Mechi Estevez

April 2022 – Notes from NMIC

In this newsletter, you’ll learn about…  

  • NMIC’s Benefit, Juntos: Building Without Limits.  
  • Why Stress Awareness Month is significant to us at NMIC.  
  • How to participate in Denim Day 2022.  
  • Why is financial literacy important?  
  • How to sign-up for NYC Celebrates Women Brunch Fundraiser.  

Save the Date for Juntos: Building Without Limits 

Through the pandemic, our team at NMIC saw our community’s needs rapidly shift and increase. With your support, we rose to meet the challenge and worked nimbly to address these crises. Although we’ll never know what tomorrow brings, we know that our community will continue to persevere and build without limits, but we can only accomplish that together. 

Our 2022 Benefit, Juntos: Building Without Limits, will be an evening to celebrate and recognize the innovative partnerships that have supported our efforts. Join us on June 9th, 2022, from 6PM – 7:30PM at The Hudson, 348 Dyckman St. New York, NY 10034 in advocating for those we serve and raising funds to help us reimagine a future without limits! We’re grateful for all the support we receive, without which none of these services would be possible.  

Community tickets start at $250 and are available to anyone who would like to attend.

Click here to see our sponsorship packet and learn how to support our community! 

Stress Awareness Month 2022  

Stress Awareness Month has been recognized every April since 1992, but this year it seems especially important. Due to the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, we have all felt at one point an increase in stress and/or anxiety. The chronic stress related to COVID-19 has produced profound impacts on the long-term mental health of our community. Although all services provided by NMIC aspire to alleviate stressful situations, we saw an urgent need within the past two years to increase access to tools and strategies for community members to learn how to cope with stress and mental health needs.  

We partnered with the van Ameringen Foundation to remove barriers to mental health care by increasing screenings for treatment referrals for residents so that they could heal with culturally competent service providers at no cost. Not only did we make significant efforts to support members of the community, but we also helped our staff cope with pandemic related stress through weekly support groups, run by our team of interns through our partnership with Teachers College at Columbia University.  

We hope, both internally and externally, that NMIC is seen as a safe space of healing, where staff and community members alike are supported, especially during challenging times.  

To learn more about NMIC’s Juntos Podemos, Connections to Care, program, click here.  

Denim Day 2022  

Join us on April 27, 2022, to participate in Denim Day. Denim Day is a campaign to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The campaign began 23 years ago after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices wrongfully believed that the survivor’s jeans provided enough evidence of implied consent, and the case was closed. The following day, the women in Italian parliament came to work wearing jeans as a symbol of solidarity with the victim. 

Denim Day 2021

Denim Day asks community members to make a social statement through their outfits by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.  

To learn more about Denim Day, click here. To donate to NMIC’s wrap-around services that support hundreds of domestic violence survivors and their children annually, click here.  

Financial Literacy Month  

All New Yorkers qualify for our financial empowerment services, regardless of income or immigration status.

Throughout the month of April, organizations across the country conduct a variety of events and carry out initiatives designed to improve financial literacy and promote financial security.

NMIC promotes financial literacy daily through providing New Yorkers with free one-on-one professional financial coaching and counseling to help our clients achieve their goals. In fact, NMIC is a NYC Financial Empowerment Center!  

We have partnered with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners and the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment to enhance the financial literacy and stability of our clients through our financial empowerment services. Our professional Financial Counselors are available to provide personalized guidance and help our clients address a wide range of personal financial topics, like taking control of debt, strengthening credit scores, making savings a routine, balancing a budget, opening a bank account, and more.  

To learn more about NMIC’s Financial Empowerment services, click here. To schedule a session, please contact (917) 822-7514 or email: jveras@neighborhoodtrust.org.  

NYC Celebrates Women Brunch Fundraiser 

We are excited to announce that NMIC will be partnering with NYC Celebrates Women for their third annual Brunch Fundraiser to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Join us on Sunday, May 21, from 11:00am-3:00pm at the Harmonie Club in Midtown Manhattan for an afternoon of food, networking, and discussion.

