Malden-based The Immigrant Learning Center expanded its leadership team July 1 when it welcomed Vincent Rivers as its first executive director. Founder and CEO Diane Portnoy will continue as The ILC’s CEO, concentrating on longer-term strategy for growing and strengthening the organization. Rivers will take on the responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day operations of The ILC.
Niall Lennon, of Arlington, along with Massachusetts residents Abdulkader Hayani and Monique Nguyen were honored on April 6 at the Immigrant Learning Center Immigrant Heroes Award Benefit. The event paid tribute to the achievements of three honorees and to the 1.2 million immigrant essential workers in Massachusetts working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Five organizations working to expand literacy and promote reading will be awarded the 2020 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today. Top prizes are being awarded to The Immigrant Learning Center (The ILC), The International Rescue Committee, Inc.: Pakistan Reading Project, the National Center for Families Learning, Pratham Books and Room to Read.
In another time and another place, Diane Portnoy and her parents would have been called “illegals,” and the truck driver who hid them beneath a tarp as they rumbled across the border of their homeland would have been called a “coyote.” As an American immigrant, Portnoy has founded The Immigrant Learning Center, won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, been given the keys to the city of Malden, edited “Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts,” and shows no signs of slowing down.
In December 2001, then-16-year-old Joseph Ngaruiya migrated from Nairobi, Kenya, to the eastern Massachusetts city of Lowell with his mother, Salome, to join his father, Stephen, who had arrived six months earlier. He grew up to become a successful entrepreneur, founding A Better Life Homecare and winning The ILC’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Award for Business Growth.
The ILC founder and CEO, Diane Portnoy, was just three years old when she arrived at Ellis Island in 1949. As an adult with multiple degrees in education, she founded The ILC to help immigrants like her and her parents build a better life for themselves in America.
In honor of the tremendous contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs to the commonwealth, 252 business and community leaders gathered for the eighth annual Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Benefit, including Yessy Feliz, of JP.
A Guatemalan immigrant, Garcia was recently nominated by Malden’s Immigrant Learning Center for a Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in the business growth category.
Phalla Nol, whose family is originally from Battambang province, was among 38 immigrants nominated for the 2019 Barry M Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards, the Immigrant Learning Centre announced this week.
In the U.S. and across the globe, instances of anti-immigrant bias and discrimination are drastically increasing. The need to be aware and to humanize the experiences of migration is more pressing than ever. This work has led us to the The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, MA, where we spoke with Denzil Mohammed, Director of their Public Education Institute.
This video by Wiki.ezvid.com profiles five groups, including The Immigrant Learning Center, that assist people in different ways, from providing legal counsel to teaching English as a second language to rolling out the welcome wagon.
Some may look at children in detention facilities at our southern border and think, “They’re not our kids.” I am a proud, naturalized U.S. citizen, and when I see the deplorable conditions we’ve put these children in, I think, “that could have been me.”
On Thursday, June 20, guests were handed a passport when entering the ILC building at 442 Main St. with a list of 22 countries from across the globe. ILC students were set up in classrooms throughout the building representing their countries and their culture with food, music, clothing, and displays.
Kathleen Klose of The Immigrant Learning Center was honored recently by the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education for her work in adult education.
SING OUT STRONG: Immigrant Voices has partnered with the Immigrant Learning Center … Immigrant Voices is matching new or first-generation immigrant writers who live in Massachusetts with composers who are also new or first-generation immigrants, or who strongly identify with the immigrant experience. The resulting songs will be presented both throughout the community and to mainstage audiences, bridging the gulf that typically exists between a company’s operatic productions and its community and educational outreach activities.
Immigrants make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to a June 2016 report by the Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University and the Immigrant Learning Center, the latest from the organizations. Immigrants make up 28 percent of physicians and surgeons, 40 percent of medical scientists in manufacturing research and development, more than 50 percent of medical scientists in biotechnology in states with a strong biotechnology sector and 22 percent of nursing, psychiatric and home health aides and 15 percent of registered nurses, according to the report.
