and the 2017 annual conference of the Society for Diversity, Chicago, IL. She received an Honorable Mention in the Concrete Wolf 2017 chapbook competition. Nahal is working on her first novel.
1. Unconscious Bias
Bias is not what I desire, bias is not what I feel
You see me but my outer skin is what you need to peel
I may have a different color or a different form
And my diversity, may sometimes, in you cause a storm
Tis not my intention as I go about my day, much like you
Not sure what happens that your blood is red, and mine you see as blue.
See, gender is biology
Not something to divide human psychology
And my orientation is not in my hands
Then why do you hide it in coarse sands?
Tis but a game we all play
And each other minutely we slay.
Civility they say is supposed to bind
Then why do you ignore abuse, and to love are unkind?
I may not be able to walk all the way
When glass, stones, daggers and guns you sway
I thought we were all just one species
Yet race biting, smells, all over like feces.
You mock my disability
That reflects your own lack of ability
And the separation of families in an immigrants’ land
Is nothing but the markings of a nasty hand.
My weight, my height, hair and looks
Is beauty hiding in your unwise books?
And then you ignore the brave soldiers who return home
Ignore their hurt, their pain, and let them alone roam
And sometimes, my language, accent and words, you question
As if in your frame my molding is your suggestion
And some of my clothes frighten you
But isn’t that just your narrow view?
You say you don’t carry a bias
Maybe it is not overt and not standing on the dais
When will humanity learn its lesson?
When will we all get together, and press-on?
Quietly, dangerously, in your subconscious
You carry a bias unconscious.
You pray to Kali (Black) Goddess for criticals, and then you ask your mama to place an advertisement for a “fair” girl…
Years ago, some said,
“She is quite sanvali (dark)…give her lots of milk it might lighten her.
And now they say,
“Oh, you have become so fair… living in cold America…
you are not in the harsh sun all the time…you have become so saaf (clean).”
I did not know I was a dirty girl, and then a dirty woman…
I always bathed. I always bathed.
3. They say people need to unite
Against what I ask in this modern world so ignited, so crass. Are we not one people, one species? It’s kind of tiring following pundits and gurus, spiraling like dominoes faster than Tour de France. And what could have been my child lay motionless on a beach in Turkey. Who will hear her cries, his cries, your cries, my cries? Tears are cheap as they flow from eyes not banks. The stillness of the sand screams. The stillness… of the sand… screams. Please be quiet… Can you hear, now
Why tell the heart to be strong when the mind has no heart and the heart has a mind out of control? You push, prod, snatch, beat, kill… lift her dress and sneak in, leaving her shocked soul rambling like roots un-synced from their pod. Did you listen to her body as you walked away vulgarized? Your core, sick of you?
And then they were just chillin, arms stretched up but you saw only their feet, tired, dark and black. Your sense chokes and you don’t even apply Heimlich on yourself. Just look at your arms flaying. No censure. And then the first amendment is called to the stand freely allowing it to plead the fifth. Irony feels ashamed and my color is aghast, day and night it crumbles like fine wood left out to rot. Isn’t equality the only color? Rest struggling for credentials, fake degrees in tow?
4. Moving Diversity, Moving Spaces
The diversity of my living spaces
spread across years, continents, countries, cities and people
brought smiles, and at times, tears…
a friend reminded, “There is no gain without pain.”
Let me tiptoe from the spaces of diverse experiences
to diverse spaces and places
just savoring the diversity of movement
and the movement of diverse people and experiences.
Spaces don’t move, people do,
and yet, people can make
the same space diverse
or make a new place the same
The experience of moving is diverse, and
the diversity of the new space is an experience
spaces can nurture a soul
or, souls can nurture any place.
5. Dyeing-undeying love of…
pigmenting tresses compels
my vanity to respond to you, hair color…
But, wait, my cerebrum is saying something. Are you listening? I am trying to be polite for I agree with Maya Angelou
“…that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never forget
how you made them feel.”
