NMIC’s Statement on the Recent Supreme Court Decision

New York, NY— June 29, 2022— NMIC denounces the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, Maria Lizardo comments:  

The Supreme Court’s recent catastrophic decision has caused the civil rights in our nation to regress. The overturn of Roe v. Wade will undoubtedly disproportionately impact the lives of low-income, Black, and Latina women who access abortion services at the highest rates and who have the highest maternal mortality rates. Access to reproductive health services was already inaccessible to many who were already encountering systemic barriers like financial, educational, and language will now be pushed further out of reach.   

NMIC condemns the overturning of this fundamental human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy. In this moment we are pushed to re-evaluate what true reproductive health access looks like for our communities living in the fringes. Building beyond Roe means centering the voices of our community to march forward. Our mission statement is to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the people in our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures, and despite this Supreme Court ruling, we will continue fighting for the necessary resources for all women to lead secure and prosperous futures for generations to come. Pa’lante” 

About NMIC 

Established in 1979, our mission is to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the people in our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures. We provide crisis intervention with legal or social services such as eviction prevention and cash/food relief. We then support clients as they define and achieve their own goals—generally through education, workforce training, and/or community organizing. Our staff of 120 attorneys, advocates, organizers, counselors, educators, etc., serve about 14,000 clients each year with a variety of programs to address Housing, Immigration, Education/Career, Finance/Benefits, Health, and Holistic needs. We primarily serve the immigrant communities of Upper Manhattan and adjacent Bronx neighborhoods.

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June 2022 – Notes from NMIC 

June has been and continues to be an exceptional month for us here at NMIC.  

The month of June is designated as both Immigrant Heritage Month and Pride Month, and it is an opportunity to highlight stories and recognize the impact that different communities have on our neighborhoods. This month, we also celebrated our 43rd anniversary with all of you at our annual benefit, Juntos/ Together: Building Without Limits.  

To boot, we are delighted to share we have been selected as a grant recipient by the New York Bar Foundation, a generous supporter responded to the baby formula shortage, and we spent a sunny and restorative afternoon sowing seeds in Yajaira Parra’s Garden outside of our Manhattan office.  

Let us take a moment to acknowledge that we have a lot to celebrate in the month of June, and we would like to share it with you!  

Juntos/Together: Building Without Limits  

On June 9th, NMIC staff, supporters, volunteers, partners, and community members gathered to celebrate our many accomplishments of the past year together at our annual benefit, Juntos/Together: Building Without Limits. It was an evening to advocate for those we serve, to acknowledge the dedication of our staff, and to honor our partnerships with Crowell & Moring LLP and Finger Management Corp. and their exceptional dedication to our community. 

We are excited to announce that we have raised $162,000 to support our clients as we continue to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the people in our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures.  

Haga clic to view our photos from the benefit and haz clic aquí to watch our benefit videos.  

Thank you to all who joined us!  

New York Bar Foundation Selects NMIC as Grant Recipient  

The New York Bar Foundation awarded $600,000 in grants. NMIC is one of many recipients of this award that will enhance our Pro Bono and Clinical Partnership Program. This project will further our ongoing efforts to increase our resources to deliver housing, immigration, and other legal services to our community members at no cost.  

This opportunity supports relationship building and partnerships with prominent NYC law firms to handle cases and provide counsel with an overall aim to increase access to justice for our community.  

Haga clic to read the press release and learn about other legal organizations providing support to NYC residents.  

Yajaira Parra’s Garden  

In front of NMIC’s Manhattan office is Yajaira Parra’s Garden, a small but immensely meaningful symbol intended to serve as a memorial for Yajaira Parra, a young mother who was murdered by her husband in 2004. Through a partnership with City Gardens Club of NYC, the garden was planted as a visual reminder of Parra’s life, the prevalence of intimate partner violence, and as an outlet of healing for survivors. Nature has a restorative power and engaging with natural surroundings can reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of disconnection. Last month, survivors in NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project and staff came together to plant new flora and provide maintenance for the garden.   

Haga clic to support the hundreds of domestic violence survivors NMIC serves annually.  

Pride Month, Immigrant Heritage Month, Juneteenth, and Intersectionality  

Every year, Pride and Immigrant Heritage Month are celebrated in the month of June. June is a month to reflect on the intersectionality of people’s contributions, struggles, and successes within our nation’s history. Pride month honors the demonstrations of 1969, following a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Immigrant Heritage Month was established in 1987 and has evolved into a monthlong encouragement for all to explore their individual heritage and celebrate both our distinct and shared experiences.  

LGBTQ immigrants, who stand at the intersection of these two communities, are subjected to both homophobia and xenophobia. This is especially true for transgender female immigrants, who are detained on average more than twice the average length of detainment of all immigrants held in ICE custody.  