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation celebrated the ongoing “Celebrate Volunteerism” initiative in a halftime ceremony during the Patriots’ regular season finale versus the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 30 at Gillette Stadium….Also honored at the game was Diane Stern, of Malden’s Immigrant Learning Center. Stern has been an ILC volunteer and tutor since 2008. She joined the ILC Board of Trustees in June 2013, earning a second term in 2016.
Immigrants and allies will gather in December to discuss ways to deal with anxiety spawned by hate incidents or deportation and offer viable resources to cope….At the community conversation, experts will offer replicable strategies to change the narrative on immigration and build support for better policies at community and state levels….Participants include Tess Reagan, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Denzil Mohammed, Immigrant Learning Center, Alok Bhatt, Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, Christina Gill, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Homa Nacify, Hartford Public Library, Fiona Vernal, University of Connecticut, Ann-Marie Adams, The Hartford Guardian.
The United States has long been a beacon of hope for people the world over. From the Pilgrims who came here seeking religious freedom in the 1600s to my parents who came here seeking safety after losing their entire family in the Holocaust, this country has offered people in crisis a fresh start.
Fall for the Book created this post-publication book prize to recognize recently published works that illuminate the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing. Before announcing the winner, Diane Portnoy, founder and CEO of The Immigrant Learning Center discussed the importance of immigrants to the United States and to literature, saying “stories… help educate the public in a way statistics cannot…We are ushering in the next generation of great authors.”
For the past five years, adult students from the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) have been visiting second grade classes at the Linden STEAM Academy in Malden….
Bhuju just received the Malden-based Immigrant Learning Center’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Award for a neighborhood business…“Umesh is a superstar. In small town Ipswich he knows everyone, and is universally loved. You can’t come into his wonderful shop without Umesh coming over and asking after your family, and letting you know what is going on in town,” said Isaac Ross, who nominated Bhuju for the award…
The Malden-based Immigrant Learning Center — a non-profit organization that provides free English classes to immigrants and conducts research on and promotes immigrants’ economic contributions — has recognized a number of local restaurant owners in its 2018 entrepreneur awards.
When he opened his first restaurant nearly eight years ago, Rodrigo Souza didn’t even have enough money to fill his cash register….The hard work and success Souza has had was enough to select the Brazilian native as one of 40 Massachusetts business owners nominated for a 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur Award from the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. in Malden.
Forty Massachusetts residents from 24 countries who founded businesses in 18 Massachusetts communities, from Hyannis to Springfield, have been nominated for The 2018 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. They are outstanding business leaders who are making their mark in four business categories: growth, neighborhood, high-tech and life science. Among those nominated for the award in the high-tech category is Alexander Falk, founder of Altova, Inc., which is located in the Cummings Center in Beverly.
Forty Massachusetts residents from 24 countries who founded businesses in 18 Massachusetts communities, from Hyannis to Springfield, have been nominated for The 2018 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. They are outstanding business leaders who are making their mark in four business categories: growth, neighborhood, high-tech, and life science.
Umesh Bhuju, who owns Zumi’s Espresso on Market St., and is originally from Nepal, joins thirty-nine other immigrant business owners from 24 countries and, now, from 18 communities from throughout the commonwealth in earning a nomination for The 2018 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards.
Portnoy is the co-founder of the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC), a school in Malden whose mission is to “give immigrants a voice.” The ILC provides free English classes to immigrant and refugee adults, educates the publicabout the positive impact immigrants have on the country and the economy, and documents that impact through research.
They have boundless faith in this country — even though this country is now led by people who have little faith in them.
For the students trying to master English in this classroom at The Immigrant Learning Center,America’s promise is real. They work night jobs as cleaners, cooks, and servers. Each day, they come here to work on their gerunds and pronouns. They write essays on their heroes and hopes. The share their setbacks and celebrate their victories.
I am an immigrant who, like many of my immigrant colleagues, feels proud to be contributing to my new country by working hard and creating new jobs for others. Yet our stories — indeed our very existence — make some people in government uncomfortable.
A group of 58 volunteers were honored by the Immigrant Learning Center on May 19. These local residents take time each week to help the hundreds of immigrant and refugee adults who study English at the ILC. By learning to communicate in English, the students can contribute to the economic, civic and cultural life in their communities.
