March 2021 Notes from NMIC

In March, Americans celebrated Women’s History Month by sharing stories and recognizing the contributions of women in their city, country, and around the world. For us at NMIC, it is difficult not to reflect on the vital role women have played to solve problems in our own community. In fact, in 1979 it was a woman, Barbara Lowry, who founded NMIC, taking the initiative to bring together various community stakeholders to form the first brick and mortar non-profit in Upper Manhattan to provide free legal housing services to immigrants. We are consistently inspired by the women on our staff and in our communities and want them to know our appreciation for their positive impact extends far beyond the month of March.  

Benefit MC Damaris Diaz 

We are so excited to announce that our benefit, The Moment is Now, will be hosted by Damaris Diaz, an embodiment of empowered and successful Latin American women. Born in La Vega, Dominican Republic – she moved to New York with her family as a small child and later settled in New Jersey. She graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts, in Communications with a concentration in Criminal Justice.  

In 2020, she began corresponding for Despierta America, Univision’s national morning show,developing interesting stories from the NY tri-state area. Her work ethic and dedication have also landed her roles as co-host of Viernes y Mas on UniMasMade In Hollywood, which marked her cross-over into the general English language market as a correspondent. 

Damaris is a hard worker who has found much success for her work in television, receiving three Emmy nominations! Now, she is giving back to immigrant communities by hosting our event. Please join her, on Thursday April 29 at 6:00 PM, in honoring Dr. Steven Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian and the tenant association of 894 Riverside Drive for their contributions to the community. The event is FREE! Haga clic to reserve your ticket.

If you are interested in learning about how to support our event, please email us at 

Staff Spotlight – Meet Jasmine Santana

Jasmine Santana, a 26-year old born and raised in Washington Heights, has always considered the Northern Manhattan community – from neighbors to grocery store owners – a second family. Having experienced how the pandemic disproportionately battered her neighborhood she knew that she needed to apply when she heard that NMIC was hiring part-time employees to assist community members in registering for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Being part of this effort is at the core of who I am,” says Jasmine, “Our community has suffered disproportionately from the virus, we’ve seen so much loss and pain here. By supporting the hotline and ultimately connecting with people in my community who are the most vulnerable, it is my way of giving back, honoring my late grandfather and all the other lives lost because of COVID-19.” 

With the help of community heroes like Jasmine, we have been able to assist 6,400 residents to sign up to receive the vaccine. You can learn more about Jasmine’s story over at Univision

If you are eligible to receive the vaccine in New York State and you reside in Northern Manhattan or the South and West Bronx, call our COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Hotline at 646-838-0319. 

The Women of NMIC’s DVP

We are honored to work with and serve the resilient participants of NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project. In 1996 several women at NMIC recognized the connection between domestic abuse and housing instability and launched the Domestic Violence Project (DVP). Since then, we have promoted the safety and independence of over 2,000 survivors. 

DVP has been an avid participant helping mobilize survivors to attend, speak, and support the outreach efforts of the Brides’ March which was established as a day of action and awareness for the murder of Gladys Ricart – a Dominican woman from Washington Heights – on her wedding day by her abusive former boyfriend.

Staff and survivors worked together again in 2012 to form a worker-led nanny cooperative with the goal of each member owning a portion of their business. This past year, DVP served over 400 survivors with bilingual community-based counseling, case management, and legal services. We are thrilled to share a little about our team and the amazing work they do everyday of the year. Check them out at the 2020 Advocates of NYC

With gratitude,
The NMIC Team

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