At NMIC, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community, immigrant communities, and those who belong to both.  

On June 19, we also observe Juneteenth. Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops arrived in Galveston two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States. On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday.  

To learn more about Immigrant Heritage Month, haz clic aquí. To learn more about New York City Pride, haz clic aquí. To learn more about Juneteenth, haz clic aquí.  

Joel Cohen and Babies 

There is nothing more important to families than the health and wellbeing of their babies, and the formula shortage has left many families in fear. The cost of rent and food has recently risen in New York City, which has only aggravated the needs of young mothers who live on a low income.  

Supporter Joel Cohen reached out to us at NMIC to see if we had clients who were impacted by the shortage. When we told him that we did, he generously donated a shipment of formula for mothers in our Domestic Violence Program. It is because of responsive philanthropy that we can meet the immediate needs of our community. 

If you have an innovative philanthropic idea that you’d like to share with us, please contact Rosanna Montilla-Payano at rosannamontilla@nmic.org. It is through these partnerships that we can comprehensively support families so that they may lead secure and prosperous lives.  

NMIC in the News

  • NMIC partnered with DoorDash, an online food delivery service, to distribute Covid test kits and personal protective equipment on April 29. Caitly Reynoso, a Train & Earn Academic Counselor, states, “People come in for professional or academic needs, but they leave with a wealth of many more resources.” Haga clic to read more.  
  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $20 million in new grants for its Eviction Protection Grant Program, doubling the amount originally allocated for the program’s launch in November 2021.  In New York, HUD awarded $2.4 million to NMIC. Haga clic to read more.

Observances  

  • Immigrant Heritage Month  
  • Pride Month  
  • Caribbean-American Heritage Month  
  • June 13-20, National Men’s Health Week  
  • June 19, Juneteenth  
  • June 21, International Yoga Day  
  • June 27, National PTSD Awareness Day  

May 2022 – Notes from NMIC

In this newsletter, you’ll read more about…  

  • Tchima and her journey of becoming a US Citizen.  
  • Prudential Global Investment Management’s visit to NMIC’s YouthBuild.  
  • Our wonderful evening with the first ever cohort of NMIC’s Advisory Board.   
  • NMIC’s Spark Collective, our community of monthly donors.  
  • Distributing COVID-19 test kits with DoorDash and nutritious food with Figma.  

Meet Tchima  

Tchima has been dedicated to achieving her goal of becoming a US citizen. Over the past year, she has been attending NMIC’s citizenship classes for preparation. Through these courses, Tchima practiced for her citizenship interview with NMIC staff, received case management, and counseling support, learned about American Civics to prepare for the written portion of her citizenship test, and gained confidence in her ability to pass her test. We are excited to announce she has accomplished her dream of becoming a citizen and has attended her Oath of Allegiance ceremony.  

“My citizenship course ended on February 10, and it was very interesting and informative because I learned a lot about the history of the United States, which helped me a lot to pass my citizenship interview today,”  Tchima Souley.  

Congratulations Tchima!  

PGIM Visits NMIC and Awards a Secondment 

Prudential Global Investment Management (PGIM) teamed up with NMIC to provide volunteers for our YouthBuild program, an education and leadership development program for young adults aged 17-24. Over the next few months, YouthBuild students will work with PGIM volunteers to gain new skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the workforce.

PGIM volunteers will run workshops on leadership training topics which will include how to deliver a business pitch, how to utilize PowerPoint presentations during meetings, how to perfect presentation skills, and more.

We are also delighted to announce a PGIM’s San Franscico secondment which means we’ll be hosting a PGIM professional on our YouthBuild program starting in June.  

Our Evening with NMIC’s Advisory Board  

This spring NMIC staff members met with our first Advisory Board cohort to celebrate, network, and discuss our future working together. We met for an evening of fun, laughter, and planning. NAB plays a significant role in developing awareness of our programming and providing opportunities for growth and gathering in the community.

Welcome to NMIC!  

NMIC’s Spark Collective 

NMIC’s Spark Collective is a community of committed recurring donors on a mission to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to tools and resources needed to lead secure and prosperous lives. Our monthly giving program is the easiest way to provide steady support for our ongoing work. When we receive reliable monthly donations, we can plan and develop our wrap-around services that directly benefit the lives of 14,000 annually and impact 32,000.  

“I am a resident of Washington Heights and a pediatrician in the neighborhood. Because of this, I know firsthand how useful the services at NMIC are to our community. My husband and I wanted to give locally to an organization that we knew and NMIC was the perfect choice for us. After two years of the pandemic, there couldn’t be a more important time to support and uplift this organization and this community,” Presley Nichols, member of NMIC’s Spark Collective.  