A group of successful women of color in entrepreneurship will present and discuss how they established and developed their flourishing businesses. Proceeds from this event will be donated to NMIC in support of our no cost wrap-around services for 14,000 members of our community annually.  

Click here to purchase tickets. To learn more about sponsorship, tabling, and in-kind donations for gift bags or raffles, please email: nyccelebrateswomen@gmail.com  

Other Events in April  

  • Day of Silence, April 8, 2022: Day of Silence is Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network’s annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students. In the United States, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolize the silencing of LGBTQ students.  
  • Immigrant Heritage Week, April 11-17, 2022: The celebration commemorates April 17, 1907, when 11,000 immigrants, the most in one day, passed through Ellis Island in New York Harbor. 
  • Earth Day, April 22, 2022: Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. 
  • Denim Day NYC, April 27th at 10:00 AM: Join Denim Day NYC Coalition’s annual Denim Day March on Wednesday, April 27th at 10am from Brooklyn Borough Hall, over the Brooklyn Bridge to Foley Square in Manhattan. Join Survivors, advocates, models, fashionistas, and allies in marching and rallying against sexual violence. Further information can be found here. 
  • Denim Day Bronx March, April 28th at 3:30 PM: Participating Denim Day organizations will be marching against sexual assault. Join Denim Day NYC Coalition’s annual march on Thursday, April 28th at 3:30 PM at Grand Concourse and Mt. Eden, and wear denim to show your support! Participating organizations include Office of Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, BronxCare’s Department of Pediatrics, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, New Settlement Apartments, Fountain House Bronx, NOMW Clube Alternatives, and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. Further information can be found here.  
  • National Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2022: National Child Abuse Prevention Month, also known as Child Abuse Prevention Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse. April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States since 1983. 

NMIC in the Press  

  • Mayor Adams appoints new members, including NMIC co-founder Kevin Sullivan, to NYC Districting Commission. Click here to read more.  

March 2022 – Notes from NMIC

In this newsletter, you’ll read more about:  

  • NMIC’s 43rd anniversary  
  • Kochiyama, Mirabal, and Thunder Hawk…what do they have in common?  
  •  Our partnership with WHDC 
  • The #JustPay Campaign Rally on March 10  
  • Celebrating Social Work Month  

43 Years and Still Going Strong 

NMIC has been embedded in the Northern Manhattan community since March 12, 1979, later expanding to the Bronx, providing essential and capacity building services to New Yorkers.

NMIC was founded by Barbara Lowry, who saw a need to fight predatory landlords and provide safe and affordable housing to, mostly, recent immigrants primarily from the Dominican Republic. At the time, we were the only organization offering free legal services in Northern Manhattan. In the years that have passed, NMIC has grown from a staff of two to over 120, and proved success in the areas of housing, immigration, benefits & finance, health, education & career, and holistic services. In 2014, Barbara Lowry retired and passed on the torch to our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, who is the organization’s second executive director and first Latina to hold this position. As we celebrate NMIC’s anniversary we reflect on the past four decades and recognize the generational impact we’ve had on the families we serve; and the catalytic influence that these leading women have had on our staff and in our communities. Happy Anniversary! 

Women’s History Month  

Every March, Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to highlight the generations of trailblazing women who have shaped history. Despite discrimination, exclusion, and hardship, women have endeavored and sacrificed for equality around the world.

Let us take a moment to recognize a few courageous women who broke both gender and racial barriers as they made history.  

