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News & Views: On & From The American Place  

April 2016 Hartford Public School Spotlight  Bulkeley High ESOL classes: Creating an Environment where Everyone Feels Welcome
March 2016 Hartford Public School Spotlight Sisters Take a Long Road to Hartford through Burma and Thailand
Feburary 2016 Hartford Public School Spotlight Teens4Citizenship, Hartford Public Library Talks Up Citizenship in Hartford Public Schools!
Janurary 2016 Hartford Public School Spotlight Teens4Citizenship

December 1-17, 2015 Hartford News 32 New Citizens at Hartford Public Library  
December 4, 2015 video recorded by CT-N  U.S. Naturalization Ceremony for New Citizens at Hartford Public Library
December 2015  Hartford Public Library hosts Special Naturalization Ceremony
November 2015 Citizenship Ceremony for Immigrant Youth: “Today is the First Day of the Rest of your Life!”
October 2015  We Belong Here: #teens4citizenship
October 2015  #teens4citizenship: A Hartford Public Library and Hartford Public Schools immigrant integration collaborative 
September 2015  Pathway to Citizenship: bringing teens on board   
September 2015  Get Smart Know Your Rights: Improving access to health and human services for immigarnt families

September 2014 Building Multicultural Neighborhood Place in Asylum Hill, from the Ground Up
July 2014 Hartford honors Civic Volunteers, including the newly-created Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs
July 2014 Eleven Members appointed to the New Hartford Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs



Naturalization Ceremony in Hartford

The U.S. Naturalization Ceremony at City Hall Tuesday [9/17/13]. The event was part of National Citizenship Day: In recognition of National Citizenship Day, Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra provided the keynote address at the swearing-in ceremony for 30 new Us Citizens in the City Hall Atrium, presided over by U.S. District Court of Connecticut Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez. The Mayor recently submitted an ordinance creating a Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs to City Council. 


Family of Six Becomes U.S. Citizens Together

From Hartford Courant, Aug 2, 2013 — Dozens of American flags waved in the crowd of 64 newly naturalized citizens packed into Courtroom 3 of Hartford's federal building Friday. Of all of them, the Syed family wore the brightest smiles. All six — two sons, three daughters and their mother — gathered around Judge Robert Chatigny for a photograph after being sworn in as U.S. citizens. "Ladies and gentlemen," Chatigny announced, "I present the citizens Syed."  


Hartford Library Honored for Its Connection to Community

From Hartford Courant, 6/5/2013: Hartford Public Library received the LibraryAware Community Award. This is a national award being given to only three libraries in the nation. Roy Futterman, advertising director at the Library Journal, which sponsors the award, presented a bronze plaque to Mayor Pedro Segarra and a $5,000 check to the library in a ceremony at the Old State House. Members of the library community, including an ESL class of recent immigrants, attended the ceremony at The Old State House as well as Homa Naficy, manager of outreach and multicultural education at the library and other library staff.  

HPL's Homa Naficy Chosen 'Champion of Change'

May, 2013 - Homa Naficy,the library’s Chief Adult Learning Officer, has been chosen a “Champion of Change” by The White House as part of an initiative with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). She will be part of a national forum at The White House in June. Responsible for the Library’s educational services, learning opportunities, and programming for immigrants and refugees, Naficy founded The American Place at the Library, which is the fulcrum for these services. Naficy has made The American Place a magnet for new arrivals seeking immigration information, resources for learning English, and preparing for U.S. citizenship. “I am honored to be a Champion of Change,” Naficy said. “Our work in public libraries is central to the success of our democracy.” 

State Representative Visits Citizenship Class

From Hartford News, 5/ 2013: Every Saturday morning, Urania Petit, Hartford Registrar of Voters (Working Famlies Party), holds a citizenship class at the Albany Avenue Branch of the Hartford Public Library. On Saturday, May 4, 2013, State Representative Matt Ritter spoke to class about the United States Political Process.


Naturalization Ceremony at HPL

4/11/2013- USCIS presented 30 candidates for U.S. citizenship. Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and Hartford Public Library CEO Matthew Poland provided the Naturalization Ceremony’s opening remarks with additional remarks by Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. Walter Dean Myers, the influential author and national advocate for children’s reading programs, spoke after the ceremony.  View video of the ceremony here

Karen New Year Celebration

From Hartford Courant, 1/2013: The Karen New Year was celebrated at Hartford Public Library. The Karen pepole are an ethnic people primiarily from a southeastern state in Myanmar (Burma.) There is now a large community of Karen refugees living in Hartford after fleeing their homeland in Myanmar to esape the oppresive military regime. The event included readings, food, music, and skits highlighting various parts of the Karen culture.