The Immigrant Learning Center held the 2017 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner on May 4 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge to honor the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs. The 35 nominees for the sixth annual awards came from 21 countries and started businesses in 24 cities and towns in Massachusetts. Collectively, they have generated income and investment totaling more than $800 million.
Two Cape Cod business owners were nominees in the sixth annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards, held May 4 by the Malden-based Immigrant Learning Center at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
For the first time in its history, the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. recognized two Cape business owners during its annual Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award Dinner and ceremony, which was held May 4 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge
Five Indian-american business owners have been nominated for the 2017 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards this year. The winners will be announced on May 4, 2017, at The Immigrant Learning Center’s sixth annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards.
Statistics show immigrants are twice as likely to create jobs as native-born Americans by starting their own businesses. Typical immigrant-founded businesses range from family-owned corner shops or day-care services to some of the area’s largest and most innovative biotech and technology firms
Mass Literacy, a nonprofit organization supporting literacy education in Massachusetts, selected Malden resident and ILC teacher Jeantilus Gedeus as a winner of the 2016 Mass Literacy Champions Award. The program publicly recognizes and rewards Massachusetts-based educators who have shown exceptional commitment and results through their work in literacy education.
The founders of My Little Best Friends Early Learning Center in Malden were named Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year by The Immigrant Learning Center (TILC). Gerardo Loza and Hilda Torres were honored Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash and U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during TILC’s awards dinner April 28 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
Amid a push by the leading Republican candidates for president to “tighten the borders,” the Malden-based Immigrant Learning Center plans to underscore the role immigrants play in the Massachusetts economy this month when it holds its fifth annual Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The April 28 event in Cambridge will honor 42 immigrants from 26 countries who have founded businesses in 18 communities in the Bay State.
It’s pretty well known that in Massachusetts the biotech industry is one of the strongest areas of the state’s economy. What is not always known, is just how much of that economic growth is driven by immigrants.
This year’s Malden High School Hall of Fame honorees include a female Air Force general, a professional musician, an international banker, a life-long educator, the founder of an English language school for immigrants, a construction tycoon who twice became governor, and a former butter and egg store clerk who now gives back.
The fifth annual Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Dinner will be held April 28 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge. The event is presented by The Immigrant Learning Center of Malden, with master of ceremonies Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash.
The Immigrant Learning Center’s Founder and CEO Diane Portnoy explains why Massachusetts should welcome Syrian refugees in this essay:
As Americans, we cannot let terrorists succeed in altering our way of life or steering us away from the values that make our country exceptional.
On Aug. 27, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, along with the Immigrant Learning Center and Mayor Gary Christenson’s office, organized and hosted a dynamic walking tour of 16 immigrant-owned businesses in Malden Square allowing participants from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to see how immigrant entrepreneurship is revitalizing the city and stimulating the local economy.
On August 27, 2015, MAPC provided the public with an opportunity to directly experience the benefits of immigration in the City of Malden. Along with the City’s department of Strategy and Business Development and The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC), MAPC organized and hosted a dynamic walking tour of immigrant owned businesses in the downtown area…
Imagine traveling the world while never leaving Malden — that’s one way to describe International Day at the Immigrant Learning Center.
Hosted at the ILC’s Main Street headquarters on Nov. 6, the event offered immigrants learning English a chance to share their language, food, music and culture with friends, family and ILC staff.
Malden’s Immigrant Learning Center Theater class recently hosted a performance event. The class is a unique learning experience for English for speakers of other languages in which conversational English is mixed with personal storytelling and sharing of participant’s experiences. This allows people to share their stories about coming to America, improves their English proficiency, and shines a light on the importance of immigrants to the community
Today, The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) of Malden, Mass. announced its support of the first Immigrant Heritage Month, which was declared by Governor Deval Patrick in June 2014. Immigrant Heritage Month is a nationwide initiative spearheaded by the not-for-profit Welcome.us in partnership with corporations, media outlets, organizations, celebrities, and faith, civic and political leaders to gather and share inspirational stories of American immigrants
On Thursday night, Boston-area business leaders and innovators will gather for the 2014 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards, a celebration of the international entrepreneurs who have had an impact on Massachusetts’ economy and society for the better.
