Volunteer Spotlight: Kimberly Macron

kim s rocco.jpg

Age: 32

Gender Pronouns: She/her

What brought you to AAANY? I came to AAANY in January 2018. In 2017, I spent several months in Europe, during which time I had planned to volunteer to support refugees. Unfortunately, I fell very ill and was unable to volunteer. This was discouraging, but it made me realize that it isn’t just people in extreme situations who need support. I could volunteer to support immigrants when I returned to Brooklyn, in a more sustainable, less intensive way.

What specific work do you do as a volunteer? I tutor people preparing for their citizenship interviews.

What is your connection to the Arab Community and/or Immigration? I live in Bay Ridge, where AAANY is based. Through volunteering at AAANY, I meet and support people of my direct community and nearby communities, who I most likely would not otherwise meet. My family has Arab ancestry, but aside from knowledge of this ancestry, we have lost connection to this heritage. My husband became a naturalized citizen several years ago. Being by his side throughout his journey toward citizenship was impactful, and celebrating his becoming a citizen was very moving.

What is your school/work Background? I graduated from Pratt Institute, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. I worked at an arts-education nonprofit for several years, and then worked in set building/design for print and television advertising for the past 7 years. I recently became certified to teach English to speakers of other languages, and plan to transition full-time into this work..

Do your background skills help in your service as a volunteer? No, my background skills are quite unrelated to my volunteer service!

What is one thing you hope to get out of your volunteer service with AAANY ? I want to support people as best I can, and be receptive and accommodating to the unique needs of each client.

Greatest challenge as an AAANY volunteer? My greatest challenge as an AAANY volunteer is not having any knowledge of Arabic. There have been a few occasions where I was unable to answer a client’s questions or have effective communication because  because I cannot speak or understand any Arabic.

Favorite moment as a volunteer at AAANY? I do not have a single favorite moment- there have been so many lovely moments. It makes me truly happy when a client calls or visits to tell us that his/her citizenship interview was successful and he/she is now a US citizen. It warms my heart to witness and share their joy and pride!

Do you see yourself volunteering long-term? Yes! Working with clients and witnessing their hard work and progress as they prepare for their interviews are gratifying and inspiring.

Does your service correspond with career aspirations? I do not have set career aspirations, but volunteering at AAANY showed me that service work is what inspires me and is what I want to be doing. I am so grateful for this organization, the incredibly kind people who work there, and the genuinely  good work they do to support the community.

The Arab American Association of New York Reiterates Its Stand Against Harassment

The Arab American Association of NY strongly condemns any form of harassment, abuse, and bullying.

We have reviewed the allegations published yesterday in the right-wing blog, the Daily Caller, made by a former Fellow. These allegations, originally made in 2009 against a former volunteer, were immediately investigated at the time and the complaint was escalated for an external review.

After this thorough independent review, the allegations were determined to be unfounded. Upon conclusion of the 2009 investigation, the Fellow continued to work for the duration of her fellowship without further incident or complaint.

The publishing of these allegations seem to be politically motivated and are without regard for accuracy. 

The AAANY will continue, as we always have, to ensure a work environment free of harassment, abuse and bullying as we pursue our mission of empowering the community.  

AAANY Stands with Communities United for Police Reform

The Arab American Association of New continues to work towards greater police accountability and endorsed a conference on September 6th with Communities United for Police Reform. CUPR works to push for legislation to reduce the number of police encounters between police and residents that are based on profiling and discrimination. On Tuesday, a conference was spearheaded by the mother of Eric Garner, Gwen Carr, members of the City Council, and Communities United for Police reform. AAANY endorses this movement because we believe this effort that will ensure more transparency of police practices on communities of color and provide a mechanism for communities to evaluate police disciplinary systems in order to create a healthy relationship of critique and reform between community organizations and the police department.

Two years after the death of Eric Garner, office Daniel Pantaleo continues to be employed by the NYPD after clearly choking a man on video. The de Blasio administration has been fighting the release of Officer Daniel Pantaleo's Civilian Complaint Review Board history, against a challenge by the Legal Aid Society under the Freedom of Information Law.

AAANY supports the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for a summary of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) substantiated complaints against NYPD Officer Pantaleo.  We stand by the call to fire Pantaleo immediately. 

"If there is going to be justice then there must be transparency." - Brad Landor, Head of Progressive Caucus of the City Council

"If there is going to be justice then there must be transparency." - Brad Landor, Head of Progressive Caucus of the City Council

AAANY SENDS OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF NAZMA KHANAM

The Arab American Association of New York is deeply saddened by the murder of Nazma Khanam, who was fatally stabbed last night in Queens, New York. Nazma, a Muslim woman who was 60 years-old was only two blocks away from her house in Jamaica Hills, Queens. This is the second attack against a Muslim in Queens within three weeks

As an organization that serves a largely Muslim population, our hearts are heavy each time there is another attack on the Muslim community in New York City. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Nazma Khaman and we offer ourselves up for community support at this time. 

The Arab American Association of New York Welcomes the Settlement of Lawsuit over NYPD Surveillance

----FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE----

January 7, 2016 

Landmark settlement reached in NYPD lawsuits to protect all New Yorkers including Muslims from discriminatory surveillance practices that have had detrimental impact on our communities

(New York, NY) – Today, the Arab American Association of New York welcomes the settlement reached by the NYPD and plaintiffs in the Raza v. City of New York lawsuit.  The Arab American Association of New York has been at the forefront of the campaign to end unwarranted surveillance of American Muslims by engaging in direct action, legislative advocacy, and grassroots organizing.  

The lawsuit, filed in 2013 by attorneys from CUNY CLEAR, NYCLU, and the ACLU, came in response to widespread community concerns after reports surfaced detailing broad NYPD surveillance of Muslim communities in New York and beyond. Secret documents revealed that the Arab American Association of New York was a direct target of NYPD’s discriminatory surveillance practices. The settlement codifies protections against investigations based on race, religion, or ethnicity and appoints an independent civilian monitor to serve as a check on potential future police abuses.

“We welcome this settlement announcement and think it's a significant step forward in protecting all New Yorkers against discriminatory policing." Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York

The Arab American Association of New York sees this settlement as a platform for future reforms within the New York Police Department and will continue to work diligently to ensure that all New Yorkers are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

****Arab American Association of New York is a non-profit social service and advocacy organization serving the Arab American, Arab immigrant, and Muslim communities citywide.****

***For additional information please contact the Executive Director:  Linda Sarsour lindasarsour@gmail.com