August 2023 – Notes from NMIC

As the sun sets in the summer season, we send our heartfelt wishes that this newsletter finds you in good health and high spirits. Your steadfast support continues to inspire us, and we are grateful for the positive impact you continue to help us create. We are thrilled to give you a glimpse of the remarkable events that have unfolded in the past month. From our Back-to-School Drive, equipping young minds for a bright future, to our joyful Staff Picnic, fostering a sense of togetherness among our incredible team, the upcoming Bride’s March, and a grant award announcement!  

NMIC’s Staff Picnic 

Each member of NMIC’s superb staff gathered at a picturesque park for a day of fun, laughter, and bonding. This picnic served as both a well-earned respite for our hardworking staff and a chance to honor the enthusiastic individuals who are the foundation of our organization. As the day unfolded, the atmosphere buzzed with excitement and camaraderie as colleagues enjoyed engaging in summer activities including swimming, softball, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, ping pong, and corn hole. Beyond the recreational aspects, the true highlight of the event was the chance for team members to forge personal connections. This gathering wasn’t solely about amusement, but a poignant reminder of our shared mission: serving as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the people in our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures.  

Back-to-School Supply Drive 

With the back-to-school season just around, NMIC is thrilled to announce the kickoff of our Back-to-School Supply Drive in collaboration with DoorDash. This initiative aims to extend a helping hand to families residing in Upper Manhattan and The Bronx who have been affected by domestic violence, by providing them with essential school supplies for the upcoming academic year.    

“In the face of domestic violence, providing free school supplies becomes more than just a gesture of support,” said Rosanna-Montilla Payano, NMIC Director of Development. “By equipping families with the tools for education, we not only empower their children to learn but also send a powerful message of compassion and solidarity. Providing school supplies shows how deeply we care about these families, acknowledging their struggles and letting them know they are not alone in their journey towards healing.”   

From July 25th through August 21st, NMIC warmly welcomes in-kind donations of school supplies at its main office, located at 45 Wadsworth Avenue, during business hours. The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 7 pm and on Fridays from 8 am to 2 pm. Financial donations can be made online by visiting nmic.org/back-to-school-2023 until August 21st.    

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)’s Intern Roundtable at NMIC 

This summer, NMIC had the privilege of partnering with SYEP, welcoming their interns to our roundtable talks each Wednesday afternoon. SYEP is the nation’s largest youth employment program, connecting NYC youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experiences each summer. Guided by NMIC’s experienced staff, these young visionaries delved into discussions covering every corner of their future. Together, NMIC and SYEP formed an impactful partnership, guiding aspiring young professionals along a journey that encompassed exploring diverse educational avenues, fostering career development, and honing essential skills such as interview etiquette and salary negotiation. Through this collaboration, these weekly sessions spark a flame of possibility, igniting the path towards a brighter future for these promising young minds. 

Thank You, Lily Auchincloss Foundation!

We are excited to announce that NMIC has been chosen as a recipient of a generous grant from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation! For over two decades, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation has been a driving force in enhancing the quality of life in New York City through its invaluable grants. And now, their support through this prestigious grant will breathe new life into our general operations, providing a solid foundation to serve 14,000 New Yorkers annually and make a significant impact on the lives of 32,000 individuals.  

We firmly believe that general support is the lifeblood that sustains a nonprofit’s essential functions. While program-specific funding remains crucial, the unrestricted funds received for general operations provide us with the flexibility and agility to respond to emerging challenges and seize new opportunities as they arise. This unrestricted grant from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation is a testament to their visionary approach in empowering nonprofits like ours to create lasting and transformative change. We are profoundly grateful for this partnership, which serves as a beacon of hope, guiding us toward a brighter future. 

Cafecito con Maria 

This September, our hearts will unite to remember Gladys Ricart, a beloved mother and sister, and all the lives tragically lost to the horrors of domestic violence at Brides’ March. The life of Gladys Ricart was tragically cut short by the hands of her abusive former boyfriend on what should have been her wedding day.  

Back in 2001, Josie Ashton embarked on a poignant journey adorned in a wedding gown, traversing numerous states along the East Coast. This journey bore profound symbolism, standing as a testament to the unwavering resistance against domestic violence. With the support of local organizations, including NMIC, the inaugural Bride’s March came into existence, marking the commencement of her courageous 1,600-mile trek.  

In the years that have followed, a sea of white dresses graces the streets of Washington Heights and the neighboring communities in honor of the lives lost to domestic violence. Through these collective efforts, our aim is to disseminate bilingual resources pertaining to domestic violence, fostering awareness and solidarity within the communities our journey touches. Our hope is to inspire other communities across the nation to join this movement, illuminating the strength and resilience of survivors.  

To discover how you can participate in this year’s march, kindly follow @bridesmarchnyc.  

NMIC in the News

  • A recent piece featured in the Manhattan Times highlighted National Dominican Day Parade’s event on August 9 where volunteers and representatives from the parade organization, including NMIC, came together to host a food distribution event at Church of the Good Shepherd in Inwood. Click here to read more.

Observances

  • August 17, National Nonprofit Day 
  • August 19, World Humanitarian Day  

August 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

July 2023 – Notes from NMIC

Welcome to our July newsletter, where we celebrate the vibrant tapestry of our community and the significant events that shape our journey. In this edition, we dive into the empowering stories and impactful initiatives surrounding BIPOC Mental Health Month, the joyful spirit of the Dominican Day Parade, the importance of World Youth Skills Day in shaping our future leaders, and the recent developments in the affirmative action decision day. Join us as we explore these inspiring narratives that highlight the resilience and progress within our diverse community. 

Honoring Sandra Harris at The National Dominican Day Parade 

Join us in commemorating the remarkable achievements of NMIC Board Member Sandra Harris, Associate Vice President for Government and Community Affairs at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, as she is honored at The National Dominican Day Parade. This vibrant event marks the 41st Anniversary of the Parade and is a celebration of the richness of Dominican culture, folklore, and popular traditions. It serves as a platform to highlight, promote, and acknowledge the invaluable heritage and contributions of the Dominican community in the United States and around the world. Let us come together in unity and rejoice in Sandra’s outstanding accomplishments. We invite you to join us on Sunday, August 13th, as we fill the streets of 6th Avenue, embracing the theme of ‘Nuestra Historia, Nuestra Gente; Our History, Our People.’ 

Click here to learn more about The National Dominican Day Parade.  

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month 

NMIC’s Wellness Program provides free mental health screenings to community members and facilitate their connection to the necessary support. Each year, our initiative reaches and screens over 800 clients, ensuring their mental health needs are not only recognized, but also compassionately addressed. The month of July is especially significant because we observe BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to recognizing and addressing the distinct mental health challenges and requirements faced by BIPOC individuals. While mental illness can affect individuals from all backgrounds, this month sheds light on the unique experiences of the BIPOC communities. Shockingly, according to the NYS Office of Mental Health, only one in three African Americans in need of mental health care receive the support they require. Our commitment to supporting BIPOC communities drives us to break down the barriers that often hinder access to vital mental health treatment.  