Over three dozen finalists are up for one of four categories: Neighborhood, Business Growth, Life Science Business and High-Tech Business. Turning their big ideas into prospering businesses, the nominees ultimately created jobs and made a lasting mark on their local ecosystems. In other words, they’ve turned the American Dream into a reality.
Dr. Marcia Drew Hohn of Andover was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education at its annual NETWORK Conference last month.
The award is presented to an educator who has demonstrated leadership, met significant challenges in an effective way, supported others in the field and shown selfless dedication, service and commitment to the principles of adult and continuing education.
In other sections of the city, Lowell has a strong immigrant economy as well. Last year, the owners of six Lowell businesses were nominated with others from across the state for the Immigrant Learning Center’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards: Rosemary Agbede of Unique You Salon; Tom Dang of Pho Da Lat Restaurant; Calvin Duong of New Century Auto Collision and Service Center; Bracha Horovitz of Federal Fabrics-Fibers Inc.; Manuel and Elizabeth Silva of Silva’s Mini-Market; and Angela Westen of Angela Westen Insurance Agency.
“It was an honor for The Immigrant Learning Center to participate in such an important project,” said Diane Portnoy, President and CEO of The Immigrant Learning Center. “Although we teach English to immigrant and refugee adults, our students often struggle with many other barriers to becoming successful workers, parents and community members. The information our teachers gained at this event gave them the knowledge to help our students overcome some of these challenges. It also meant a great deal to me personally to hear District Attorney Ryan speak with such understanding and insight about the immigrant experience.”
Immigrant entrepreneurs, through their business and ancillary endeavors, make civic and financial investments in their communities. The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) recently reiterated these points at an event hosted by the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians where they presented a summary of their findings from their report on immigrant entrepreneurs in growing industries.
And at the national level, immigration reform could unleash a great untapped resource of immigrant business, according to Marcia Hohn of the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. With very few exceptions, these bold immigrants, naturally entrepreneurial, are a positive influence in our midst.
In a report released by the Immigrant Learning Center earlier this year, 18 percent of small business owners in the U.S. are immigrants, and immigrants started 28 percent of all new U.S. businesses in 2011, while accounting for only 13 percent of the overall population.
Their enterprising efforts were saluted Tuesday during the kickoff event for the state’s third annual Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month, which continues through Nov. 15. Governor Deval Patrick attended the event, which was partly sponsored by the Immigrant Learning Center of Malden, and held at the regional Jewish Vocational Service center in Boston.
Such jobs are among the most common ways for new arrivals to enter the workforce; 14.2 percent of employed recent immigrants work in the accommodations and food services sector, according The Immigrant Learning Center Inc. in Malden, a nonprofit that offers English classes to new immigrants
What is the impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy, education system, and business community? A new institute at George Mason University, launched in April 2012, seeks to answer that question and more. A joint venture between Mason and the Immigrant Learning Center Inc. (ILC) of Massachusetts, the Institute for Immigration Research conducts unbiased research to educate policy makers, media, teachers, students, and the business community about the contributions of immigrants as entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers.
Rafael D. Guzman says he is an immigrant who has fulfilled the American dream…. On May 8, Guzman received the 2013 Immigrant Entrepreneur Award for Business Growth from The Immigrant Learning Center Inc. Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony.
The numbers tell their own story. Immigrant entrepreneurs now make up nearly 1 out of 5 of all business owners in the Commonwealth, from shopkeepers that root and revive urban main streets to biotech startups chasing the next cancer cure
Two hundred people came together last night to celebrate the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs in Massachusetts personified by 23 nominees and three award winners at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.’s 2013 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass.
…Angel’s Painting is well established in Framingham, and Valdivia has his own crew of 12, more during the busy summers. The company is one of four local businesses in the running for special recognition by The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden.
The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, which has taught English to at least 7,000 students over the last two decades, has teamed with George Mason University to launch a new research center that will focus on the contributions of immigrants as entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers.
