Space for Public to “Speak Out” About Uncertainty Felt in the “World’s Borough” in Light of Current Climate

Opportunity for Residents to Connect with Resourceful Organizations and Exchange Ideas

QUEENS, NY – Queens elected officials, government agencies and community-based organizations will hold the borough’s annual Immigration Resource Fair this Sunday, November 20th from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Queens Library in Flushing (flier attached). The annual Immigration Resource Fair connects people with nonprofits, government agencies, legal resources and local businesses that serve the immigrant community in Queens and throughout the City of New York.  This year’s Immigration Resource Fair will feature a “Speak Out” space at 1:00 PM where members of the public can talk about the substantial uncertainty felt by millions of people – especially in Queens, also known as “The World’s Borough” and renowned for being a hub for immigrants – in light of the current climate. Members of the public will also be encouraged to jot their thoughts down on provided Post-it notes and place them on a wall as a collective sounding board.

“Although this is an annual, long-planned event, this year’s seems to have become even more timely in light of recent events and the current climate,” said Queens Borough President MELINDA KATZ. “In addition to a free, on-site walk-in Legal Clinic, as well as direct, one-stop access to over 30 organizations and agencies, we’ve incorporated a public Speak Out session, a space for people to share their candid thoughts.  The aim is to get people heard, connected and resourced. Please spread the word, and join us this Sunday.”

“Over the last 7 years, I.A.M. has served as a catalyst for immigrant integration forging meaningful relationships between the immigrant community and trusted institutions,” said ALEXANDRA RUIZ, Founder and Executive Director of Immigrant Advancement Matters (I.A.M.). “We are proud to partner once again with the Queens Borough President, local elected officials, and the Queens Borough President’s Immigration Task Force for the 3rd Annual Immigration Resource Fair. Last year, over 700 people attended and took advantage of the support our borough has to offer. Following the recent national election, it is critical that we continue to create safe spaces in our community for resource sharing leveraging the immigrant services of government agencies and community based organizations.”

“An important part of our mission at Queens Library is to help immigrant New Yorkers adjust to life in this country,” said Queens Library President and CEO DENNIS M. WALCOTT. “We are a trusted information resource and provider of classes for English for Speakers of Other Languages, job training and legal, citizenship and coping skills workshops. Queens Library is here for people from every corner of the borough, the City and the world.”

Following the “Speak Out” session, there will be a long-scheduled cultural performance by the Chinese Qipao Association. Real-time translation services will be provided throughout the Resource Fair in Bengali, Chinese, Korean and Spanish.

The Immigration Resource Fair is co-hosted by Borough President Katz, Immigrant Advancement Matters (I.A.M.), and Queens Library with honorary co-host U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, and co-sponsored by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblymember Ron Kim, Councilmember Peter Koo, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the New York State office for New Americans.

Participating organizations in this year’s Immigration Resource Fair: Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ); Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA); Charles B. Wang Community Health Center; City Councilmember Peter Koo; Garden of Hope; Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA); NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA); Assemblymember Ron Kim; NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA); NYC Office of Child Support Enforcement; NYS Office for New Americans (ONA); Queens District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; The Fresh Air Fund; Turning Point for Women and Families; Women for Afghan Women; YMCA New Americans Initiative/Flushing NAWC (New Americans Welcome Center); U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); MetroPlus Health Plan; Catholic Migration Services (CMS); The New Economy Project; NYS Department of Labor-Governor’s Joint Task Force on Employee Misclassification and Worker Exploitation; Riis Settlement; NYC Comptroller- Bureau of Labor Law; The Office of Adult and Continuing Education; NYC Emergency Management; U.S. Department of Labor-Wage and Hour Division (U.S. DOL-WHD); U.S. Department of Labor-Occupational Safety and Health Administration (U.S. DOL-OSHA); New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG); Center for Immigrant Education & Training (CIET), LaGuardia Community College, CUNY; Queens Library-Community Health; Queens Library-New Americans Program.