Hopeful Things Art Exhibit

From Identidad Latina, 9/2012: “Hopeful Things” a thought provoking art exhibition by English Language Learners from four Hartford Public School academies went on display this week at the main branch of the Hartford Public Library to commemorate National Welcoming America Week. See the photo gallery here.

HPL Is Awarded A Connecticut State Department Of Education Grant

From Hartford Courant. 8/31/2012: The Connecticut State Department of Education awards Hartford Public Library a $35,000 Adult Education grant. 

Discussion of Islam & Screening of Amreeka

From, 5/23/2012: The origins of negative images surrounding Islam will be a topic for discussion Wednesday [May 23, 2012] at the Hartford Public Library...(Bridging Cultures Book & Film Series

Community Dialogues on Adult Learning Action Forum

From, 5/15/2012: The grant funding these forums intends "to give immigrants a specific sense of belonging in America, and experience as active community participants and future civic-minded individuals." This project — “Creating a Vibrant Hartford: Adult Learning as a Pathway to Change” — allowed participants, immigrants and native-born alike, to participate in a democratic process...Celebrating the end to one phase of the dialogue groups, facilitators and participants presented their action ideas on Tuesday evening at the library.


Library Forges Pathway for Dialogue

From The West Indian American, 4/2012: Hartford Public Library’s recent kickoff event of its series of Community Dialogues designed to promote immigarnt civic engagement brought out a well-attended diversified crowd. 

Anti-Immigrant Backlash Catches Muslims

From Hartford Courant, 5/13/2012: Rabia Chaudry, president of the Safe Nation Collaborative highlights two events at Hartford Public Library that examine the connected issues- the experiences of American Muslim immigrants and U.S. immigration policies that have become increasingly rigid and troubling from a civil liberties perspective. 

Community Dialogues on Adult Learning Kick-Off Event

From, 4/22/2012: “Diversity also means inclusiveness,” Mayor Segarra told the crowd, as he spoke in support for greater access to learning opportunities, especially for immigrants.

Hartford Public Library Features Muslim Women Speakers

From 1/26/2012: The program, called 'Muslim Immigrant Women's Voices' features four terrifically talented speakers. 

Helping Refugees at the Hartford Public Library

From, 1/26/2012: In July 2005, Naficy, The American Place (TAP) coordinator, with $20,000 in LSTA funding, began an ambitious effort to position Hartford Public Library as a bridge institution for refugees resettled in Hartford. The American Place is an assemblage of the Hartford Public Library's services for the city's ethnically diverse and immigrant populations. 

Immigrant Civic Engagement Pilot Community Dialogue on Adult Learning

From, 2/18/2012: A pilot community dialogue intended to give interested parties practice with a community dialogue before the Immigrant Civic Engagement Project moves into its recruitment phase.


Increasing Civic Involvement in Immigrant Community

From, 7/20/2011: The National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services provides funds ($637,896) for the Immigrant Civic Engagement Initiative. 

Hartford Librarian Homa Naficy Lectures Scores of International Social Workers

From, 4/11/2011: Naficy’s talk focused on the composition and needs of Hartford’s immigrant community and what the library and its partners are doing for them. 

Library Lands Grant to Help Immigrants

From Hartford Courant, 9/28/2010: Hartford Public Library learned Monday that it will receive a $637,896 federal grant to develop a program to help immigrants and new citizens play a greater role in the civic life of their communities.

Hartford Library's The American Place Program Helps Refugees, Immigrants

From Hartford Courant, 10/25/2010: The American Place program at the library started in 2000 with a grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Since then it has become a nationally recognized model for the role that public libraries can play in educating and assimilating immigrants


Hartford Library Offers Path to Citizenship

From CT News Junkie, 9/27/2010:  Hartford Public Library announced that it was one of 75 organizations across the country to be selected from of a pool of 1,000 applications to be awarded a $100,000 grant from the US Citizenship and Integration Services.

Praise for Immigrant Program Doesn't Surprise Hartford Library

From Hartford Courant, 1/2/2009: Homa Naficy was pleased to learn that a presidential task force formed in 2006 and charged with identifying ways to help legal immigrants embrace American civic culture had applauded the efforts of the Hartford Public Library in its report to President George W. Bush.