  • Yuri Kochiyama: Beginning her activism in Harlem, Kochiyama was a fixture in support movements involving organizations such as the Young Lords and the Harlem Community for Self Defense. She was a tireless political activist who dedicated her life to contributing to social change through her participation in social justice and the advancement of human rights. 
  • Las Hermanas Mirabal: Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa Mirabal were three sisters who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic and joined the underground resistance movement.  On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters were assassinated, and their deaths became the flame that solidified resistance to the dictatorship both at home and abroad. The anniversary of their deaths was declared as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by the United Nations. 
  • Madonna Thunder Hawk: A Native American civil rights activist best known as a leader in the American Indian Movement as an organizer against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She is a veteran of every modern Native American struggle. She established the “We Will Remember Survival School” for Native youth. Thunder Hawk was a delegate to the U.N. Decade of Women Conference in Mexico City and to the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. 
  • Sylvia Rivera: A veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising who fought throughout her life against the exclusion of transgender people, especially transgender people of color and was a prominent community worker. With close friend Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens, gay youth, and trans women. 
  • Shirley Chisholm: The first black woman in congress and the first woman and black American to seek the nomination for president of the United States. In Congress, Chisolm introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation and championed racial and gender equality, the plight of the poor, and ending the Vietnam War. Of her legacy, Chisholm said, “I want to be remembered as a woman … who dared to be a catalyst of change.”  
  • Maria Florencia Alcaraz: An Argentine journalist and one of the founding members of the Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman Less) grassroots feminist movement of women’s rights advocates that emerged in 2015 in response to an increase in public, brutal femicides, as well as other forms of violence against women Alcaraz specializes in gender and human rights issues and is now one of the directors of LATFEM, a network of feminist journalists.  

We Are Grateful for WHDC 

The priority of the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) is to support local projects that address the needs of the community through collaborations and capacity enhancements. We are grateful that WHDC has chosen NMIC for partnership. This partnership supports Community Board 9 residents.

WHDC supports our ongoing screening, referral, and case management services that connect members of our community to mental health treatments, benefit enrollment services, and food pantries. The goal of our partnership is to enhance the health of residents by increasing access to services that address food insecurity and mental health needs.  

The #JustPay Campaign Rally on March 10th 

The #JustPay Campaign is fighting to end government-sanctioned poverty wages for human service workers. Current New York City and State contracts have resulted in the essential human services workforce being some of the lowest paid workers in New York’s economy.

On March 10th, the #JustPay Campaign will be rallying in-person at City Hall Park for the #JustPay campaign demands. Click here to learn more about the campaign, and click here to RSVP for the In-Person Rally.  

Social Work Month  

Social Work Month in March is a time to celebrate the great profession of social work and the constant contributions that social workers make to our society. At NMIC, we depend on the Social Workers within our staff to provide essential wrap-around support to the members of our community to make sure all their needs are met.

NMIC Social Workers provide case-management unique to each individual, programs for domestic violence survivors, and efforts to organize and advocate for positive change. Social Workers revitalize our community and fully support our hard-working residents. Additionally, we are grateful for our interns and partners at Teachers College, Columbia University and all those who invest in mental health services 

“Social Workers have continued to be the backbone of connection to supportive services for our community. At NMIC, they provide essential services by connecting our community to much needed resources to ensure that our community can thrive. Our social work team has the unique training to provide trauma informed care, person centered support, and culturally responsive services to our community. This connection to our social work team allows clients to feel seen, heard, and empowered in their journey to healing,” Morgan Siegel, Manager of Wellness Services.  

February 2022 – Notes from NMIC

This month we celebrate Black History Month and recognize Teen Violence Awareness and the #NiUnaMenos-NY-RD grassroots movement to end femicide. Join us in learning more about these important events and movements. 

To those who observe the holiday, happy Dominican Independence Day! 

In this newsletter, you’ll read more about:  

  • Black History Month 2022 
  • The #NiUnasMenos Movement  
  • An introduction to our Advisory Board Members  
  • NMIC’s 2022 Tax Preparation Services 
  • How to apply for a newly renovated affordable co-op apartment  

Black History Month 2022 

At NMIC, we celebrate Black History Month to honor the successes and struggles of Black Americans throughout US history, and to recognize the central role of our community members. Many choose to observe the month by exploring historic sites and museums, which are numerous throughout New York City. Within our community, for example, is The Shabazz Center in Washington Heights. The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center is a memorial to Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, located at 3940 Broadway and West 165th Street. The organization features archives and multimedia displays that honor these influential activists and continue their messages of social justice. Click here to learn more about The Shabazz center.  

