Imagine that your home becomes unrecognizable and dangerous. That the people and images that color your memories are replaced by hostile and dangerous events. That you must flee your home so you and your family can survive. After a harrowing journey you finally arrive at your destination only to discover that your new home is also unrecognizable and unwelcoming. You must learn a new language, about the new currency, the new system. Get your children in school. Get them to the doctor. Our government is making life harder for thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Small organizations are often the only places where new residents can find any help. We are proud to support Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) which helps refugee and immigrant women and children navigate their new lives in the United States.
The Nile Sisters Development Initiative mission is to educate, support, and offer training to refugee and immigrant women and their families to help them overcome barriers to social and economic self-reliance. Founded in San Diego in 2001 by Elizabeth Lou, who entered the United States as a refugee herself, NSDI designs and develops programs that acclimate, educate, and advocate for resettling and relocating refugee and immigrant families.
NSDI provides emergency relief, including food, school supplies, and essential items for infants. Employment facilitation including California Certified Nursing Assistant Vocational Training and Professional Development Tutoring are also made available to the communities they serve. The Nile Sisters Development Initiative also ensures that refugee and ethnic populations have access to equitable and culturally and linguistically proficient mental and behavioral health resources.
These women and children often arrive with nothing. Having left their lives behind they often do not speak English, have marketable job skills, or knowledge of the government systems in the United States. They not only need practical support they are often in need of emotional support as well. NSDI has helped thousands of refugees and immigrants since they were established in 2001. We believe their work is crucial to their community. We are proud to support their mission and work.
Naomi Jackson is the author of a novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill. Star Side was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. The Black Caucus of the American Library Association named Jackson’s novel an Honor Book for Fiction. Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, Jackson’s writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, The Caribbean Writer and Obsidian. She is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, Hedgebrook, the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, and Camargo Foundation.
Photo: Jeff Allen
Aditi Juneja is a lawyer, writer, and activist who identifies as an immigrant, a feminist, and a person with a disability. She currently works as a Communicator at Protect Democracy. She co-founded the Resistance Manual and OurStates.org. She also hosts a podcast on radical self-care called Self Care Sundays. She was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 2018 list for Law and Policy. She is a recent graduate of NYU School of Law. Her writing has appeared in NPR, Rewire News, Fox News and Bustle.
Danielle Lazarin is the author of Back Talk: Stories. Her award-winning short fiction can be found in The Southern Review, Buzzfeed, Boston Review, and Glimmer Train, amongst others, and her essays at The Cut and Lenny Letter. She lives in her native New York, where she is raising her daughters and working on a novel.
Ariel Lewiton is a writer, editor, and literary consultant based in New York. Her essays, stories, and criticism have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The National, Los Angeles Review of Books, Vice, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House online, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Guernica magazine and has an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program.
Kio Stark is the author of When Strangers Meet, the novel Follow Me Down and the independent learning handbook Don’t Go Back to School. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, The NY Observer, and Joyland, among others. On any given day in Brooklyn, you might find her traipsing around with a camera that holds film and if you run into her on the street, she will likely talk to you.
Please join us on Thursday May 17th, 2018 at 7pm, at Elsa.