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s Wellness Program.  

Celebrating World Youth Skills Day 

NMIC’s YouthBuild program stands as a champion for providing and facilitating employment and entrepreneurial skills opportunities to youth in our community who aspire to reach their full potential. Our five-month paid opportunity caters to young people between the ages of 17 and 24 who are unemployed and out-of-school. We help participants reclaim their education, gain the skills they need for employment, and become leaders in the community. 

According to a 2021 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a significant portion of minimum wage workers are young individuals. In fact, workers under the age of 25 accounted for 44% of individuals receiving the federal minimum wage or less. The statistics highlight the challenges faced by young workers, who grapple with the pressing issue of securing jobs that offer livable wages. Compounding the situation, the persistently high unemployment rates, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, further exacerbate the challenges faced by these individuals in their pursuit of meaningful employment. 

The comprehensive support services we provide play a crucial role in enabling us to empower young individuals who encounter obstacles, not just in obtaining employment, but also in providing them with the essential support to maintain stable employment and acquire the skills necessary for work and entrepreneurship. We recognize the tremendous potential of young people as agents of positive transformation and commit to equipping them with the resources and prospects needed to build prosperous and sustainable futures. Ensuring their access to education and career services stands as one of the most effective approaches to support the youth. 

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s YouthBuild.  

Affirmative Action: Statement from Maria Lizardo

On July 4th, Americans across the nation came together to commemorate Independence Day. However, this year’s celebration was accompanied by a complex backdrop as the Supreme Court had recently ruled to reverse affirmative action. This decision marked the end of colleges and universities being able to consider race as one of the factors in their admissions process. The ruling has stirred deep concern and disappointment among those who hold dear the principles of equality and inclusivity.  

While the full consequences of this decision may take time to unfold, it is crucial to acknowledge its potential impact. Previous research, such as a 2013 study conducted by Harvard, has shown that the elimination of affirmative action in certain states led to a noticeable decline in workforce diversity. These findings underscore the significance of affirmative action in fostering an inclusive work environment.  

We firmly condemn this recent ruling, recognizing the fundamental importance of equal opportunity for all individuals within our nation. It is essential to address the concerns surrounding this decision and comprehend the potential ramifications it has for our social progress. We firmly believe that diversity is a crucial element for the future excellence of our country and the world as a whole. As we reflect on this past Independence Day, we express our hope that meaningful discussions and exploration of alternative strategies will ensue, ensuring the continual advancement of a society that upholds the principles of equality, opportunity, and progress. 

Cafecito con Maria 

In the months leading up to Mayor Adam’s final agreement with the City Council for the budget of Fiscal Year 2023, numerous organizations across the boroughs, including NMIC, joined forces with the Human Services Council (HSC) to champion a crucial cause—a cost of living adjustment (COLA). Regrettably, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget only allocates $40 million for a workforce enhancement program for the 125,000 contracted workers in the human services sector. This agreement falls short of meeting the pressing needs of these workers, with two-thirds of them living near poverty.  

It is unacceptable that human service workers are subjected to inadequate pay, insufficient benefits, and limited opportunities for career advancement. Over the past year, in collaboration with HSC, our dedicated team at NMIC has undertaken various initiatives to advocate for change. We have orchestrated impactful social media campaigns, penned thought-provoking opinion pieces, and swiftly responded to the unfolding events with our statements. Our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, played a pivotal role as the emcee at one of the largest rallies ever witnessed during this mayoralty. She exemplified unwavering dedication by participating in an overnight protest outside City Hall, a bold act that no other advocate attempted this year. Maria also attended another rally the following day, showcasing our consistent and resolute stance. Throughout this budget negotiation, we have remained steadfast in highlighting the high stakes and the imperative need for a COLA to ensure true equity and accessibility in New York.  

We refuse to allow this setback to deter our progress. Together, we will persist in our fight to eradicate government-sanctioned poverty wages for human service workers.  

Click here to learn more about the #JustPay campaign.

Observances 

  • BIPOC Mental Health Month 
  • July 1, International Day of Cooperatives 
  • July 4, Independence Day 
  • July 15, World Youth Skills Day 

July 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

June 2023 – Notes from NMIC

As the summer season unfolds, we are excited to share the latest updates and developments at NMIC. As we reflect on the past month, we are reminded of hurdles we have overcome and the ongoing obstacles that lie ahead. In this dynamic journey, your support has served as a guiding force, driving our mission forward with unwavering momentum. We are incredibly grateful for your dedication and commitment to our work in the community.  

The Recent Price Hike in Rent-Stabilized Homes 

At NMIC, we are deeply committed to uplifting our community members and promoting housing security, recognizing that housing is a fundamental human right. Over the years, rent-stabilized apartments have played a crucial role in enabling families to continue residing in our city. In fact, approximately a quarter of New York City’s total population, which accounts for roughly two million people, currently call rent-stabilized apartments their homes.  

On June 21st, the Rent Guidelines Board reached a decision to raise the rent. By a close margin of 5 to 4, the board voted to raise rents on one-year leases by 3%, while two-year leases will experience an increase of 2.75% in the first year and 3.2% in the second year. These changes will apply to leases effective on October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024. We are concerned about the consequences these rent increases will have for our community. It is disheartening to know that these rent increases will lead to heightened financial burdens, placing residents at risk of eviction.  

Moving forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advocate for the well-being and housing security for all New Yorkers. Safe and affordable housing is a basic right that many of our clients do not have access to. NMIC’s free legal, development, organizing, and weatherization assistance help the members of our community remove the obstacles that keep them from enjoying housing security.  

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s housing services and click here to donate today.  

The Future of Promise NYC 

Promise NYC, a childcare assistance pilot program initiated by ACS, has been a beacon of hope for low-income, immigrant families in New York City. We feared its imminent end, as over 600 children would lose access to essential childcare services. We are overwhelmingly excited to announce that Promise NYC was included in the budget for 2024.  

Our team at NMIC presented compelling testimony for Promise NYC on June 13th in front of the city council, shedding light on the transformative power of the program. We rely on programs such as Promise NYC to adapt and tackle new challenges, such as the increase in new arrivals to New York City. Through firsthand experience, we have witnessed the monumental difference that Promise NYC makes in the lives of our community members. 

For many immigrant families within the communities we serve, programs like Promise NYC are key to a parent’s ability to enter the workforce, impacting both their availability to look for employment and the number of hours they can work as soon as they are employed. Continued access to Promise NYC services is necessary to ensure these families are not further destabilized.  

Click here to read The City’s Article on Promise NYC. 

