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Diversity Week

We recently celebrated Diversity Week by holding our own Welcoming Week, part of a national celebration hosted by Welcoming America. Communities across the nation organized events that brought communities, immigrants, refugees and native-born residents together to raise the awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone!

We participated in the welcoming week kickoff party at Jupiter Hall in Manchester. The celebration welcomed all those who live in the community with food, dance performances, speakers, artwork, and singing. This was the first night of the weeklong celebration. Other events included a volunteer day at the Fresh Start Farms which is a cooperative farm run by local immigrant and refugee farmers, an event at the Currier Museum titled Suitcase Stories, in which immigrants and refugees tell their personal stories of their immigration to the United States, and the final event was a coffee hour at the Turkish Cultural Center.

On September 20, 2017 staff and youth at Zachary Road held a Diversity Day celebrating the world's continents. In the weeks prior to the event, staff and the youth learned about countries within their continent. Staff and youth prepared displays celebrating history, culture, food, ethnic dress, and traditions. Several of the countries celebrated are home countries to the staff including Nepal, Congo, Kenya, and Rwanda while other units covered Australia, Japan, and Puerto Rico. The youth traveled the world with their school classrooms, having their passports stamped along the way. Everyone enjoyed this cultural adventure.

Another activity featured Loretta Brady, Ph.D., APA-CP,  curriculum developer & instructor at BDS Insight who provided insight on how culture influences behaviors, preferences, and collaboration in the workplace. In this training, we developed an awareness of how cultural differences enhance team performance.She helped to identify ways to work with our own and other’s cultural styles. 

Last October, we launched a training program tailored specifically to immigrants and refugees for whom English is a second language. This training consists of three intense weeks of ESL training that is designed to meet the specific needs of community-based services programs. It's followed by a two-week program specific training. At the completion of the training, participants began their employment in their assigned programs. Eleven participants graduated! In March we held a second training program with 12 participants. As of today, all but two are still working for Easterseals. We are in the middle of our third training program, where six participants are focusing on Community Based Services.

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