The #NiUnasMenos Movement 

NiUnaMenos-NY-RD, a grassroots coalition comprised of community members, activists, nonprofit and business representatives, was formed in late 2018 to address the high rate of femicide in the Dominican Republic.  On February 27, 2020, NiUnaMenos-NY-RD launched with a community rally and vigil in Washington Heights and one in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and since then, has been using its platform to educate community members on the dynamics of and issues related to domestic violence, participated in community forums, marches and rallies that raise awareness on domestic violence, advocated for resources to support nonprofits serving survivors, and provided the space for victims and survivors to seek support and assistance.  

Nurys De Oleo, Co-founder of NiUnaMenos-NY-RD

“As long as domestic violence continues to ravage our communities, NiUnaMenos NY-RD will continue to be front and center standing up for victims and survivors,” Nurys De Oleo, Co-founder of NiUnaMenos-NY-RD. 

To learn more about NiUnaMenos-NY-RD or how to get involved, please contact Nurys De Oleo at nurysdeoleo@gmail.com.  

An Introduction to our Advisory Board Members 

The NMIC Advisory Board (NAB) is a group of professionals who are committed to NMIC’s mission and discuss how to support this mission through volunteer and fundraising projects. NAB plays a strategic role in developing awareness of NMIC’s programs and providing opportunities for our growth by leveraging social media, events, and individual fundraising to support overall goals. 

We would like to introduce our first cohort of Advisory Board Members: David Aviles, Pia Catton, Elizabeth Conde, Mickey Correa, Meldis Jimenez, and Chelsea Jupin. 

Click here to learn more about NAB and how to apply. 

2022 Tax Preparation Services at NMIC 

Our tax preparation services provide the community with free assistance filing their returns while ensuring that they maximize their credits and refunds.  Within the past two years, NMIC provided over 3,000 free tax preparations and accessed over $4 million in refunds for our clients. Anyone who in 2021 earned $50,000 or less without dependents or $72,000 or less with dependents qualifies.

If you are interested in using our tax preparation services, click here. For scheduling with other providers if we are full, click here. For further inquiries, please contact taxhelp@nmic.org.  

“I came here to be helped with my taxes, and left with a clear conscience that they were prepared by motivated experts,” Carol Crowley, Community Member.  

Applications are now being accepted for a newly renovated affordable cooperative apartment! 

NMIC is accepting applications for a newly renovated apartment at 618 W 187 Street in Washington Heights. This apartment is cooperatively owned and will require board approval prior to acceptance. 

Click here for a description of the apartment, amenities, and location. For paper applications, stop by our office or send a self-addressed envelope to: 618 W 187th Street HDFC c/o NMIC 45 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY 10033. All applications must be submitted by March 29, 2022. For further inquiries, please contact nicolasbammer@nmic.org.

“These cooperatives are the best possible way to ensure that housing in Washington Heights stays affordable. Buildings are placed in the hands of the people most committed to the community: the people that live in the building themselves,” Nicolas Bammer-Whitaker, Managing Buildings Attorney. 

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month  

Every February, young people and their loved ones come together nationwide to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating violence through Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM).

This year’s theme for TCVAM 2022 is “Talk About It.” Talk About It is a call to action to young people and those who support them to engage in meaningful conversation about healthy relationships and navigate what may be unhealthy or abusive. To learn more about TDVAM, click here.