Thank You for Joining us at Unidos: A NMIC Benefit 

We are delighted to announce that Unidos: A NMIC Benefit, held on June 15, surpassed all expectations and emerged as a resounding success. The event brought together our dedicated staff, passionate supporters, esteemed partners, and valued community members, united in our mission 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.  

It was also a momentous occasion to recognize and honor the exceptional commitment of Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University School of Nursing, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, Tenant Cooperate 21 Arden, and Dr. Aldrin Rafael Bonilla.  

We are grateful for the unwavering support we have received from individuals like you who have played an integral role in our transformative journey. Let us take a moment to celebrate this remarkable achievement and acknowledge the difference we are making together.  

We invite you to relive the memorable moments from our benefit by exploring photos captured during the event, which can be found here 

#ItsOkayNotToBeOkay 

The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH), an imperative mental health initiative by New York City, strives to elevate awareness of mental well-being and guarantee access to crucial mental health services for all residents. We are proud to announce that OCMH selected NMIC to be a community anchor for Communities Thrive. Communities Thrive is a demonstration project designed to address disparities and expand access to mental health care through community partnerships and connection to tele-mental healthcare provided by NYC Health + Hospitals. Its purpose is to eliminate barriers to mental healthcare faced by Latinx individuals in New York.   

Access to adequate mental healthcare for New Yorkers and their families is often hindered by systemic barriers. Communities of color are especially vulnerable to mental health needs, yet they receive less care than their white counterparts. Around 30% of New York residents live in designated mental healthcare shortage areas, where there are insufficient mental health providers and services. This is aggravated by a serious shortage of mental healthcare providers, lack of insurance, and stigma. Given this situation, OCMH has partnered with community organizations to create an integrated referral network to connect clients to mental health services, eliminate obstacles to insurance coverage, provide advocacy, and connect individuals with culturally sensitive and readily accessible services. Additionally, Communities Thrive partnered with GoDiversity, a Latinx-owned marketing agency, to create a public awareness campaign about mental health to address help-seeking barriers and combat stigma.  

It brings us great pride to collaborate with OCMH, NY Health+Hospitals, and fellow community organizations such as BronxWorks, Dominican Women’s Development Center (DWDC), New Settlement, VIP Mujeres, Apicha, and Betances. As the community anchor for the project, our aim is to organize a network of community-based organizations and community-health organizations to provide assessment, referrals, and advocacy for clients in need of mental health services. Together, we are committed to forging a mental healthcare system that is fair, just, and caters to the distinctive needs of every New Yorker.  

To learn more about Communities Thrive,click here. 

Cafécito con Maria 

Before we delve into the advocacy work of Maria Lizardo, LMSW, NMIC’s esteemed Executive Director, we must first extend our heartfelt congratulations on a momentous occasion: her remarkable 25th anniversary with NMIC! Since joining our organization as the Director of Social Services in 1998, Maria has consistently left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals. Her professional journey reflects her profound love for the communities of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.  

Earlier this month, on June 21st, Maria and other nonprofit leaders from across the boroughs united in a powerful demonstration of solidarity. From 6:00 PM to 10:00 AM the following morning, they participated in a rally organized by the Human Services Council. The gathering aimed to draw attention to the exploitation of human service workers by the government, advocating for fair wages for those employed within the sector under contracts with New York City and the State. The next day, Maria also attended, “Human Service Workers, Tell Mayor Adams: Don’t Forget Us in the Budget.” The rally, sponsored by United Neighborhood Houses, Nonprofit New York, UJA Federation New York, and FPWA, was also in support of the #JustPay campaign. 

New York City, often referred to as the city that never sleeps, witnesses the tireless dedication of human service workers who consistently care for its residents around the clock. Despite the relentless demands of their work, these workers find themselves struggling with poverty wages. It is time for the city to reciprocate this care and acknowledge the vital role of human service workers by providing a 6.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) within the budget. The efforts of these dedicated individuals deserve tangible support, allowing them to continue their invaluable work of caring for New Yorkers, day in and day out.  

Click here to listen to Maria’s remarks at Human Services Council’s rally.  

NMIC in the News 

  • In a recent article titled “Four million residents of the Big Apple could have obstacles to recertify their health insurance,” published by El Dario NY on May 25th, Maria Lizardo expressed concerns about the recertification process for Medicaid members. She stated, “In recent years, Medicaid members did not have to be certified. Now since the emergency is over, each person has to do it from this spring. We are afraid that many people will lose their health insurance, because they miss the date or do not understand the requirements.” Click here to read more. 
  • On May 27th, Maria Lizardo authored an article for Manhattan Times emphasizing the essential role of human service workers and the necessity of a cost-of-living adjustment. Click here to read more. 
  • An article published by The Indypendent on June 15th shed light on the impact of the unwinding of Medicaid, which could leave up to 200,000 New Yorkers without health insurance. Maria Lizardo highlighted the importance of having trustworthy individuals on the ground to support enrollees who receive notices in the mail. She stated, “You need boots on the ground, people that can trust to come to if they get a notice in the mail. It’s not gonna get done by a state agency calling someone, especially with so much distrust between communities and government.” Click here to read more. 
  • Telemundo 47 reported on the Public Hearings on Rent Increases held on June 21st, featuring Unidad Comunal, an independent entity that receives organizational support from NMIC. Click here to read more.

Observances 

  • Pride Month  
  • Caribbean-American Heritage Month  
  • Black Lives Matter Month  
  • PTSD Awareness Month  
  • Immigrant Heritage Month  
  • June 19, Juneteenth 
  • June 27, PTSD Awareness Day 

June 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

The Indispensable Role of Human Service Workers: A Day Without NMIC – A Message from Maria Lizardo, LMSW

New York, NY – May 25, 2023 – In the bustling metropolis of New York City, a hidden army of compassionate individuals labors tirelessly to uplift the most vulnerable members of our society. They are the human service workers, and their dedication and commitment shape the fabric of our community. Their story, however, goes beyond the noble narrative. It is a tale of numbers—a testament to their immense impact and the urgent need for change. 

According to The New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) ‘State of the Sector 2023’ report, New York State is home to a staggering 116,834 nonprofit organizations. These organizations are the lifeblood of our communities, addressing pressing issues such as poverty, homelessness, and education. But their significance extends far beyond their missions. These nonprofits collectively employ over 1.4 million New Yorkers—workers who devote their lives to making a difference.  

To grasp the magnitude of this figure, let’s put it into perspective. These 1.4 million human service workers represent a staggering 17.8% of all private employees in the state. It surpasses the combined number of individuals employed in construction, finance, and manufacturing industries. Human services workers generally make about 71% of what government employees make, and 82% of what private sector workers receive for the same role.  

Behind the statistics lie the faces of individuals who have made it their life’s mission to support others. They are the case managers ensuring that individuals have access to essential services, the educators helping English language learners navigate a new language, and the advocates fighting for social justice. Their impact reaches every corner of our city, touching the lives of countless individuals and families. 

