Mayor, USCIS Announce ‘Pathway for New Americans’ Partnership to Support Aspiring Citizens
June 11, 2014
Program Will Strengthen Citizenship Education Efforts, Include “New Americans Corners” in Libraries and Community Centers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today announced that Metro is partnering with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to strengthen citizenship education efforts in Nashville through a new program called Pathway for New Americans. The new partnership began today when Mayor Dean and USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba signed a letter of agreement at Nashville’s Main Library. The agreement will remain in effect until August, 2015.
“Thousands of immigrants and refugees from countries all over the world have made Nashville and Middle Tennessee their home, and that diversity makes our city stronger,” Mayor Dean said. “Pathway for New Americans and all it offers will help them integrate into our community and provide support as they move on a path to citizenship.”
During today’s signing, Scialabba and Mayor Dean stressed the importance of learning English and understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. They also noted the role that Nashville Public Library and Metro Parks community centers will play in the partnership’s success.
“Our joint efforts will help aspiring citizens find the information and resources they need to be successful in the naturalization process,” said Scialabba. “USCIS is proud to partner with Mayor Dean and the Metro Government to support permanent residents on their journey toward U.S. citizenship.”
A key feature of Pathway for New Americans is “New Americans Corners,” jointly established by USCIS and Metro. They are located in five Nashville public library locations and in four community centers. These resources support permanent residents by offering citizenship and English as Second Language classes, along with tools and resources to help aspiring citizens prepare for the naturalization interview and test.
The New Americans Corners are located at the Main downtown library, as well as locations at Edmondson Pike, Madison, Thompson Lane and Southeast, and at community centers at Coleman, East Park, West Park and Madison.
“Nashville Public Library is in the business of serving our community's growing and changing needs,” said Kent Oliver, director of Nashville Public Library. “So we're pleased to join with like-minded organizations dedicated to promoting 'citizenship literacy' as part of our own, larger mission to connect people and inspire learning.”
USCIS and the Metro Government also plan to:
- Provide enhanced citizenship information through the Metro Government, Nashville Public Library and Metro Parks web sites;
- Expand community partnerships to hold naturalization information sessions throughout Nashville;
- Raise public awareness of immigration services scams; and
- Air public service announcements highlighting this joint initiative on Metro 3 and city web sites.
Today’s announcement coincides with Mayor Dean recognizing June as Immigrant Heritage Month. In a proclamation, Mayor Dean encourages citizens to celebrate Nashville’s diverse immigrant heritage, noting that the city’s immigrant population is among the fastest-growing in the country, rising from 2.5 percent a decade ago to nearly 12 percent today.
Nashville is USCIS’s third municipal partner joining Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively. For more information on the “New Americans Corners,” visit www.PathwayforNewAmericans.org.
Photos provided by Metro Photographic Services.
At a news conference at the Downtown Library on June 11, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Lori Scialabba and Mayor Karl Dean sign a letter of agreement to strengthen citizenship efforts in Nashville through a new program called Pathway for New Americans, which features New Americans Corners in library locations and community centers. Nashville is USCIS’s third municipal partner joining Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively. Nashville Public Library Director Kent Oliver looks on.
At a news conference at the Downtown Library on June 11, Mayor Karl Dean discusses the important role Metro Nashville library locations and community centers will play in hosting New Americans Corners, which support permanent residents by offering citizenship and English as a Second Language classes, along with tools and resources to help aspiring citizens prepare for the naturalization interview and test. Nashville Public Library Director Kent Oliver and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Lori Scialabba also spoke during the news conference.
Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Lori Scialabba, Mayor Karl Dean and Nashville Public Library Director Kent Oliver stand at a “New Americans Corners” display, which includes resources for immigrants who aspire to become U.S. citizens. New Americans Corners are located in five Nashville library locations and in four Metro Parks community centers.