News Item

Volunteerism is what makes life worth living

April 04, 2012

Take a moment and think about the people who have meant the most to you in your life.  Of course, your family and friends will probably take several spots at the top of that list, but I would also wager that you have a few other mentors that made the cut.  Of those mentors, how many volunteered their time to work with you?  Again, I would guess that several did.  

April 7th: The Interrupters Uniting America Screening

April 03, 2012

On April 7th one of the Uniting America fellows and my coworker, Sara, is hosting a community event. She will be showing the documentary, The Interrupters, at a high school in Palos Park. Following the event one the Violence Interrupters from the documentary, Eddie Bocanegra, will be speaking along with Bilaal Evans from the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.

Commemorative Event at Cambodian American Heritage Museum

April 02, 2012

The recent commemorative gathering of the Cambodian genocide experience at the Cambodian American Heritage Museum in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, a community with the most diverse population of immigrants, was the first Cambodian Day of Remembrance. I attended the gathering to represent Uniting America, and as usual, I was warmly welcomed. 

Precious Knowledge with Eren McGinnis

April 02, 2012

With only two days prior knowledge I hit the road to make the 30 mile journey out to DeKalb to visit some lovely ladies at Northern Illinois University. Seeing some of the members of DREAM Action NIU again is wonderful, what a progressive, far-thinking group!

IFRP Partners Complete 40 Hour Interpreter Training

April 02, 2012

Last month 35 partners of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights’ (ICIRR) Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP) participated in a 40 hour Interpreter training sponsored by ICIRR and the Language Access Resource Center of the DuPage Federation on Human Services Ref

A Work in Progress

March 30, 2012

Since returning from Alabama, Militza and I have been regularly meeting to organize a community mural in the suburb of Maywood. We are looking to involve youth from one of the local high schools to play an active role in the design and construction of the mural.

Good Partnerships Take Time

March 30, 2012

Volunteer opportunities don’t happen overnight! I’ve been working with Daniel Kaplan from Moishe House Chicago over the past couple of months to develop a service event with Uniting America. MH Chicago’s mission is to build a diverse, progressive, and inclusive community in a Jewish context.

Uniting America Gets Love from a Local Student

March 29, 2012

My first interaction with Brandon Collofello was on the Martin Luther King Day of Service. He may not remember me, but I definitely remembered him.  I again saw him at St. Francis Serves, a community event that St. Francis University had to help our people from local homeless shelters. I then attended St.

Uniting America + Salvation Army = Community Unity

March 29, 2012

Today I met with Juan Alarcon, a pastor for the Salvation Army in Hanover Park.  In a wealthy, white dominated community, immigrants in the Northwest suburbs tend to become an invisible population. Sitting with Juan, he explained some of the silent struggles his congregation is facing and how the Salvation Army is responding to the needs of the community.

Power in Learning a New Language

March 28, 2012

I meet Maria when I was in middle school in my ESL class. Maria and her brother where adopted from Russia, she was 14 and her brother was 11 when she started the ESL classes with us she did not even know how to say hello, she had no idea what we were talking about, couple months past by with all the help of our ESL teacher, Ms.