Let us consider the significant consequences to our community in the event of NMIC (Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation) ceasing all operations, resulting in the temporary discontinuation of essential crisis and self-sufficiency services that an average of 572 clients rely on each day:  

  • 210 households would be deprived of a full week’s worth of nourishing food, leaving them vulnerable to hunger and food insecurity. 
  • 120 English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) students would miss out on essential instruction, hindering their language acquisition and limiting their opportunities for success. 
  • 98 clients would be denied critical assistance in case management and employment placement, leaving them without the necessary support to overcome their challenges and find stability. 
  • 46 community members would be left without access to crucial advocacy and legal counsel, depriving them of essential guidance and representation. 
  • 40 tenants would miss out on housing-related policy advocacy and legal representation, leaving them without a voice in matters affecting their living conditions and rights. 
  • 31 survivors of domestic violence would not have access to our trauma informed counseling and advocacy services, leaving them without counseling, support groups, crisis intervention, and an array of other programs to help survivors heal.  
  • 13 clients would be unable to receive the necessary immigration intake services, leaving them without vital support and guidance in navigating the complexities of immigration processes. 
  • 12 community members would be unable to benefit from therapy sessions, denying them access to much-needed mental health support and healing. 
  • 2 individuals with disabilities would lack access to the invaluable resources provided by NMIC’s Disability Advocacy Project, depriving them of assistance that enhances their quality of life and promotes inclusion. 

These numbers reveal the significant impact of human services workers and underscore the urgent need to support and value their essential work. Their absence for even a single day would leave hundreds of individuals and families without the crucial services and support they depend on. It is a stark reminder of the invaluable role these workers play in our community and the importance of ensuring their fair compensation and recognition. 

These figures paint a stark picture of the countless lives that would be affected by the absence of human service workers. However, despite their remarkable dedication, human service workers often find themselves grappling with the harsh reality of poverty wages. The compensation they receive falls far short of what is needed to sustain themselves and their families. It is a painful irony that those who uplift others are themselves burdened by financial insecurity. 

Sadly, the recent Executive Budget proposed by Mayor Adams has overlooked a crucial component: a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for human service workers. This oversight undermines their contributions and fails to acknowledge the fundamental importance of their work within our city. 

In solidarity with the Human Services Council (HSC) and various organizations across the city, including NMIC, we are rallying behind this cause. On May 25th, we will safely suspend 30% of our programs and come together at the intersection of Murray St. and Broadway Avenue. Our aim is to raise awareness and advocate for a 6.5% COLA for human service workers. Together, we strive to rectify this discrepancy and ensure that these indispensable individuals receive the fair and livable compensation they so rightfully deserve. 

We call upon Mayor Adams and city officials to recognize the immense value of human service workers and the critical nature of their work. A fair and reasonable cost-of-living adjustment is not only an investment in the welfare of these individuals but also an investment in the well-being of our entire city. 

Join us on May 25th, 2023, at 11:00 am, at the intersection of Murray St. and Broadway Avenue, where human service providers will unite to send a clear message: #JUSTPAY US MAYOR ADAMS – WE DESERVE A 6.5% COLA. 

Let us stand together to honor and support the indispensable role of human service workers. By advocating for equitable compensation, we can build a stronger, more compassionate city that values the well-being of all its residents. 

Maria Lizardo, LMSW is executive director of NMIC. 

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The Indispensable Role of Human Service Workers: A Day Without NMIC – A Message from Maria Lizardo, LMSW Read More »

May 2023 – Notes from NMIC

With the sun shining and nature blossoming, we hope this newsletter finds you in high spirits. But wait, there’s more to be excited about – we’re thrilled to bring you the latest updates and news from NMIC, so buckle up! 

This month, we’re shining a spotlight on the outstanding work of our partners and supporters in uplifting our community’s residents. We can’t wait to share their stories of courage and impact with you. 

But wait, there’s more! Mark your calendars for our upcoming annual benefit – an evening of community, networking, and giving back. With an exciting award ceremony, and a top-notch DJ set, this event promises to be one for the books. 

Let’s embark on this incredible journey together, fueled by passion, purpose, and the unwavering belief in the power of community. Keep reading, you don’t want to miss Cafecito con Maria below! 

Meet Our Benefit Honorees 

Get ready to be blown away as we unveil the remarkable individuals who will be honored at this year’s highly anticipated annual benefit, Unidos: A NMIC Benefit. These extraordinary changemakers have left an indelible mark on our community, and it’s our absolute pleasure to acknowledge their exceptional commitment and outstanding service. 

Without further ado, we proudly present the distinguished 2023 benefit honorees. First, we have Dr. Aldrin Rafael Bonilla, the Executive Vice President of the Fund for the City of New York, whose visionary leadership has paved the way for transformative change. Next, we shine a spotlight on Tenant Cooperative 21 Arden, a group of twelve families who, after enduring a decade-long wait, are finally reclaiming their cherished homes. And last but certainly not least, we pay tribute to the four schools of Columbia University Irving Medical Center—Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University School of Nursing, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and Columbia University College of Dental Medicine—for their unwavering dedication to the well-being of our community. 

The theme of the evening is “unidos,” a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering unity and forging stronger, interconnected communities. These honorees have been carefully selected because they embody the very essence of our organization and have displayed extraordinary dedication to the well-being of our community members. 

Be part of this extraordinary celebration as we come together to applaud the inspiring work of these exceptional individuals at our upcoming benefit. You won’t want to miss out on this incredible event. Secure your ticket now by clicking here and be prepared to be inspired. 

Let’s stand together in admiration of these remarkable honorees and continue building a future where unity and compassion reign supreme. 

Secure your ticket now to Unidos: A NMIC Benefit! 

A Message from Liz 

The recent reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have had a profound impact on our communities, particularly on vulnerable groups such as children and seniors. Regrettably, more families are now facing the challenge of putting food on their tables, making it imperative for emergency food pantries like NMIC’s to step up and help. 

We are immensely grateful to have the unwavering support of dedicated individuals like Elizabeth Conde, who wholeheartedly acknowledge the vital role NMIC plays in delivering essential services to our community. By becoming a member of NMIC’s Spark Collective, a community of recurring donors, Elizabeth is making a significant difference in helping us sustain and expand our reach, ensuring that we can continue to provide immediate support whenever it is needed. 

“I decided to join NMIC’s Spark Collective to help NMIC continue to assist the members of our community,” Elizabeth Conde, Spark Collective Member and NMIC Advisory Board. 

At NMIC, we provide free services across five key areas: housing, immigration, benefits and finance, health, education and career, and holistic services. These comprehensive services are tailored to address the unique needs of our community members, empowering them with the tools necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. 

Are you eager to amplify your impact and make a positive difference? Waste no time and click here to join The Spark Collective today. Together, we can create a stronger and more resilient community for all. 