Believe me when I say then, hair color, you make me feel, sick…
sick with effort, with nuisance, with thoughts of brain cancer too.
I can’t wait to stop,
get it over with,
and as age grows, the need
seems to be dwindling to
keep you among my decreasing list of “true” friends,
and instead I am being taken over by desire
like some other braves,
to stroke through new, soft pepper mane.
Can’t wait to get over
you running down my cheeks, onto my dress,
the floor, and if I don’t wipe instantly,
you leave telltale aphorisms like tea leaves
in a china cup that some can read, some look askance.
Sometimes, unable to understand your influences
I harness my energy
on the unsuitable follicles, under or over-streaking,
where I could have left alone,
instead discoloring, tarnishing, scorching, fading
the pertinent strokes of wisdom, happy times and
those that love me, for me.
You make my locks feel disrespected, hair color.
I am going to increase my self-reflection so as not to make you feel the same.
6.Single immigrant mom
“Why did you come here? In your forties?
Leaving all behind for what?”
“To be not abused!
Over the last several years the New York City Council has passed several pieces of legislation to address barriers women face in the workplace:
· The Pregnancy Rights Discrimination Act (requiring reasonable accommodation in the workplace for pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions);
· Paid Sick Leave (requiring a minimum of 5 paid sick days for workers);
· The Credit Check Discrimination Bill (barring the use of credit checks for potential employees in jobs not directly related to financial matters); and
· The Caregivers Discrimination Bill (protecting those who care for ill children/parents/spouses/partners from discrimination in the workplace based on their status as a caregiver).
Most of these bills were passed last term, but this term a number of important bills have also been passed. One important bill, introduced by Public Advocate Letitia James, is the NYC Salary History Bill.
Salary history has become an important issue in the fight to end the gender wage gap. Why? This practice perpetuates the wage gap that many women and people of color face. It assumes that prior salaries were fairly established at your previous employers. If you faced a pay gap and lost wages at your last job, due to bias or discrimination, your new employer is now continuing the cycle. Salary history questions can introduce bias and discrimination into the recruitment process of a company that may be sincerely attempting to avoid it.
Employers should pay what the position is worth to their organization and not base compensation on a worker’s worth in a different job with a different company. If a woman starts her career with a pay gap, it’s likely to follow her throughout her life and negatively affect her retirement.
On November 4th, 2016, Mayor de Blasio got the ball rolling in New York City by issuing an executive order banning city agencies from asking for salary history of potential employees until after a job with salary has been offered. The Salary History bill builds on this by banning all employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s prior salary and using it to set future wages.
The Women’s Caucus of the NYC Council rolled out a legislative platform this term, the first time this body has done so.
One piece of legislation in the package would support the Salary History bill by asking the state legislature to enact similar legislation and the governor to sign it – Resolution 1273.
Another piece of the platform, Int. 825, would expand the definition of employer under the human rights law to provide protections for domestic workers, 95% of whom are women. Under our human rights law an employer is defined as having 4 or more employees; Int 825 would create an exception for domestic workers so that the definition is one employee, thus giving them the full force of the protections of NYC’s strong human rights law.
Other bills in the platform include legislation which has now been adopted – regarding the Rikers nursery program, providing free feminine hygiene products to students in NYC schools, and requiring the city to create a comprehensive plan to address the needs of unpaid caregivers – those caring for ill children, parents, siblings, partners, who are overwhelmingly women.
The package also includes legislation that has been introduced to create a task force to address affordability at CUNY, and to support state legislation which would help victims of domestic violence with the difficult task of breaking a lease.
The New York City Council Women’s Caucus is a 14-member body led by Co-Chairs and Council Members Laurie A. Cumbo and Helen Rosenthal.* The mission of the caucus is to focus the work of the city council on issues that impact women and families.