Three North Shore business owners have been nominated for Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards from the nonprofit Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. Umesh Bhuju of Zumi’s Espresso and Ice Cream in Ipswich and Francisco Lora of Tropicana Market in Salem have been nominated in the “outstanding neighborhood business” category. Lisandra Mones of Glitterati Style in Salem and Danvers has been nominated for “outstanding business growth.” The Immigrant Learning Center, which provides free English classes and other services, will announce the winners May 8 at a dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
A new study entitled Immigrant Entrepreneurs Creating Jobs and Strengthening the U.S. Economy in Growing Industries released today by The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. shows that immigrants play an outsized role in growing industries relative to their presence in the general population. In so doing, they are supporting a high rate of job creation and market expansion.
Most of Massachusetts’ recent immigrants came from Latin America and Asia, with Brazil, China, and the Dominican Republic topping the list, according to a report released last month by the Immigrant Learning Center, a nonprofit that runs classes for immigrants and does research.
Twenty-six immigrants who founded businesses in Massachusetts were recently nominated for The Immigrant Learning Center’s 2013 Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards. Seven are from Lowell
Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts chronicles the experience of 11 immigrant groups in the U.S. written by 11 experts in their respective fields. By showing how each of these immigrant groups have faced discrimination, struggled to assimilate and ultimately made significant contributions to American life from the country’s founding through today, the current immigration debate can be seen as an ongoing dialogue repeating the same themes down through history.
Shining Stars are presented by the Malden Chamber of Commerce to individuals in recognition of their service to the Malden Community. Diane Portnoy, winner of the Community Service Award, is the President and CEO of the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) on Main Street. Portnoy founded the ILC in 1992 to provide free English classes to immigrant and refugee adults.
In addition to the four honorees, the YWCA will also give an organizational award to The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) of Malden. Founded by Diane Portnoy, who came to the United States at the age of 3 1/2 and who was inspired by her parents to work hard to give their children better lives, the ILC provides free English classes to immigrant and refugee adults.
The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) has been selected as a finalist for the Nonprofit Excellence Award in Innovation for its unique approach combining English instruction to adult immigrants with research on immigrants to educate the American public.
Three Massachusetts business owners were honored Wednesday night at The Immigrant Learning Center’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
Students come to The ILC’s Family Literacy class to improve their English and learn skills and information important to raising a family in the United States. We teach them vocabulary relevant to school, pediatrician visits and job searching. They learn skills for navigating the public school system such as attending parent-teacher conferences and reading report cards
Simply stated, two- and four-year colleges will see dramatically rising numbers of second-generation immigrant students. The need to gain deeper knowledge about this group has never been greater. The Immigrant Learning Center’s recently released study, Adult Children of Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Memories and Influences, provides insight into the backgrounds and experiences of second-generation students who talk about family businesses, families, graduate schools and career choices.
The Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame was launched online this week by The Immigrant Learning Center Inc. in Malden to pay tribute to 61 immigrants who made significant contributions to the U.S. economy and to highlight the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs to the prosperity of the country
On Jan. 25 the Immigration Policy Center and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce jointly released a report, Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Creating Jobs and Strengthening the U.S. Economy, outlining the role of immigrant entrepreneurs…. “Immigrant-owned growth businesses are hugely important to strengthening local economies, as well as providing jobs essential to economic recovery,” Marcia Drew Hohn, director of the Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center Inc. and author of the report, said in a statement.
Marcia Hohn, director of The Public Education Institute at the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.; Jill Cheng, owner, Cheng & Tsui Publishers; Vinit Nijhawan, high-tech entrepreneur and executive-in-residence, Boston University and Frank Soults, Communications Director, MIRA Coaltion discuss Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month on WHDH Chanel 7’s Urban Update on November 20, 2011.
“The disposition to take risks and start over in a new land are the outstanding characteristics of these talented strivers. The immigrant’s desire to start a business is strong,” said Marcia Hohn, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees.