Thank You New York Bar Foundation 

NMIC has been chosen as a recipient of a generous grant from The New York Bar Foundation! This grant will play a pivotal role in advancing our mission of creating positive change in the lives of numerous individuals through our range of services. 

“The New York Bar Foundation is committed to supporting charitable projects that address the legal needs of the public and the profession. Our core focus lies in assisting people and recognizing the commendable efforts of the legal community,” stated Carla M. Palumbo, President of the Foundation. 

In recent times, the Foundation has allocated over $600,000 in grants to ninety-five programs throughout New York. Lucia Whisenand, Chair of the Grants Review Committee, emphasized the pressing need for vulnerable individuals to access legal services. By allocating funds for these grants, the Foundation is helping transform justice into a tangible reality for millions across New York State. 

To learn more about NMIC’s services, click here, and to contribute to our cause, click here to make a donation today. 

NMIC in France! 

We are thrilled to share that Maria Lizardo and Rosanna Montilla-Payano represented NMIC at the International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers (IFS) conference in Lille, France. This global gathering brought together over 11,000 member associations committed to positive change within community-based organizations worldwide. 

At the conference, Maria and Rosanna witnessed inspiring work addressing pressing global issues like inequality, climate change, and mental health. They were amazed by the innovative approaches shared by counterparts from different countries, who demonstrated resilience and creativity in community building. 

The experience left Maria and Rosanna even more determined and inspired. It reinforced our shared mission and the power of collaboration in creating a better world. Notably, esteemed organizations like University Settlement, United Neighborhood Houses, Jacob A. Riis, Grand Street Settlement, Queens Community House, Goddard Riverside, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, and St. Nicks Alliance, fostering collective wisdom and reinforcing the potential for transformative impact. 

We extend heartfelt gratitude to all who support our mission. Your unwavering dedication fuels our efforts to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. Together, we will continue building stronger, resilient communities with compassion and determination. 

Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. 

Cafecito con Maria  

Get ready to take action! On May 9th, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, the Executive Director of NMIC, wrote a powerful Op-Ed in the Bronx Times, calling on the New York City Council to take action and protect the healthcare coverage of 4 million at-risk residents. With new federal rules requiring states to re-evaluate eligibility for public program enrollees from this spring onward, it’s crucial that we act now. 

Fortunately, MCCAP is here to help. As a free helpline and network of 12 community-based organizations, including NMIC, MCCAP has already assisted over 10,000 cases and saved New Yorkers nearly $600,000 in health care-related costs since the pandemic began in 2020. 

To ensure even more New Yorkers can receive the support they need, Lizardo urges the City Council to increase funding for MCCAP to $2.3 million in the FY24 budget. This will allow the program to expand its capacity and add 14 new community-based organizations to its network. Let’s not let New York City residents down when they need us the most. Join us in supporting MCCAP and preserving vital healthcare coverage. Check out the full article here for more information. 

NMIC in the News 

  • On May 22nd, Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote an article titled, “600 Children Would Lose Child Care With the End of Free NYC Program for Undocumented Families.” Within the article, Kimberly Warner, Deputy Director of Legal, Organizing, and Advocacy Services for NMIC, states, “To take that away would mean, you know, possibly the family loses employment or a kid has nowhere to go during the day. It would be very destabilizing.” Click here to read more.

Observances  

  • Mental Health Month  
  • Jewish Americans History Month 
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month  
  • Latinos Books Month 
  • May 7-13, National Teachers Appreciation Week 
  • May 14-20, National Women’s Health Week  
  • May 5, Cinco de Mayo  
  • May 14, Mother’s Day 
  • May 25th, George Floyd Memorial Day  
  • May 29, Memorial Day 

May 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

April 2023 – Notes from NMIC

Strategic partnerships matter because they work—they expand our reach, create greater impact, and drive broader change. From improving outreach efforts to strengthening our wrap-around programming, there are many reasons why we highly value our partnerships at NMIC. This month, we are turning the spotlight on a few of our many partnerships that push our mission forward. Together, we can serve as catalysts for positive change in the lives of the people in our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures. 

Let’s Celebrate Together

We are getting closer to one of our favorite events of the year, our annual benefit. Unidos: A NMIC Benefit will be held at The Hudson, 348 Dyckman Street, on June 15th from 6:00-8:30 PM. Join us in celebrating the innovative partnerships that make our work possible. We will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and will culminate with an exciting award ceremony. Lastly, we will dance the night away with an official DJ set! Community tickets start at $250.00.  

Click here to get your ticket today!  

In Community

We were excited to join Univision and other service providers at TelevisaUnivision, Inc’s on February 27th to commemorate Dominican Independence. At the community event, held at 809 in Washington Heights, Esperanza Cruz, Program Manager, Education & Career Services, and Jimberlyn Batista, Coordinator for Benefits & Advocacy Services, shared information about our free wrap-around services at NMIC and handed out flyers.  

We are always happy to partner with Univision Communications Inc., who are dedicated to informing, empowering, and entertaining our communities.  

Click here to learn more about the services NMIC offers to our community members.  

Thank You, Valley Bank!

Food prices are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and it has become more expensive to purchase groceries in New York City. For this reason, we are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Valley Bank, who volunteered at our March 31st food pantry.

There is not a single neighborhood in New York City without a family or individual facing food insecurity. Frequently, community members who are struggling financially are forced between essentials like food or medicine. Food pantry services build the community by assisting residents with nutritious food so that they can focus on meeting their other basic needs.  

Last month’s pantry was particularly special because NMIC Co-Coordinator of Wellness Services, Santiago Márquez Ramos, dressed up as an Easter Bunny to hand out candy to children who came with their families to pick up their groceries.  

Would you consider donating today to support NMIC’s food pantry services? Together, we can alleviate the food insecurity in our neighborhoods.  

Prom Clothing Donations 

Prom season is almost here which means that a lot of students will be shopping for gowns, suits, shoes, and accessories. Unfortunately, many students cannot afford these items. That’s why we’re proud to support Dominican Community Center NYC’s 17th Annual Prom Clothing Giveaway! The event invites New York City students who are going to their junior high school or high school prom to choose an outfit free of charge so that they can shine at their spring proms. The event will take place at the Alianza Cultural Center, 530 W 166th St., on April 22nd from 10am-5pm.  

Interested in donating or volunteering? Send an email to dominicancommunitycenter@gmail.com for further information. 

Cafecito con Maria 

In early March, The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) co-lead a trip with Western States Center, Alan van Capelle, and Face to Face to Israel and Palestine to address the connection between white nationalism, antisemitism, racism, and a rising threat to democracy. Often, the lens we apply from an American viewpoint obscure more than it illuminates the complex, long-standing set of actors and disputes in the Middle East. The cohort for this trip included NMIC’s Executive Director Maria Lizardo, LMSW, and other leaders within the public and private sectors of New York City.  