NMIC TO RECEIVE $20,000 SPECTRUM DIGITAL EDUCATION GRANT

Organization Will Provide Community Access to Customized Digital Education Curriculum

Spectrum presents $20,000 check to the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp. (NMIC) as part of the Spectrum Digital Education Grant program. Pictured (l to r) are NMIC’s Director of Education & Career Services, Sara Chapman, and Instructional Specialist Josue Rojas; Spectrum Communications Mgr., Soo Kim; and NMIC Executive Director, Maria Lizardo.

NEW YORK, NY (February 16, 2022) – Spectrum today announced the Nothern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) has received a $20,000 Spectrum Digital Education Grant as part of the company’s  five-year, $7-million commitment to digital education in Spectrum communities across the country.

A two-time Spectrum Digital Education Grant recipient, NMIC will use the funds for its in-house digital education program to develop and implement a focused digital curriculum for its clients. The curriculum will be integrated into its existing education classes and will teach students the benefits of broadband and help them develop a better understanding of Internet research for their everyday lives. The program also enables the program’s students to develop their skills in Microsoft Word and Excel for real-world applications. This new curriculum will enhance NMIC’s current cutting-edge virtual classrooms, which were funded by the $30,000 grant awarded by Spectrum in 2020.

Founded in 1979, NMIC strives to be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of its community by providing a variety of crisis intervention services under one roof and then transitioning clients to programs that help them develop the tools they need for self-sufficiency. One way it helps its members transition from crisis to self-sufficiency is by improving their digital literacy. 

“We applaud NMIC for their broadband education initiatives and for helping us support efforts that promote digital literacy in the Northern Manhattan community,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of broadband connectivity products. “Through this partnership with NMIC, the Spectrum Digital Education program is able to bring essential resources to those in need, and we look forward to working with them on this transformative project.”

Said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of NMIC, “Digital literacy skills are increasingly important in the workforce, and many members of our community have found themselves either displaced by technology or struggling to adapt. The focused digital curriculum that we will develop and implement  through the 2021 Spectrum Digital Education Grant program will provide our students with technological fluency so that they may stand out in a competitive job market.” 

NMIC is one of four New York City recipients of the 2021 Spectrum Digital Education Grant program. Another second-time recipient, First Corinthian Baptist Church Community Development Corporation, received a grant at the end of 2021, and the remaining two recipients, the Hispanic Federation and YWCA of Brooklyn, will receive grants later this year.

The Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation is one of 49 nonprofit organizations that Spectrum is supporting through its current Spectrum Digital Education Grants. Since launching Spectrum Digital Education Grants in 2017, Spectrum has donated $7 million in cash and in-kind contributions for digital literacy programs reaching nearly 70,000 people in 20 states and Washington, D.C. More information about the Spectrum Digital Education Grants program is available here.

Charter sponsors several philanthropic programs in addition to Spectrum Digital Education Grants, including Spectrum Scholars, a scholarship for under-represented college juniors in financial need; Spectrum Employee Community Grants, which supports Charter employees’ local volunteer activities; and the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund, which supports small and minority-owned businesses whose goods and services help meet core needs in financially underserved communities within the company’s footprint. More information about Charter’s philanthropic initiatives is available here.

About Spectrum

Spectrum is a suite of advanced communications services offered by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states. Over an advanced communications network, the company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice.

For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach®delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.

# # #
Media Contact:

Soo Kim
soo-jung.kim@charter.com
(212) 379-4275
@CharterNewsroom

Our GivingTuesday Countdown Continues

As we mentioned last week, NMIC is celebrating GivingTuesday’s 10th anniversary. Join us in counting down five things we are grateful for to raise $10,000 for our services. If you missed last week’s email, check it out here. To donate, click here.  

3. NMIC got its second-ever Executive Director

Part of what makes NMIC so steadfast is that our leadership has changed very little. About eight years ago, founding director, Barbara Lowry, handed NMIC off to interim (and then permanent) ED Maria Lizardo. Maria is the first Latina to hold this position at NMIC. This has allowed our mission to grow organically and deeply since we only ever had two Executive Directors. 

