This is the third in a five part series featuring the staff of HILSC and their experiences with belonging. One November day in sixth grade, I forgot my lunch so I used the office phone at school to call my mom to bring it for me. It is a memory I would have forgotten by now if not for what happened next.
Belonging … on this Independence Day
The concept of belonging has almost always eluded me. For most of my life, I never felt that I fit in any one place. My only sanctuary was my family home –the place my parents built together and vehemently guarded to help my siblings and I feel protected. Stepping out of my comfort zone was always anxiety-provoking and I hardly ever allowed myself to explore anything outside of what was considered “safe.” Admittedly, writing this blog post is not easy for me but I have come to understand and appreciate the importance of sharing one’s journey of belonging.
This is the first in a five part series featuring the staff of HILSC and their experiences with belonging.
Vickie Giambra – In my first week at HILSC, the entire team sat together and watched a webinar called “The Belonging Barometer: The State of Belonging in America,” which presented findings from a survey by Over Zero and the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council. The findings and resulting discussion left quite an impression on the HILSC team, sparking a conversation about belonging and how it impacts the work we do.
The Collaborative plays a critical convening, coordinating, and communication role in the legal services community. Through our work, more immigrants are receiving low-cost, high-quality legal services for immigration issues in Houston. Our work has become even more urgent in 2019, as the policy environment in which we work becomes increasingly hostile to immigrants. We have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for immigration legal services and education & outreach efforts in Houston’s diverse immigrant communities.