COUNTY OF SUFFOLK
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
H. Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, New York 11788-0099
SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE
September 19, 2012
Vanessa B. Streeter
County Executive Bellone Declares Welcoming Week in Suffolk County
(September 19, 2012-Hauppauge, NY) Today, County Executive Bellone was joined by Long Island Wins and Herstory representatives to declare Welcoming Week in Suffolk County. The purpose of the week is promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S. born Long Islanders. 2012 marks the inaugural year of National Welcoming Week, an initiative promoting meaningful connections and a spirit of unity between U.S. and foreign-born Americans by providing opportunities to learn about each other and work together for the greater good.
“We are happy to partner with Long Island Wins and Herstory Writers Workshop to proclaim Welcoming Week in Suffolk County,” said County Executive Bellone. “As this year represents the inaugural year of Welcoming Week, Suffolk County is honored to participate in the activities planned for the week and I hope that by sharing our stories and experiences we help to build bridges between communities.”
Across the country, longtime residents and their new immigrant neighbors will join together during National Welcoming Week to take part in local community events, organized by Welcoming America’s affiliates and other national and local corporate partners, foundations, small businesses and residents of the community.
“By building communities that welcome all who live there speaks to our deepest values as Americans, and to our greatest aspirations for prosperity, economic growth and global competitiveness,” stated Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, Executive Director, Long Island Wins”
Hendel Leiva, Welcoming Long Island Organizer added, “Across the country, immigrants and U.S. born individuals are coming together during Welcoming Week to create stronger communities. They are achieving this goal through local events volunteerism, civic participation, and creative expression.”
"We are delighted to bring the Herstory methodology to Suffolk County as part of Welcoming Week in the form of a reading circle that brings the lives of our recent immigrants to light, while highlighting the daily and larger realities, hopes and triumphs, dreams and struggles, said Erika Duncan, Executive and Artistic Director of Herstory.
Serena Liguori, Advocacy and Justice Program Director for Herstory added, "Herstory has long been at the forefront of promoting social and community change through the telling of lived experiences. We continue to work to support community initiatives through Herstory's writers, all of whom bravely share with us their lives' experiences, some of which include that of domestic violence, workplace rights, healthcare, and childcare. Herstory brings to the community a unique look at lived experiences which promotes social change in our communities through acceptance and tolerance."
Suffolk County Events in Celebration of Welcoming Week:
September 11, 2012
Welcoming Long Island and Herstory hosted monthly installment of the ‘welcoming reading circle’ at the Port Jefferson Free Library. This project focuses on building empathy through story telling; the stories read focus on the experiences of Latina women and several themes such as immigration, family separation, and life in both Latin American and the U.S.
September 16, 2012
Welcoming Long Island and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook viewed the film ‘Welcome to Shelbyville’; the film examines how a small community in Tennessee grapples with rapidly shifting demographics. The story is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American.
September 18, 2012
Welcoming Long Island and Herstory hosted monthly installment of the ‘welcoming reading circle’ at the Brentwood Public Library.
September 19, 2012
Welcoming Long Island and Herstory convene Suffolk County Department Heads and Commissioners for a reading and discussion from the book Latinas Write, a bilingual anthology from the Herstory Writers Workshop.
Long Island Wins
Long Island Wins is a nonprofit communications organization that focuses on immigration issues on Long Island and beyond. We promote commonsense immigration solutions that work for all Long Islanders and are rooted in respect and dignity. Welcoming Long Island, an initiative of Long Island Wins, works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Long Islanders. The ultimate goal of Welcoming Long Island is to create a welcoming atmosphere - community by community - in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their adopted hometown.
Herstory Writers Workshop
Herstory Writers Workshop is a 16-year-old memoir writing network with branches all over Long Island, dedicated to giving a voice to people whose stories might not otherwise be heard. With a presence in 10 colleges and universities, in Long Island’s three county jails and in community venues up and down Long Island Herstory, has engaged and connected the most isolated and vulnerable populations of women on Long Island: women in prison, women in homeless shelters, women living on disability payments and welfare, Asian, Hispanic and Caribbean immigrant women, Spanish language only women, victims of domestic violence and teen mothers. In communities that have experienced the results of violence and hatred, the approach becomes an important human rights tool, as it helps people hear one another’s stories, building better bridges and stronger neighborhoods.
(County Executive Bellone, Erika Duncan-Executive and Artistic Director of Herstory, Maryann Sinclair Slutsky-Executive Director of Long Island Wins)