AABANY Members: Donate Spanish Books to RAICES

Tina Song, member of PBCS and Immigration Committees at AABANY, writes the following urging AABANY members to donate books to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES):

Raising Awareness, Raising Hope 

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” –Roald Dahl, Matilda

At the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), I represent young children who crossed the United States borders illegally and currently residing in shelters at Corpus Christi, Texas. The population that RAICES serve are children ranging from ages two to seventeen years old. Many of these children have fled their countries to the United States to escape poverty and violence. Violence and abject poverty are oftentimes the moving force that drives these children coming to the United States in search of a chance for a better future.  

At my job, I met a young African girl who was raised under an abusive household where her father forced his daughters to follow the customs of a secret society in which the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is sacred and the norm. FGM is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered acceptable sexual behavior and is often considered a necessary part of raising a girl and preparing her for adulthood and marriage. FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.

As a result from this torturous practice, both of her two sisters died from FGM. To escape his guilt and crimes, the father sent her to the United States illegally. During her treacherous travels to United States, her chaperone was murdered and she was raped. 

After spending time with my client, I found that her simple wish is to have more English or Spanish books at the shelter so that she can learn English and Spanish to communicate with her friends there. 

I implore you, my friends and colleagues at AABANY to consider making a donation to RAICES so that we can provide books for these young minds. You can mail any used books in Spanish that are in great conditions. Please send me an email at tina.song@raicestexas.org and I will provide you the address to mail the books to. If you do not have time to purchase books, you can also send me your abandoned gift cards from Barnes & Nobles, gift cards from bookstores redeemed from your credit card points, or any gift certificates from small independent bookstores or Amazon, and I will help make the purchases. 

Your used Spanish books or Spanish books donated/purchased will be dropped off by my staff at RAICES or myself to the shelters. I will send you follow-up emails of your donation and purchases. 

If you don’t feel comfortable supporting my cause, then please consider donating books to: 

One Book One World: https://onebookoneworld.org/2021-aapi-book-drive. One Book One World is co-founded by Zhixian Jessie Liu, one of the co-chairs at the Immigration Committee. Her organization helps raise awareness of ethnical Asian novels and authors by sending such books to New York City’s day cares, schools, and learning centers. One Book One World will has been providing their book lists to us for our cause. 

Even if you can’t contribute, feel free to send us book lists and we will use the funds to make the purchases. Please do not send any monetary donations. At this time, we are only looking for books or giftcards to support bookstores, retail or independent, not money. Unfortunately, your kind act will not result in taxable deduction. 

But if you are buying books or giftcards from Amazon, please choose the Asian American Law Fund of New York, Inc. as your Amazon smile!!! This way, you can help fund the pro bono clinics run by the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee at the same time. The PBCS’s monthly pro bono clinics, which I have volunteered both in-person and remote, promote legal access to the Asian Pacific Islander community. For more information, visit https://probono.aabany.org/donate.    

Your generous donation will bring lots of smiles from these young children and support to the PBCS’s pro bono clinics. 

Have a wonderful upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and thank you in advance for your generous support!

Tina Song, Staff Immigration Attorney at RAICES, Member of PBCS and Immigration Committee at AABANY, Volunteer and Immigration Consultant in PBCS’s pro bono clinics. 

NYC Board of Elections is Searching for Language Interpreters

The Board of Elections in the City of New York has interpreter vacancies for Chinese and Spanish in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and for Korean in Queens.  Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.  Anyone interested in working election day can email Interpreter2014@boe.nyc.ny.us  or can apply online here https://electiondayworker.com/ .

The Board also has an ad on the www.nyc.gov homepage under “NYC Programs & Initiatives”

Applicants can also visit their borough office for more information:

Brooklyn
345 Adams Street, 4 Fl
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: 1.718.797.8800
Fax: 1.718.246.5958
Hours of Operation – 9 A.M.- 5 P.M.

Queens
126-06 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Tel: 1.718.730.6730
Fax: 1.718.459.3384
Hours of Operation – 9A.M.– 5 P.M.

Manhattan
200 Varick Street, 10Flr
New York, NY 10014
Tel: 1. 212.886.2100
Fax: 1. 646.638.2047
Hours of Operation – 9A.M.– 5 P.M.

Staten Island
1 Edgewater Plaza, 4 Fl
Staten Island, NY 10305
Tel: 1.718.876.0079
Fax: 1.718.876.0912
Hours of Operation – 9A.M. – 5P.M.

Bronx
1780 Grand Concourse, 5 Fl
Bronx, NY 10457
Tel: 1.718.299.9017
Fax: 1. 718.299.2140
Hours of Operation – 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.

AAARI Trilingual Literature Program

Please join the Asian American / Asian Research Institute for a special trilingual program, Chinese, English, Spanish: Writing a Third Literature of the Americas, on Friday, December 14, 2012, from 5:30PM to 9:30PM, at 25 West 43rd Street, 10th Floor, Room 1000, between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan. This program is free and open to the general public, however pre-registration is necessary due to limited space. A free boxed dinner is available to the first 50 registrants.

Since 30 years ago when writers such as Kingston, Huang, and Chin first made American readers aware of Chinese American literature, exciting new developments have taken place. Readers and scholars alike have discovered that “Chinese American literature” can no longer be limited to works written in English alone. Due to a number of factors including globalization, the rise of China, ethnic studies, and new critical scholarship, we are finding that the 21st century signals a “third literature of the Americas”—novels, stories, and poems written in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

These new developments have resulted in a special volume of Amerasia Journal published by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center entitled “Towards a Third Literature: Chinese Writing in the Americas” edited by Russell C. Leong (CUNY Thomas Tam Visiting Professor at AAARI); Evelyn Hu-DeHart (Professor of History and Ethnic Studies at Brown University); and Wang Ning (Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Tsinghua University, Beijing). This trilingual program consists of an exciting panel discussion and a reading of selected works in English, Chinese, and Spanish by some of the editors and contributors to this special volume of Amerasia Journal (available at a special booksigning price during the program).

Panelists
  • Prof. Evelyn Hu-Dehart will provide a keynote overview of how and why Asians entered the literary scene of Central and Latin America. Prof. Dehart will introduce Prof. Kathleen López, a Latin American expert who will provide commentary. (Talk in English and Spanish.)

  • Prof. Kathleen López is Assistant Professor in the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies (LHCS) and the Department of History at Rutgers University. Her book, Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History, is forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press (2013). Her research and teaching focus on the historical intersections between Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, post-emancipation Caribbean societies, race and ethnicity in the Americas, and international migration.

  • Prof. Russell Leong will introduce the special volume of Amerasia Journal. (Talk in English)

  • Dr. Maan Lin, Associate Professor of Chinese and Spanish and Coordinator of the Chinese Program at Queensborough Community College, will talk about translating Kam Wen Siu’s “La primera espada del imperio.” (Talk in Chinese and Spanish.)

  • Dr. Yibing Huang, Professor of Modern Chinese Literature at Connecticut College and past contributor to Amerasia Journal, will talk about Simon Ortiz in China, and bringing ethnic and minority writers for cross-literary exchanges in China. (Talk in Chinese and English.)

  • Dr. Wen Jin, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, will talk about the future of racial and minority literary contacts from two nations. (Talk in Chinese and English.)

Co-Sponsors: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Asian American Studies Program – Hunter College, and Brown University 

For details and to register for this talk, please visit www.aaari.info/12-12-14Literature.htm