“Although the conflict between Israel and Palestine may not be resolved anytime soon, I was impressed with the folks on the ground who are building community and looking for peaceful ways to co-exist. I remain hopeful that humanity will prevail, and peace with reign over the region,” Maria Lizardo, Executive Director. 

NMIC in the News 

  • Telemundo 47 interviewed NMIC’s Director of Development, Rosanna Montilla-Payano, to discuss an enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the members of our community in which they are no longer asking for social security information. Click here to read more.  

Observances 

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month 
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month 
  • Financial Literacy Month  
  • Stress Awareness Month  
  • International Black Women’s Month  
  • April 5-April 13, Passover 
  • April 12-April 18, Immigrant Heritage Week  
  • April 23-29, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 
  • April 9, Easter 
  • April 14, Day of Silence 
  • April 22, Earth Day 
  • April 23, Spanish Language Day 
  • April 26, Denim Day  

April 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

March 2023 – Notes from NMIC

In a few short weeks, we will be celebrating the first day of spring. New Yorkers across all five boroughs will be shedding their winter coats and emerging to enjoy the public parks and outdoor venues our city has to offer. Speaking of outdoor venues, NMIC’s annual benefit, Unidos: A NMIC Benefit, is coming up on June 15th, 2023. The cocktail reception and award ceremony will take place at The Hudson, an outdoor space with unforgettable views of The Hudson River and George Washington Bridge. We are looking forward to celebrating the transformative work that our community members tackle each day to catalyze positive change in our neighborhoods.  

Click here to learn more about our upcoming benefit.  

NMIC Celebrates Women’s History Month: A Success Story 

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to spotlight Jocelyn, one of our exceptional NMIC Education & Career students. Recently, Jocelyn completed our holistic Security Training program, which she found to be the most comprehensive and effective compared to other workforce development programs. This program equips students with both hard and soft skills necessary to succeed in their careers and beyond. 

Throughout Jocelyn’s participation in the program, she engaged in various interactive courses, including career building, emotional intelligence in the workplace, customer service, cultural competency, FEMA security awareness, Fireguard F-01, and the NYS 8- and 16-Hour Security Guard. Additionally, she and her cohort participated in empowering workshops covering topics such as mental health, worker’s rights, and financial literacy. The program also provided opportunities for participants to connect directly with job recruiters, increasing their chances of securing gainful employment. 

We congratulate Jocelyn on her achievement and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Let us use this Women’s History Month as a reminder to uplift the women in our lives and celebrate their contributions, not just during this month, but throughout the year. All accomplishments are worth a celebration. 

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s Education & Career services.  

We Welcomed New Members to our Advisory Board (NAB)  

We are pleased to introduce Jordan Green, Caitie Adams, and Morgan Siegel, the newest members of NMIC’s Advisory Board (NAB). They are committed to being agents for change and innovation and we warmly welcome them to our team. Members of NAB develop awareness of NMIC’s programs and provide opportunities for our organization’s growth by leveraging resources to support the advancement of the communities we serve in Upper Manhattan, adjacent Bronx neighborhoods, and New York City as a whole. 

Click here to learn more about NAB.  

Introducing Katje Lilah King 

We welcome Katje Lilah King, our new Director of Education & Career Services. Ms. King has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including roles in fundraising, evaluation, and program management. She most recently served as Senior Program Officer at PENCIL, where she partnered with hundreds of New York City schools and businesses to execute annual Principal for a Day events and deliver college and career readiness programming to over 5,000 students annually.  Katje also led the establishment of PENCIL’s Internship Programs, collaborating with partners including the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the Pinkerton Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide paid work-based learning experiences to over 500 youth each summer. 

Join us in welcoming Ketje!  

Fresh Prints  

We have a big announcement—NMIC will be collaborating with Rene Clairin, YumaYorkNYC, and Benny Cruz on art prints! The prints are inspired by Washington Heights, the hometown of the YumaYorkNYC team, and the Latin culture they were raised with. YumaYorkNYC’s work often includes vibrant colors, organic shapes, and imperfect lines—all brought together to create images that bring about joy.  

“It’s beautiful to see a local organization dedicating their time to help some of the most vulnerable members of our ever-growing community uptown: immigrants that are landing in NYC in search of stability and peace of mind. Sometimes a legal or government form can seem like an insurmountable obstacle when it’s presented to you in a language that you don’t grasp.  

NMIC specifically sets up time to provide legal access, benefit access and advocacy for these new members of our Heights neighborhoods; that’s a beautiful thing because this would have been a valuable resource for our relatives when they first arrived in the Heights decades ago. We’re happy to support their work with the proceeds of this limited collaborative work between us, YumaYorkNYC, and Benny Cruz,” Rene Clairin.  

A portion of proceeds from the sales will be donated to NMIC to support our wrap-around supportive services. To find out how to purchase a print, follow @nmicnyc on social media, we will post a link as soon as the print drops. Click here to learn more about YumaYorkNYC.  

Know Your Rights Panel Discussion 

 Community Services with Faith Hope & Charity, Inc. teamed up with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to host a panel discussion titled “Know Your Rights” at The Annunciation Church on March 5th. The event centered on the rights of immigrant New Yorkers, updates on potential shifts in immigration laws, and a Q&A session for community members. NMIC’s immigration attorney, Marc Valinoti, was a panelist who shared expert views on the challenges of accessing legal representation for immigrants and the available resources for immigrant communities. 

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s Immigration Services.  

Cafecito con Maria 

As of March 1st, Congress ended Emergency Allotments, the federal COVID-era emergency food funding, to SNAP benefits. With 21% of the population of New York City receiving SNAP benefits, the impact will be dramatic, leaving a great number of New Yorkers in danger of going hungry. Every household using SNAP benefits will see a decrease of at least $95 in monthly benefits. As the emergency food funding expires, food prices continue to rise. Over the past year, food prices rose 8.4%, and as benefits are cut further, more households will become dependent on food pantries to be able to provide for their families.  

Telemundo 47 reported on the possible crisis for our city, and interviewed our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, to discuss the increased need and to advocate for the needs of our community. 

NMIC offers emergency food pantry services with the West Side Campaign Against Hunger and Hungry Pets Project. These partnerships allow our organization to alleviate hunger within our community through access to locally sourced, fresh produce. All people, regardless of income, deserve access to quality food. No one should ever have to choose between paying their rent or purchasing groceries.  

To get involved with NMIC’s food pantry services, click here to sign up for our volunteer newsletter to be notified of upcoming volunteer opportunities and click here to donate today.  

NMIC in the News 

  • On March 1st, Telemundo 47 featured our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, and NMIC clients during a news report on the current SNAP cuts. Click here to read more.  
  • Telemundo 47 had a news report on Promise NYC, a program funded by New York City that covers the cost of childcare for families who are ineligible for federally funded childcare due to their immigration status. The report featured Wilbert Negron, Program Manager of Promise NYC at NMIC, and current clients in the program. Click here to read more.  

