The Local Struggle: Learning from Asylum Seekers in NYC
Across the pond, the refugee crisis looks like the orphaned children of Aleppo; the overpacked dinghies that carry thousands across the mediterranean sea and the makeshift village of the Calais “Jungle.” What does the refugee crisis look like here in NYC? Who are the people seeking asylum, right here, in your borough?
Join us for an introduction to the local refugee crisis: a look into the lives of asylum seekers in NYC.
The workshop will explore:
● The persecution that forces asylum seekers to flee
● Important distinctions between refugee groups and the political histories of refugee/asylum law
● Current lack of local and federal support for refugees and asylum seekers
● Stories of the local struggle
● The people and organizations in the local effort
● Actions to support the local effort
Ellie Alter is the Associate Director of the Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RIF), a NYC-based grassroots organization that supports and welcomes asylum seekers and refugees. A native New Yorker, Ellie became involved with RIF through her farm apprenticeship at Brooklyn Grange: the world’s largest rooftop soil farm. In 2014, she began volunteering as a facilitator for the Urban Farm Recovery Project– a program in partnership with the farm that provides asylum seekers with a paid fellowship in urban agriculture. Ellie is also a fundraiser at the Sixth Street Community Center in the Lower East Side, an organization that has worked to empower the LES community through grassroots organizing since 1978. Growing, cooking, and eating food is her favorite mode of transcending barriers, celebrating difference, and connecting with her community.