The Boards of Directors of Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan & the Bronx (RCCMB) and American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights (ARA) - our local and nationwide volunteer organizations - send you and your loved ones our season's greetings and wish you a peaceful, prosperous year 2015!
Thank you to all those who helped us organize and hold important events throughout 2014, raising awareness of our city's diversity and our people's contributions, advancing our community's interests, and sending our message of solidarity with human and civil rights defenders in our native country. With your support, in this past year, we were able to:
- Open our part-time pro bono immigration attorney office in NYC, to serve the growing number of asylum seekers and other immigrants from Russia and post-Soviet Eurasia who face significant barriers to obtaining these services from other sources;
- Hold community forums with NYC's Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal, as well as representatives of The Department for the Aging, Department of Youth and Community Development, Human Resources Administration, and NYC Human Rights Commission, that helped advance our mutual understanding and awareness;
- Continue RCCMB's pursuit of the language access equality for Russian-speaking voters in New York, with our testimony to the Campaign Finance Board's Voters Assistance Advisory Committee;
- Get RCCMB cleared for our first contract with NYC's Department of Youth and Community Development, thanks to discretionary awards from our Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine;
- Deepen our unique collaboration with the Black community and other minorities in our joint struggle for a more equitable immigrant integration in NYC;
- Organize and host a joint community forum at Columbia University with ARA's French counterpart, Association Russie-Libertes, as well as a joint Ukrainian-Russian antiwar forum, also at Columbia University;
- Organize and co-organize, on behalf of ARA, the first-ever joint Russian-Ukrainian diaspora rallies on September 21 that brought together over 1,000 people in six US cities(New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Houston) in protest against the Russian government's military interference in Ukraine and in defense of peace between these two countries;
- Launch the first-ever Russian-speaking Diaspora Justice Award that ARA and RCCMB co-founded jointly with The Andrei Sakharov Foundation, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation, Lodyjensky Immigration Archive Center of Russian and Ukrainian Culture, The Pushkin Society of America, as well as distinguished community leaders - Reverend Michael Aksionov Meerson (of The Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior in New York City), Rabbi Leonid Feldman (of Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach, FL), Boris Tenzer (talk show host at RTN-WMNB), and Tatiana Yankelevich (Harvard University associate).
Please support our work with your donation before the end of 2014. Your contribution to us is tax-deductible. You can donate to either organization by sending a check to our address at 244 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, New York NY 10001 or via PayPal on RCCMB website. RCCMB is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and a fiscal sponsor for our national association.
We are committed to continuing to advance the task of Russian-American immigrant integration through education and mutual awareness, by organizing locally and nationally to amplify our collective voice in public affairs and to be able to support changes to the better in our native country when they inevitably begin.
Wishing you happiness and joy from the bottom of our hearts,