2. Our Board of Directors Expanded 

We are grateful to our Board of Directors and the members who have joined us in the last decade (our longest serving Board member has been with us for 11 years!). Their dedication and commitment to NMIC’s mission have been critical to ensuring our success. 

1. YOU!

The last two years have been some of the most challenging times in modern history, both for individuals and nonprofits. Because of you and your support, we were able to enhance and adapt our service delivery in real-time as our community needed it

Help us ensure that we can continue expanding, adapting, and improving our services for decades to come. Donate today. 

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

November 2021 Notes from NMIC

Dear Friend,

The season of gratitude is here again, and we have so much to be thankful for, starting with you! Your support is essential to us. 

In this Newsletter, we are grateful for…

  • Verizon, for their generous grant.
  • Our new AmeriCorps volunteer, Paloma, for joining our team and sharing her skills.
  • 10 years of GivingTuesday at NMIC

NMIC RECEIVES A $10,000 VERIZON GRANT

We are proud to announce that we received a Verizon grant of $10,000! This grant, which organizations must be invited to apply for, will go a long way to support NMIC’s continued COVID-19 response efforts. Maria Lizardo explains: “Prior to the pandemic, we were already working with a community in need. Though our clients are incredibly resilient in the face of so much systemic inequality, COVID-19 further tested their ability to respond and recover from this crisis. We are proud that, in leveraging many partnerships, including Verizon, we have been able to secure more than 18,000 vaccination appointments for our residents, distributed over 144,000 pounds of food, and serviced well over 14,000 clients this past year.”  

MEET PALOMA

We are excited to introduce our new AmeriCorps VISTA, Paloma Thoen. Candidates interview at several organizations before selecting one for their year of service. Paloma is joining our Development  Department for hers. “I chose to work with NMIC to contribute toward a strong and inclusive New York where all people are welcome and have access to the resources necessary for a successful future.

This role is a great bridge between my two passions of writing and helping people solve their problems.” Paloma is a graduate student at Queens College and is thinking of following her grandmother, mother, and two aunts into social work. Join us in welcoming her!

CELEBRATE GIVINGTUESDAY WITH NMIC

This season of gratitude, we are thankful for you! Our longevity and ability to expand to meet community needs are a direct result of support like yours. This GivingTuesday, we are asking for your support in helping us continue our work. When you donate to NMIC you are directly ensuring our community members can thrive and build prosperous futures for themselves and their families.

 We set a lofty goal of $10,000 this year- in honor of the 10th anniversary of GivingTuesday and our recent most innovative decade yet, can you help us meet it?

Donate today.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

October 2021 Notes from NMIC

Dear Friend,

In this newsletter:

  • We marched against domestic violence at Shine the Light event.
  • NMIC gives a warm welcome to our newest board members.
  • Our volunteer Caitly joins us in a permanent role!
  • Our educators share best practices at the 17th Annual Literacy Review Workshops.

We Marched at Shine the Light

In 2000, NMIC, the NYPD, and other community-based organizations founded the Washington Heights & Inwood Coalition Against Interpersonal and Domestic Violence. One of our aims is to educate and promote awareness to end and prevent interpersonal violence in Northern Manhattan. 

The Shine the Light event began years ago when government buildings in Albany were lit up in purple to raise awareness. Four years ago, the Coalition then brought this march to Washington Heights. We were honored to walk alongside our community in raising awareness for domestic violence.  

Survivors of intimate partner violence have become more vulnerable during COVID-19, please help by making a donation today

Meet Our New Board Members

Join us in welcoming the two newest members of our Board of Directors, Roshan Ahmad and Kayla M. McPherson. 

Roshan Ahmad is an Executive Director at JPMorgan’s Global Sovereign Advisory Group with 13 years of experience advising governments globally on critical fiscal policy, credit ratings, and investor positioning. 

Kayla M. McPherson is the Deputy Director of Data, IT, and Compliance at East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP). Before EHTP, Kayla worked at Legal Action Center on a consumer education and engagement initiative on the use of electronic health records in New York State.