In addition, Members of the Spark Collective can take advantage of one-time volunteer opportunities like participating in professional speaking panels (based on your area of expertise), invitations to agency milestones celebrations, and professional networking events. 

Click here to learn about NMIC’s Spark Collective.  

Our Morning with DoorDash and Figma 

On April 29th, DoorDash partnered with NMIC to provide and distribute COVID-19 test kits to our community members during our food pantry programming. As we are seeing a spike in cases, we need to make sure that our communities are armed with what they need to continue to stay safe. Simultaneously, the Figma team came together to sort, pack, and distribute food to community members facing food insecurity. It is through partnerships like these that we can support clients holistically.

Thank you for your help, DoorDash and Figma!  

NMIC in the Press 

  • Hundreds rallied outside of City Hall; demanding fair pay for city contracted non-profit workers. At the rally, NMIC Executive Director Maria Lizardo stated, “Everything has gone up except our salaries. So, we need that $21 an hour as the minimum.” Click here to read more.  
  • After a 5-month delay, NYC health department adopts new federal rules on childhood lead exposure. NMIC Staff Attorney Matthew Chachere filed a successful petition with the Board of Health to lower the action level for interventions for lead poisoning. Click here to read more. 

Observances

  • Mental Health Month  
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 
  • Jewish Americans History Month 
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 
  • Tuesday, May 3rd, National Teachers Appreciation Day 
  • Thursday, May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Equal Pay Day 
  • Sunday, May 8th, Mother’s Day 
  • Wednesday, May 25th, George Floyd Memorial Day 
  • Sunday, May 29th, Dominican Mother’s Day  
  • Monday, May 30th, Memorial Day 

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, haz clic aquí.  

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, haz clic aquí. To donate to NMIC’s wrap-around services that support hundreds of domestic violence survivors and their children annually, haz clic aquí.  

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, haz clic aquí. 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.  

Haga clic 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. Haga clic 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. Haga clic to learn more about the campaign, and haz clic aquí 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. Haga clic 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. 

Haga clic 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, haz clic aquí. For scheduling with other providers if we are full, haz clic aquí. For further inquiries, please contact impuestos@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. 

Haga clic 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, haz clic aquí.

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 aquí.

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

January 2022 Notes from NMIC

In this newsletter, you’ll read more about:

  • How to help the victims of the Bronx High-Rise Fire and their families. 
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022.
  • Our inspiring YouthBuild alumni turned Outreach Specialist, Jalil.
  • The Second Annual #WESEEYOU Luncheon Honoring Female Social Workers.
  • A Five-Year Eviction Case Solved 

Please consider donating to the Relief for Families Affected by Bronx Fire

On January 9, 2022, our community experienced a tragedy in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx. The five-alarm high-rise fire was one of the worst in modern New York history. 17 community members, including eight children, and at least 44 people were injuries. Families lost loved ones, students lost classmates, and parents lost their children. The last thing they should have to worry about is the financial recovery from the disaster. Every dollar helps, please consider donating to the Relief for Families Affected by Bronx Fire. All proceeds will be distributed by the Gambian Youth Organization. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: a national day of service

In 1994, Congress passed a bill to dedicate Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a National Day of Service. The King Holiday and Service act of 1994 was launched by Senator Harris Wofford and Congressman John Lewis, who both worked as civil rights activists alongside Dr. King. 

Every third Monday of January, Americans nationwide are encouraged to step up and volunteer to improve their communities. The day’s slogan is “Make it a day on, not a day off.” January 17, 2022, was a day to recognize and appreciate those of you who have made strides this past year on the path toward equity that Dr. King paved for us. 

We are grateful for all the ways that our volunteers have helped us provide services to community members. One of the many devastating effects of COVID’s economic crisis was the sharp increase in food insecurity. Within the past two years, on account of our 266 volunteers, 4,758 bags of nutritious food were distributed to 1,300 unique households, 90,000 meals were handed out, and 128,000lbs of fresh food and 23,600lbs (about the weight of a school bus) of pet food were dispensed. Furthermore, food pantry volunteers are only one of the various volunteer roles that we depend on at NMIC. We are beholden to all the members of our community who continue to dedicate their time and effort to give back. 

Making time to volunteer is an exceptional way to honor the legacy of Dr. King. There is more work to be done, and volunteering makes the world of difference. Haga clic if you are interested in volunteering with us. 

Join us in welcoming Jalil, our inspiring YouthBuild alumni

Jalil Frazier came to YouthBuild after leaving high school before completing because he didn’t feel that anyone at his high school cared. He didn’t see the connection between what he was learning in the classroom and the skills he needed upon graduating, and he looked for a program that was more personal and relevant to his experience. 

