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Author Archives: Kristin Harmon

  1. MMCC Letter to Bangor Schools Superintendent

    September 9, 2020

    Dr. Betsy Webb, Superintendent
    Bangor School Department
    73 Harlow St.
    Bangor, ME 04401

    Dear Superintendent Webb:

    The Maine Multicultural Center (MMCC) commends you and the Bangor School Department for your response to the incident involving the misuse of a teacher’s online instruction, the subsequent mistreatment of the teacher, and disturbing reactions to the content of the instruction. We wholeheartedly endorse your statement, “Everyone needs support and kindness during these challenging times.”   

    As you know, the MMCC is committed to breaking down the walls of misunderstanding and mistrust among our community when it comes to seeing anyone as “the other” rather than as a neighbor. One of the ways we actively promote this commitment is through education, whether it is teaching English to a newly arrived immigrant or instructing teachers on how to address questions of diversity and yes, privilege, in the classroom. As we have stated in the past, we strongly support Bangor School Department for taking on the challenge of addressing these topics in Bangor schools. It is only through dialogue that we bridge divides, dispel myths, and build a stronger, more economically vibrant and diverse community. Incidents like the one that occurred last week only demonstrate that our work is not done; in fact, it is only beginning.

    These are trying times for educators, students, and parents. We must do what we can to be supportive of the efforts to navigate new paths of teaching that bring to the fore issues related to equity, diversity, and human rights. We must recognize that denigrating or threatening a teacher for doing his or her job to promote a more tolerant learning environment is unacceptable. We need to work together.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Vicki Rusbult, President
    Maine Multicultural Center Board of Directors

  2. Where is U.S. Immigration Law Headed? Presented by Beth Stickney, Esq.

    Wednesday, September 23rd, from 6-7:30pm
    Click here to register for free via Zoom, or watch via Facebook Live

    The current administration has dramatically reshaped U.S. immigration policy since 2017, but its efforts to end legal immigration have reached a crescendo since the COVID-19 outbreak.   This discussion will update you on recent changes and their impact.

    About Our Speaker

    Beth Stickney has specialized in Immigration and Nationality law and policy since 1986, and directs the Maine Business Immigration Coalition (MeBIC), engaging Maine’s business community in advocating for positive laws and policies impacting immigrants.  She was the founding executive director of ILAP, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Maine’s only nonprofit statewide provider of immigration legal aid to low-income Maine residents, where she worked through June 2011.  Beth has also engaged in human rights and refugee and asylum work internationally, as a volunteer for Americas Watch (then Human Rights Watch-Americas) and then as a legal officer for ONUSAL, the U.N. observer mission in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992, and from 2012 to 2015 with the Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati in Rome, Italy.

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