We also want to extend congratulations to our board member Eddie Cuesta who is being celebrated in City & State’s list, Power of Diversity: Latino 100 to mark Hispanic Heritage Month alongside the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Frankie Miranda. Eddie, we are honored to serve with you! Learn more about our Board of Directors by clicking here.

Do you remember Caitly?

Earlier this year, we shared a story about our super volunteer, Caitly, who was an essential member of our bi-weekly food pantry distributions.  

Since then, we are happy to share she has officially joined our team as a staff member connecting community members to emergency rental assistance. 

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides economic relief to families facing housing insecurity through rental arrears, temporary rental assistance, and utility arrears assistance. Originally from Washington Heights, Caitly has been giving back to her community since the 6th grade. Join us in welcoming Caitly! 

What the hell happened in high school?

NMIC team members Mark Ambrosino and Jason Bocko were selected to participate in the 17th annual Literacy Review Workshops to share an activity, created by Mr. Ambrosino, named “What the hell happened in high school?” with other adult education instructors and academics to implement as a best practice.

Mr. Ambrosino begins his Adult Basic Education class with this assignment. Students describe their negative experiences with the public education system and share their reasons for not completing high school, often bonding over their similarities. In doing so, our teachers build community, and address and deconstruct the stigma of not graduating from high school so students can move forward with more enthusiasm and confidence. 

NMIC’s free adult education classes put clients on the path to better jobs and higher wages. Learn more here. 

Get Involved

Thinking of getting involved like Caitly? Our Food Pantry is looking for volunteers! Please fill out this form to apply

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

Inboxes are inundated right around GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is celebrating its 10th anniversary. For the last decade, this global day of charitable giving has reminded us that part of celebrating during the season of gratitude is practicing generosity. To celebrate, we are looking back at the last decade and hoping you can help us raise $10,000 for our critically needed programs! Tune in each week as we count down five things, in no particular order, that we are grateful for. We hope it will inspire you to give to and share our campaign. 

5. We Turned forty!

In over four decades, we have helped hundreds of thousands of people get their citizenship, GED’s, fight unlawful evictions, leave abusive relationships, learn English, and build more prosperous futures for themselves and their families. We are proud to be a cornerstone of our community, and with your help, we can continue to do this work for forty more years and beyond.

4. We Expanded to the Bronx!

NMIC began in an apartment on 181st and Saint Nicholas. The staff of two aimed to serve the growing population of immigrants, mainly from the Dominican Republic, arriving in Washington Heights. As our work expanded, so did our reach, and eventually, we began to serve all of Upper Manhattan and, in 2016, expanded into the Bronx!

Your support is part of what has ensured our longevity and ability to expand to where we are needed. 

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

September Notes from NMIC 2021

Dear Friend,

In this newsletter, you’ll read more about: 

  • How NMIC supported Yanira on her journey towards citizenship. 
  • Our inspiring and dedicated community member turned intern, Joanel. 
  • The exciting hands-on opportunity to join NMIC’s Advisory Board. 
Meet Yanira

Since immigrating to the U.S., Yanira has been working hard to achieve her goal of becoming a citizen. Last year, she improved her English comprehension by participating in our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course and studied for the naturalization exam by joining our Citizenship Preparation classes. We are overjoyed to report that this past August, Yanira became a citizen and attended her Oath of Allegiance ceremony. She shared with us the above picture and the following message: “I am eternally grateful for NMIC for providing the right combination of classes that together removed the obstacle to reaching our dreams.”  

We offer services that support our clients on their paths to more prosperous futures. Armed with her citizenship and improved English-language skills, Yanira can now vote, engage in civic duties, and enjoying the many benefits allotted to U.S. Citizens. 

Join us in congratulating her! 