Observances 

  • Women’s History Month  
  • Social Work Month  
  • March 2nd, Women’s Equal Pay Day  
  • March 8th, International Women’s Day  
  • March 12th, NMIC’s Anniversary  
  • March 31st, International Transgender Day of Visibility  

March 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

February 2023 – Notes from NMIC

February marks the beginning of Black History Month and the end to Dominican Heritage Month. As we celebrate these events and movements, we remember the important individuals and collectives who have paved the way for our community. As we commemorate, we also recognize the long road we have ahead of us. Let us use this month to reflect on the past, assess the present, and plan for our future. Unidos, anything is possible.  

Black History Month  

Black history is American history, and we celebrate Black History Month to celebrate black achievements throughout our nation’s history. Each year, a theme for Black History Month is chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the original founders of Black History Month. 2023’s theme is “Black Resistance,” to recognize how Black Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms. This theme will explore how “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings,” since the nation’s earliest days.   

ASALH was established on September 9, 1915, by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Thousands of African Americans traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation and viewed exhibits highlighting the progress that had been made since the destruction of slavery. This event led to “Negro History Week” and became dedicated as a national observance in 1976.  

Click here to read more about 2023’s Black History Month’s theme.  

Dominican Heritage Month  

The Dominican Heritage Month is celebrated every year from January 21st, with the Feast of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia, through February 27th which marks the anniversary of Dominican Republic Independence. As the largest immigrant group of New York City, it is easy to recognize the contributions that Dominican culture has brought to our city, whether it be through music, fashion, food, or literature.  

New York City itself, the city of immigrants, has been Dominican from the very beginning. The first immigrant to what has become New York City was Juan Rodriguez from Santo Domingo which is now the Dominican Republic. In October of 2012, the New York City Council enacted legislation to name Broadway from 159th Street to 218th Street in Manhattan after Juan Rodriguez.  

Click here to learn more about the history of Dominican Heritage Month. Click here to purchase official NMIC merchandise featuring the Juan Rodriguez Way Street sign. Proceeds directly support our mission and everything you value at NMIC.  

Thank You, Miranda Family Fund! 

We would like to give a special shout out to Miranda Family Fund for supporting our work in the community. The Miranda family champions community activism through their giving, fundraising, and advocacy efforts by supporting New York based institutions. Miranda Family Fund’s contributions will be used to amplify our mission—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. On behalf of the 14,000 individuals, we serve annually, and the 32,000 we impact through our services, thank you.  

Click here to join the Miranda Family Fund by serving as a catalyst for positive change through donating today.  

Congratulations Altagracia!  

Join us in congratulating community member Altagracia for passing her naturalization exam!  

“Gracias  por toda  su ayuda;  por haberme,  impulsado.  Todo se puede con dedicacion, gracias,” Altagracia, Community Member.  

NMIC’s Citizenship Preparation services provide community members like Altagracia with resources and advocacy to work toward obtaining American Citizenship. Our citizenship students practice citizenship interviews, learn about American Civics to prepare for the written citizenship test, and receive case management and counseling support. Over 300 individuals become citizens through NMIC’s supportive services annually.  

Help students like Altagracia make their dreams come true by donating today.  

Arte Y Bienestar  
 

Earlier this month, NMIC’s wellness team held “Arte Y Bienestar,” an afternoon dedicated to creating art in a relaxing and fun environment. Studies have shown that expression through art can help people with depression, anxiety, and stress. Creating art can also help to boost confidence and make us feel more engaged and resilient. The event was a major success, and community members left our offices with beautiful masterpieces.  

“Self-care is an important part of mental health and well-being, and art can be a wonderful self-care activity. Creating art allows us to express our emotions visually, without having to use words. When we create art, we enter a state of flow, where we become so immersed in a task that we lose track of time, and our thoughts float freely without worry. By doing this type of mechanical activity, our conscious mind opens to new thoughts and perspectives,” Santiago Márquez Ramos, Co-Coordinator of Wellness Services. 

Click here to learn more about NMIC’s health services.  


Cafecito con Maria  

During the of February, we would like to highlight our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW’s advocacy work for the communities we serve. At the beginning of the month, Maria attended Dominicans on the Hill, held annually during Dominican Heritage month created by Rep. Espaillat (NY-13) to recognize the growing civic engagement of the Dominican American community and throughout the diaspora. Since its inception, Dominicans on the Hill has become a signature event held at the United States Capitol that is attended by hundreds of community leaders, professionals, students, and elected officials of Dominican descent and groups from around the nation.  

Later, Maria joined The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)’s Legislative Breakfast. Among the attendees included immigrants’ rights activists from across the five boroughs who joined forces to discuss the needs of New York City’s immigrant communities, with the aim to envision a New York where all are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. 

Most recently, Maria joined NYSABPRHAL for their 52nd Annual Conference in Albany. The goal of the conference was to engage New State Residents from a minority descent into a dialogue about state-wide issues and policies. Throughout the weekend, NYSABPRHAL honored those who have excelled in the principles of leadership in their communities. Among the honorees was Maria, who represented NMIC and those we serve. On the Saturday of the conference weekend, Maria joined Latino Social Work Coalition & Scholarship Fund’s to advocate for the removal of non-independent social work practice exams and more fair and equitable competency measures for prospective social workers. Together, we can eliminate discriminatory practices for prospective social workers.  

NMIC in the News

  • NYC.gov recently wrote an article about the 2023 tax season. New York City kicked off tax season this year with free tax preparation services now tailored for self-employed New Yorkers. NMIC Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW stated, “NMIC is excited to partner with DCWP to provide access to free, effective tax preparation services through the NYC Free Tax Prep program,” said Maria Lizardo, executive director, NMIC. “These services are invaluable to the economic empowerment of our community members as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Click here to read more.  
  • Spectrum Noticias wrote an article about the importance of Promise NYC. Promise NYC is a NYC childcare assistance program for undocumented children and their families. The city partnered with community organizations like NMIC to connect families with these new services. Wilbert Negron, NMIC childcare manager, stated, “It’s for families that have children who are undocumented. If families don’t have any kind of benefits from other agencies, Promise NYC makes sure to give them childcare.” Click here to read more. 

Observances

  • Black History Month  
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month  
  • Dominican Heritage Month  
  • February 12, Lincoln’s Birthday  
  • February 14, Valentine’s Day  
  • February 20, Presidents’ Day  

Click here to get NMIC’s monthly newsletter straight to your inbox and be the first to know about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and big announcements.

Click here to serve as a catalyst for positive change by donating today.

