NIAAS LAUNCH WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!!!!
Immigrant and African American community leaders have been meeting over the past year to develop a project to uncover and move beyond the destructive stereotypes that immigrants and African Americans hold about each other. These stereotypes are in large part due to lack of mutual understanding and the competition that emerges from shared social and economic hardship, the struggle for scarce resources. These stereotypes keep communities divided and unable to form strong, unified collaborations to fight for common concerns.
People at the launch confirmed what we have heard through the planning phase of this initiative that is no denying that African Americans and immigrants of color face similar struggles in the US around issues of racism, poverty, education and civil rights. Yet there are marked differences in culture, history and language that present challenges to working together.
NIAAS leaders are committed to breaking down these barriers. Their program includes a series of regular activities – in neighborhoods and in citywide gatherings – to help immigrant and African American leaders form relationships based on mutual respect and trust. NIAAS’ hope is that these relationships will lead to collaborative projects in the communities to achieve economic and racial justice at the local level – in schools, housing, jobs, health care, etc. Participants in NIAAS span a wide range of organizations working for social and economic justice and development. They are diverse in ethnicity and age.