Our Intern, Joanel

Joanel just ended his internship at NMIC but his relationship with us began when he was a child. His parents and older siblings, who had immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, enrolled in our immigration services program to become US citizens. And, in a full-circle moment, Joanel worked alongside the NMIC attorney who had helped his family obtain their citizenship, Aleida Sainz. Of his time working with us, he said, “I am proud to have contributed to an organization that actively addresses the issues I’ve had to combat my entire life. I will be the first college graduate in my family, and I plan on pursuing a career as a paralegal to continue the work I began at NMIC.”  

If, like Joanel, you would like to get involved, keep reading to find out how.  

NMIC’s Advisory Board (NAB)

NMIC is looking for dedicated professionals committed to our mission to join our Advisory Board. Participants will enhance their resumes, fulfill their passion to serve, and gain hands-on volunteer experience. NAB members will have opportunities to interact with our staff and network with the Board of Directors as they support NMIC’s overall goals through social media, individual fundraising, service activities, and fundraising events. To apply, fill out this application and send your resume to NAB@nmic.org. We will begin interviews in October!  


Interested in other ways to help? With just $5 per month you can become a sustaining donor to help us remain responsive in times of crisis. 

Become a monthly sustainer now. 
 
Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

August 2021 Notes from NMIC

Dear Friend:

In this newsletter:

  • NMIC’s collaboration with organizers of the 21st annual Brides’ March bringing forth advocacy efforts against domestic violence. 
  • Since last October we have distributed over $20,000 worth of pet food to our four-legged friends. 
  • Meet Ernesto, our community member. 
  • Learn how you can get involved!
NMIC Joins the Brides’ March


NMIC is proud to, once again, collaborate with other community-based organizations, activists, and the Ricart family in the planning and carrying out of the 21st annual Brides’ March. The march was established in 2001 to honor Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights, murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend on her wedding day. Every year, the march brings together survivors and advocates to fight for a world free of domestic violence. We will begin this year’s march at 8am at the Holyrod Episcopal Church at 715 W 179th Street in Washington Heights. For more information, visit their website.

Through NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project, we provide counseling, safety planning, support groups, legal assistance and so much more because survivors and their families deserve safety and healing.

NMIC & The Hungry Pet Project


Since last October, NMIC and The Hungry Pet Project have distributed over $20,000 worth of pet food. That translates to 5,809 pounds of canned food and over 13,000 pounds of dry food. We are honored that our partnership has helped us amplify our impact to reach our beloved four-legged family members! 

Learn more about The Hungry Pet Project

Meet Ernesto


Before the pandemic Ernesto worked in a hotel, which has since closed because of last year’s shutdown. These last eighteen months have been challenging for him. Ernesto is experiencing food insecurity and the financial hardship of losing employment. His stress is compounded by the uncertainty of his employment future. Unfortunately, stories like Ernesto’s are far too common. 

Our communities specifically represent some of the highest socioeconomic need in New York City and include 9 of the top 10 (out of 59 total) NYC community districts with the highest percentage of residents living below the federal poverty level. Without support, our community members are forced to choose between paying their rent or buying groceries. No one should have to choose between the two but many are. 

At NMIC, we help alleviate immediate crisis and once resolved – we provide our clients with wrap-around holistic services as they define their own goals to reach a more sustainable future. Our food pantry allows Ernesto to use his restricted income for other necessities. We cannot do this work without your support; read below about ways you can make a difference. 

Get Involved

The Excluded Workers Fund is New York’s largest cash relief program for workers. We are committed to ensuring that these eligible excluded workers can access critical relief. 

You can do your part, too. Repost this photo on social media and encourage your followers to do the same. Applications for the Excluded Workers Fund are now open. To learn about qualifications, click here.

The NMIC Advisory Board (NAB) is launching and we are inviting you to learn more about this opportunity. NAB is a group of dedicated professionals who are committed to NMIC’s mission to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of our community members all the while enhancing your resume, fulfilling your passion to serve, and gain hands-on volunteer experience! To apply please fill out this application and send your resume to NAB@nmic.org

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

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