He found both things in YouthBuild and participated in our second cohort of last year from March to June. He earned his high school equivalency diploma through the NYS diploma waiver, and he won NMIC’s business pitch at the end of the cohort after working closely with a representative from our placement partners, Prudential Global Investment Management (PGIM). Mr. Frazier went on to incorporate his own company and employ others in the filmmaking industry, where his goal is to create art and uplift other artists of color. 

More recently, Mr. Frazier joined NMIC as YouthBuild’s newest staff member, working as our outreach specialist. As a credible messenger of the impact YouthBuild can have, Mr. Frazier is helping us get the word out about the program to increase recruitment numbers, which YouthBuild has struggled with more so than any other program at NMIC since the pandemic. In addition to our typical recruitment efforts, Mr. Frazier brings his expertise in media, getting candid pictures and testimonials from participants to create more dynamic content that speaks directly to our target population. 

Join us in welcoming Mr. Frazier to the NMIC team!

The second annual #weseeyou luncheon honoring female social workers

On March 18, 2022 from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm ET, The National Association of Social Workers NYC chapter will hold a special event with NMIC’s very own Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, as a guest speaker. Events held by NASW-NYC CARES cover a range of topics and are created to encourage, support, and engage members of the social work profession.

This series in particular is celebrating the month of March which is national Social Work Month. Maria Lizardo was selected by the NASW-NYC as a result of her inclusion in the book, “Latinx in Social Work,” published last October. NASW-NYC’s Social Work Month series is designed to offer opportunities for networking and learning for social workers across the five boroughs. This event will be virtual and offered for free, if you are interested in registering, please click this linkWe look forward to seeing you there!

A five-year eviction case solved!

Access to safe and affordable housing is a fundamental human right that many of our clients do not have access to. When New York State’s eviction moratorium law expired on January 15th, many residents of our community depended on their rights to a free attorney, funded by the government. THE CITY’s article, “End to Eviction Moratorium Will Stress-Test Tenants’ Right to a Lawyer,” published on January 5, 2022, highlights the experiences of Carmen, a community member, who depended on free legal help from NMIC to get the five-year eviction case against her family resolved.

“We were afraid from day to day that somebody’s going to knock on the door, and we were going to be evicted,” Carmen told THE CITY. “If we had problems with anything in the apartment, we were afraid to even report it because we didn’t want to bring attention to ourselves.” Many fear that the post-pandemic floor of eviction cases will create a new housing crisis, as many residents are still recovering from COVID’s economic crisis. 

“I had been going to court for so many years, month after month, and I saw no end in sight. Finally, when the judge made the judgement, I was so relieved. They would have taken advantage of me if I had not had legal representation, because they would have figured I would eventually give up.”Help community members like Maria. By providing free legal, development, organizing, and weatherizing assistance, NMIC helps clients remove the obstacles that keep them from enjoying housing security. We cannot meet this new demand without your support.

Donate today.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

December 2021 Notes from NMIC

As we approach the end of another year, we are eager to welcome the one with a sense of renewal. Many of us are exhausted with the pandemic and all its negative effects—on our communities, our work, and our general stability. However, let’s remember that as we tread forward in time, we walk down our paths together as a community. It’s important to go forth constructively with validation and compassion. Times are tough, and it’s helpful to affirm the experiences of our neighbors who’ve faced challenges and instability during 2021.

In 2021, members of our community faced food insecurity, financial barriers, housing crises, and other commanding hurdles. We’re always here, with our sleeves rolled up, digging into these significant issues. From distributing emergency cash assistance to our food pantry services, we’ve adapted our services to meet these demands since March 2020.  

By creating an emergency fund for families who did not qualify for government stimulus, $400,000 of direct cash-relief was distributed to 445 families.

By expanding our food pantry, 90,000 meals and 23,600lbs of pet food were distributed.

By providing free legal, development, organizing, and weatherization assistance, 2,096 housing cases were handled and nearly 1,000 evictions were prevented. Including the weatherization of 553 units across 10 buildings.

By committing to our Domestic Violence Project, 485 survivors of domestic abuse received legal and holistic support.

By facilitating a vaccine call-center, 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments were made in four months.

By placing 102 residents in higher-paying and stable jobs, upgrading 9 classrooms with online learning capabilities, and engaging 405 community members to our English or Adult Education classes we supported both youth and adults.

By handling 5,385 immigration legal issues and filing 934 applications for citizenship.

By filing 1,585 tax returns, serving over 1,400 filers, receiving a total of almost $2.2 million.

We are very grateful for your support, without which none of these accomplishments would have been possible. We hope to celebrate our recent accomplishments, juntos, in person in the months to come. The festivities will recognize how special this past year was because your support proved to us that together we build without limits. 

On behalf of our community at NMIC, we wish you a happy and healthy new year.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

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, haz clic aquí.  

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

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