July 2022 – Notes from NMIC

The past few months have been especially difficult for our community. While we condemn the overturning of laws that have kept our neighbors safe and the implementation of new laws that will undoubtedly put many lives at risk, we know that we will get through these recent changes through collective resiliency. We may feel weary of the uncertain future, but we can attest to witnessing many acts of generosity from you all. As a community, we will continue to uplift one another with our steadfast mission acting as our guide; 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.  

International Day of Cooperatives & a Generous Donation  

For 100 years, cooperatives around the world have changed lives and built a better world for many. At NMIC, we are proud to have incubated two and on July 2nd, we joined cooperatives all around the world in celebrating the centennial anniversary of the cooperative movement. This year’s #CoopsDay slogan is, “Cooperatives Build a Better World.”  

NMIC worked with community members and partner organizations to develop, launch, and provide ongoing support to worker-owned cooperatives. We currently support two businesses launched largely by immigrants and survivors from our Domestic Violence Project with over $600,000 combined revenue. Worker Cooperatives ensure that workers are provided with living wages and opportunities to develop new skills and assets to their members. 

Our generous donor, Marvin Melendez, who donated 20 vacuum cleaners for the members of Ecomundo, understands the significance of empowering worker cooperatives.

“I come from an immigrant family that struggled to make ends meet. I also know that even the smallest of help can make a big difference as it did mine. I am glad that I can now be in a position to help,” Marvin Melendez.  

Open houses for new cooperative members at NMIC are hosted annually. To apply for membership in the cooperative, click here. To learn more about NMIC’s Worker Cooperative Ownership program, click here.  

BIPOC Mental Health

BIPOC communities are significantly more likely to develop mental health conditions, and often are the ones to face barriers to access mental health support.  

“People of color face a higher risk for mental health needs while receiving less mental health care than any other community, leading to inadequate and unequal access to mental health care. They face a significant number of systemic barriers when seeking care, such as lack of access, lack of culturally competent providers, high costs and insurance issues, stigma, and lack of proximity. Yet when people of color can access equitable care, when their provider speaks their language and is responsive and inclusive to their culture, when costs are accessible, mental health services offer not just a chance for individual growth and healing, but for broader societal and systemic change as well,” Santiago Marquez Ramos, Co-Coordinator of Wellness Services.  

Click here to find out how to access our mental health services.  

Your Vote Has Power

What better way to celebrate the month of July than to exercise your right as a citizen to sign up to vote? To register to vote in New York, you can register in-person at your county board of elections or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center, you can submit your voter application form at the Department of Motor Vehicles, either in person or on their website if you already have DMV-issued identification, you can request a New York State Voter Registration form by mail, or you can call 1-800-FOR-VOTE (1-800-367-8683) hotline to request a voter application. Click here to learn more.  If you are already registered to vote and would like to search for your poll site, click here.

We would like to encourage you all to vote on the NYS Senate and Congressional Races that will be taking place on August 23rd.

Our Youth & Their Business Pitch

To build a better collective future, we need to empower the next generations. In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly designated July 15th as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. At NMIC we accomplish just that through YouthBuild a paid five-month intensive vocational, education, and leadership development program for young adults aged 17-24. Over the course of their training, students work on a business pitch project, which they deliver to a panel of judges for a chance to win provisions for their business. Congratulations to all of our participants who are imagining and creating a brighter future for us all.  

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s YouthBuild.  

Back-to-School Drive 

NMIC is launching a special project this summer—a back-to school drive for families affected by domestic violence. NMIC aims to support survivors of intimate partner violence, and we hope that a back-to-school drive will provide their children with a sense of normalcy on their first day back to school. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to stay up to date with the drive’s launch.  

NMIC in the News

  • Our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, was recently featured in NYNMedia where she and Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, spoke about why human service workers deserve our continued investment. “Currently, the state of New York is facing a human services crisis, with compensation discrepancies that are putting unsustainable pressure on the people who work tirelessly to keep their communities afloat. Unfortunately, if we don’t act fast, we risk putting the entire human services system in New York and the New Yorkers who rely on this system in jeopardy.” Click here to read more.

Observances

  • BIPOC Mental Health Month  
  • July 2, International Day of Cooperatives 
  • July 4, Independence Day 
  • July 15, World Youth Skills Day 
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