A research study presented last Friday morning at the Careers Opportunity Center in Hyannis revealed that one of every three hotel managers-owners and one of every four restaurant managers-owners across Massachusetts is foreign-born, a higher ratio than for native-born….The study was sponsored by the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., in Malden, which made the presentation in collaboration with the Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board.
Schools, welfare and taxes. Those are the big concerns some people have about immigrants’ impact on public spending. UMass Boston economist Alan Clayton-Matthews actually tried to quantify these impacts using the most recent census data from 2007…. The UMass Boston economist did this study for the Immigrant Learning Center, a non-profit organization in Malden that launched an “education initiative” in 2003 to, as the report says, “raise the visibility of immigrants as assets to America.”
A 2005 study of immigrant entrepreneurs in three Boston communities found that their new businesses revitalized neighborhoods and stimulated the local economy by reviving commerce, creating jobs and spin-off businesses, and enhancing public safety. The study, which covered East Boston, Allston Village and Fields Corner, was commissioned by the Immigrant Learning Center, an advocacy group in Malden that provides free English classes to adult immigrants and refugees.
Immigrants constitute more than 25% of health care workers in Massachusetts, including pharmacists, medical scientists and surgeons, according to an executive summary of a study commissioned by the Immigrant Learning Center
Tens of thousands of legal immigrants like Naik run their own businesses in Massachusetts. No one knows the exact number, not even Marcia Hohn. She heads research for the advocacy group, the Immigrant Learning Center, and says you can get an idea of the statewide scale from regional surveys.
“The many faces of immigrant entrepreneurship are revitalizing neighborhoods and contributing significantly to economic growth in Massachusetts,” said Marcia Hohn, director of public education for the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, which sponsored the BU and UMass-Boston studies.
EXCERPT: One such “recipe for understanding” is the Immigrant Theater Group, led by instructor and playwright Kathleen Klose of the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. The premise, like ILC’s mission, is simple and powerful. Productions by immigrant student actors strenghthen students’ English and educate the community about the predicaments and the positive contributions of immigrants to this country; post 9/11, this is not insignificant.
While preparing for the project curriculum, I came into contact with a nonprofit organization dedicated to public education on immigration. In Malden, Massachusetts, the Immigrant Theater Group was established to help immigrants/newcomers to learn English and also to give them a voice in the community.
Since opening its doors in 1992, the Immigrant Learning Center has provided a program that allows immigrants to learn English and other tools to become better prepared to prosper in the United States. Now the Immigrant Learning Center has released a report that highlights contributions of immigrant residents and business owners that are often taken for granted by communities at large.
“After 9/11 , it became very clear that there was a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment in this country and a lot of misunderstanding about what immigrants actually bring to our economy and our culture,” said Diane Portnoy, cofounder and director of the center, who came up with the idea for the educational campaign in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Portnoy said that the center’s goal has always been to teach immigrants English but also “to see them become successful workers, parents, and community members.”
EXCERPT: Whisking through on a private tour of The Immigrant Learning Center, Gov. Mitt Romney got a glimpse of a successful English Immersion school in action…. “It’s a sense of vision, purpose and commitment,” Romney said about the center. He added, with the country now under a series of military, economic and social “attacks,” immigrants can help alleviate these through their skills, know how and ability to help the U.S. develop stronger relationships with their home countries.
EXCERPT: Since 1992, the Immigrant Learning Center has taught English and other skills to about 3,000 adult immigrants in three dozen Eastern Massachusetts communities. Now it also wants to educate the public at large – about immigrants. Diane Portnoy, cofounder and director of the Malden-based center, said she hopes to initiate a human rights institute at the center next year that would raise awareness about what she says are the positive contributions that immigrants make to society.
EXCERPT: The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) received the Nellie Mae Foundation’s Horizon Award in recognition of its success in meeting the literacy needs of foreign-born immigrants who have settled in the Greater Boston area.
EXCERPT: For many foreign-born adults, the simple task of reading a permission slip or a school lunch menu is impossible. Many of these parents’ children, even those in second- or third-grade, have a better understanding of the English language. Sensing a local need for a program aimed at helping parents with limited English skills, the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) laid the foundation for its successful family literacy program more than three years ago.