On November 29, 2016, the caucus announced a package of legislation it is supporting which will advance issues that affect all people, with a unique focus on women. The package includes legislation to expand women’s rights in areas including: health, education, safety, labor and empowerment.
The Equality Legislative Package includes:
|Council Member||Barron||Create a task force to review affordability, admissions, and graduation rates at CUNY (Int 1138)|
|Council Member||Chin||Produce a comprehensive plan to address the needs of unpaid caregivers (Local Law 97)|
|Council Member||Crowley||Report on the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, IUDs (Int 1162)|
|Council Member||Cumbo||Implement sexual assault awareness/prevention training, TLC drivers (Int 1106)|
|Council Member||Dickens**||Review cosmetic toxicity (Resolution)***|
|Council Member||Ferreras-Copeland||Provide feminine hygiene products available at no cost to students while on DOE premises (Local Law 84)|
|Council Member||Gibson||Report procedures and policies for the Rikers Island nursery program (Local Law 120)|
|Council Member||Mendez||Street co-naming for Ms. Magazine original headquarters (Int )***|
|Council Member||Cabrera/Palma||Support a NY state bill which prohibits employers asking salary history (Resolution 1273-2016)|
|Council Member||Rose||Expand the definition of employer under the human rights law to provide protections for domestic workers (Int 825)|
|Council Member||Rosenthal||Support a NY state bill which provide DV survivors greater access to breaking leases (Resolution 1292-2016)|
*Members of the NYC Council Women’s Caucus include council members: Laurie Cumbo and Helen Rosenthal (Co-Chairs); Margaret Chin; Rosie Mendez; Melissa Mark-Viverito (Speaker); Vanessa L. Gibson; Anabel Palma; Julissa Ferreras-Copeland; Karen Koslowitz; Elizabeth S. Crowley; Darlene Mealy; Inez Barron; Debi Rose.
**Elected to the NYS Assembly in 2016
***Legislation has not been introduced
By the Public Advocate (Ms. James), Council Members Crowley, Cumbo, Rosenthal, Salamanca, Lander, Ferreras-Copeland, Williams, Richards, Palma, Dromm, Rose, Reynoso, Gibson, Espinal, Cornegy, Kallos, Koslowitz, Rodriguez, Levine, Menchaca, Constantinides, Treyger, Torres, Miller, Mendez, Maisel, Chin, Barron, Mealy, Cohen, King, Levin and Eugene
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting employers from inquiring about or relying on a prospective employee’s salary history
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Section 8-107 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subdivision 25 to read as follows:
25. Employment; prospective employee salary history. (a) It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, employment agency, employee or agent thereof:
1. To inquire, in writing or otherwise, about the salary history, including, but not limited to, compensation and benefits, of an applicant for employment. For purposes of this subdivision, “to inquire” means to ask an applicant in writing or otherwise or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports.
2. To rely on the salary history of an applicant for employment in determining the salary amount for such applicant at any stage in the employment process, including the contract, unless such applicant, unprompted, willingly disclosed such salary history to such employer, employment agency, employee or agent thereof.
(b) This subdivision does not apply to any actions taken by an employer, employment agency, employee or agent thereof pursuant to any federal, state or local law that authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes.
AAUW NYS President Roli Wendorf
Panelists: Dr. Diona Koerner
Leah Rambo, Jamoire Johnson
Moderator: Lisa LaRocca
The Conference was hosted by the Westchester Branch on Saturday,
October 28, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
at the Greenburgh Public Library
300 Tarrytown Road
Congrats to the organizers, speakers and all those members and friends who contributed to the success of the AAUW NYS District V Conference!
Washington D.C remains a hub for cultural enrichment and many sites recognize the hardships and achievements of women throughout history. As you plan to attend the AAUW National Convention in D.C. in in June 2017, consider allotting time to visit and be inspired by the extraordinary efforts of the women immortalized in these sites.
Read More: http://convention.aauw.org/2016/09/22/get-inspired-by-womens-history/