In light of the recent immigrant and refugee bans coming from the Trump administration, the Manchester community as a whole is in a state of confusion and fear. Because Manchester is a refugee resettlement city, the community at large is rooted in a myriad of traditions and cultures from all around the globe. Saint Anselm College works closely with two sites in particular that have experienced the drastic changes within the immigrant and refugee community that have been enacted by President Trump.
English for New Americans and Holy Cross Family Learning Center offer ESL and Citizenship classes for the immigrant and refugee communities in Manchester. Their teachers are not only dedicated to what they are teaching, but to who they are teaching. Having witnessed and volunteered at both sites, I've seen firsthand the compassion and love that each site offers every student that walks through their doors.
ENA and Holy Cross are not just schools, but communities. Immigrants from different countries teach one another about their cultures. Language is not seen as a barrier, but rather an opportunity to connect with the other person and to learn more about this beautiful world that we live in.
Although ENA and Holy Cross stay clear of politics, they are making an impact in the lives of those affected by the immigrant and refugee bans. Instead of closing their doors or turning away students, both sites stand strong on the belief that all are welcome here; welcome at their sites and welcome in this nation.
Through working at these sites, I understand the importance of inclusion and acceptance. I have gotten to see the impact that immigrant and refugee communities make on our overall community. I also have made friendships and connections that I will cherish forever.
Sometimes it is scary to recognize that differences do not make us weaker, but stronger. We want to believe that our nation is made up of the same people, same ethnicity, same orientations. From volunteering at ENA and Holy Cross, I've learned that these differences of cultures and tongues make us better. Inclusivity is what makes us vibrant and beautiful.
All are welcome.