February 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

January 2023 – Notes from NMIC

January is a month that marks new beginnings for many. For others, like us, it is a reminder of the commitment we have made to you, which 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. Join us in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by recognizing the profound impact he achieved throughout the world by calling out for the improvement of the well-being of our communities. Dr. King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Our community members need access to the tools to secure long-term and large-scale improvements to their lives. His dreams have continued to influence the world long after his passing, and NMIC’s wrap-around services aim to optimize those dreams.  

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: National Day of Service 

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the entire nation reflected upon the life and work of Dr. King, who was a Baptist minister and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. MLK Day serves multiple purposes each year: It honors the legacy of King, focuses on the issue of civil rights, and calls people into public service. To honor the civil rights icon, New Yorkers across the city took time to perform a day of service to remember King’s teachings on justice, peace, love, community, and equality. Let us all honor these teachings not only on MLK day, but every day of the year, as we fight for a New York where all community members can access secure and prosperous futures. 

If you are interested in volunteering for NMIC to serve as a catalyst for positive change in our community, please fill out a volunteer form here.  

High School Students Organized a Clothing Drive for NMIC’s DVP 

Young activists at The Clinton School from the Clinton Students Demand Action group reached out to us last month because they wanted to organize a winter clothing drive for our domestic violence survivors. Their high school action group was created to fight against gun violence, and the apparent links between domestic violence and firearm ownership.  

“Clinton Students Demand Action is honored to work with NMIC and host a drive at our school. We acknowledge the overlap between domestic violence and gun violence, and we are committed to helping our community,” Sofia Dib-Gomez, Clinton Students Demand Action.  

We are deeply touched by their gesture and generosity of the student volunteers, and we are impressed by their commitment to their advocacy work for gun safety legislation.  

Click here to learn more about Students Demand Action.  

Mount Sinai’s Black Women Leaders Connect 

One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is the opportunity to give to others, which is exactly what Mount Sinai’s Black Women Leaders Connect did last month. Black Women Leaders Connection is a collective of executive and senior-level Black women administrative leaders with a mission to nurture and guide women within their communities. The collective graciously donated gift funds for the purchase of gift cards this month so that families experiencing domestic violence could celebrate Three Kings’ Day.   

Donations like this help give survivors the tools and autonomy they need to build secure and prosperous futures. Click here to learn more about NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project and click here to donate today.  

DoorDash Delivers Good  

We are excited to join forces again with DoorDash through their Community Credits program! Community Credits provides DoorDash gift cards directly to nonprofit organizations to empower the communities they serve, reduce food insecurity, and expand programs and that access to opportunity, and we are delighted to make these available to the students in our Education & Career Services program. With this partnership, we’ll be providing meals to our community members. Sara Chapman, our Director of Education & Career Services, said, “Participants are not only thankful for the unexpected generosity, but also because they found the assistance very valuable in having the choice on how to nourish themselves.”

To learn more about how you can partner with us, visit our more ways to give webpage.

Promise NYC: All Children, Regardless of Immigration Status, Deserve Quality Childcare 

Promise NYC is a program funded by New York City that will cover the cost of childcare for children who are ineligible for federally subsidized services due to their immigration status. All children deserve the opportunity to succeed, and we hope that this program will alleviate stress for undocumented parents.  

“Insurmountable childcare costs are often a barrier to families seeking access to education, employment, and stable housing. That burden is particularly heavy for immigrant families who are ineligible for assistance. NMIC is proud to partner with the Administration of Children’s Services to offer childcare assistance to undocumented parents and children in our community; assistance that will alleviate families’ childcare cost burden so they can work toward secure and prosperous futures,” Maria Lizardo, LMSW, Executive Director.  

We want to thank all the elected officials who advocated tirelessly for this program. The city has contracted four community organizations that will oversee selecting immigrant families who need help with care of their children. Center for Family Life will serve families in Brooklyn, NMIC will serve families in the Bronx and Manhattan, La Colmena will serve families in Staten Island, and the Chinese American Planning Council will serve families in Queens. 

Click here to learn more about Promise NYC.  

NMIC in the News 

  • City Limits recently wrote an article on Promise NYC, a $10 million program that aims to care for 600 children between January and June 2023. The city has contacted four community organizations that will oversee selecting immigrant families who need help with care of their children, one of which is NMIC. Click here to read more.  
  • Life in the largely Black and Latino communities of northern Manhattan is significantly shorter than it is elsewhere in New York City. In fact, residents of central and east Harlem can expect to live four to five years fewer, on average, than people in the rest of the city, according to the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene. Columbia University Irving Medical Center recently wrote an article on their work addressing health disparities through partnerships with local organizations, including NMIC. Click here to read more.  

Observances 

  • Stalking Awareness Month 
  • January 1, New Year’s Day 
  • January 6, Día de los Reyes 
  • January 9, First Anniversary of the Tragic Fire in the Bronx 
  • January 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day 
  • January 24, International Day of Education  
  • January 27, International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust 

Click here to get NMIC’s monthly newsletter straight to your inbox and be the first to know about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and big announcements.

Click here to serve as a catalyst for positive change by donating today.

January 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

A Message from our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo.

As hard as it is to believe, 2023 is almost upon us. I don’t know about you, but I feel optimistic. I recognize the long-lasting effects of the pandemic, and I notice the way these effects have impacted low-income New Yorkers the most. However, I can’t help but hold on to a glimmer of hope.

When we stand together, I know that our future is limitless. Our future as a community is bursting with opportunities to build each other up, through empathy, through support. I would like to take a moment to ring the new year in with a question: how can we continue to support each other?  

To us, support looks like every single member has access to health services, education, and employment—where no one must deal with food and housing insecurities. I imagine a community where survivors of domestic violence are provided support through trauma-informed care without judgement and where immigrants and refugees are protected and provided support throughout their path toward citizenship. I imagine a community where all needs are met, and people do not have to pick and choose which aspects of their lives are fulfilled.  

Everyone deserves help as they find solutions to their crises, and everyone deserves self-sufficiency and prosperous futures. I believe in this big and beautiful future for our community, and as a supporter of our organization, I know you do too because together, in 2022, we have: 

Secured over $6.2 million in housing allowances for clients. 

Filed 900 tax returns with a cumulative refund amount of over $1.4 million.   

Distributed over 117,000 lbs. of food to over 4,000 recipients.   

Helped over 400 residents access $5.5 million through the Excluded Workers Fund and Emergency Rental Assistance Program.   

Worked on over 2,050 immigration cases and filed over 400 immigration applications. 

Placed over 220 students in internships, jobs, or workforce certification programs. 

Prevented over 300 eviction cases, impacting over 1,000 residents.

Served over 340 clients impacted by Domestic Violence through holistic and legal services.   

As we look ahead and welcome the new year let’s take a leap of faith and start by believing in the possibilities.  

P.S. Our offices will be closed for Winter Break from Friday, December 23, 2022, through Monday, January 2, 2023. The buildings at 45 Wadsworth and 8 Clinton Place will be closed during this time. 

A Message from our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo. Read More »

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