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SYEP Discusses How DUSA Opened Her Eyes to Diversity of Latino Culture

SYEP Discusses How DUSA Opened Her Eyes to Diversity of Latino Culture

“Only once I moved to New York had I experienced the privilege of knowing another language. I learned that there are so many countries, cultures, and traditions that make up Latin America. I appreciate DUSA staff because they are patient with me.”

I was extremely nervous when I walked up to the Dominicanos USA table at Catholic Charities. I didn’t know anything about the job. But the most important thing was to be employed. I wanted to get a taste of adulthood. I was excited to register people to vote and surprised to learn how easy filling out the form was. But the hardest thing was to get clients. I never realized how difficult it is to make people care about an integral part of society. Sometimes they just don’t know certain information. Citizens who have lived in America for decades don’t know what state primaries are. I don’t remember many clients only how hard I worked to get them.

One of my biggest challenges is being monolingual. I moved from Georgia to New York the summer before freshman year. Most of the kids in my old school were black or white. There were about 10 Latinos that I knew. I knew learning Spanish would be a good skill to have but didn’t think it would be necessary. One summer I read a book about a girl whose parents were undocumented. The book opened my eyes to the fact that not all Latinos are Mexican. I was ignorant because we only learned about America, the Middle East, and Europe in Social Studies. Only once I moved to New York had I experienced the privilege of knowing another language. I learned that there are so many countries, cultures, and traditions that make up Latin America. I appreciate DUSA staff because they are patient with me. Especially Darleny, Rocio, and Austine. Everyday I come home from work, I’m very exhausted but I still love my job. I love contributing to social change, helping people, and earning money.

***This is a guest post by one of Summer 2018’s Young Voices, Joyce Allen Marks. Interested in donating to Dominicanos USA? Click here!

Interview with Dominican-American Entrepreneur Mariano Diaz

Interview with Dominican-American Entrepreneur Mariano Diaz

“Reinvent yourself” – Mariano Diaz

On May 18th, 2018, DUSA held its 3rd Annual Interchange with UNIBE, one of the most prestigious universities in the Dominican Republic. Entrepreneur Mariano Diaz was invited as a special guest speaker for this event. During his visit, he was kind enough to sit down with me for an interview. We discussed the many stories and experiences that made him the successful man he is today, ranging from his study abroad experience in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and study of Romance languages, to his role as founder and former president of the National Supermarket Association.

Mariano Diaz emigrated from the Dominican Republic at just twenty years old. He settled in New York City where he then went on to major in Romance Languages at CUNY. When asked how his language studies impacted his career, he stated that “it made him more analytical.” He asserted that his studies in Latin, for example, helped him become more detailed in his work. After graduating college, Mariano Diaz decided to go into the food industry, subsequently becoming founder of the National Supermarket Association. When asked what piece of advice he’d give his younger self, he said, “to listen more and be more patient.”

In all, it was an honor to have Mariano Diaz visit the DUSA office. He is just one example of the many creative minds and innovators that, from humble beginnings, have flourished in our great community. The Dominican-American community in the United States is one that is constantly growing and evolving. I am sure this is only the beginning for many of our leaders.

By: Dinahlee Pena

DUSA Attends Dominican Heritage Night at the Barclays Center

DUSA Attends Dominican Heritage Night at the Barclays Center

The Dominican American National Foundation awards the DANF Blue Flame of Achievement Award to honor local community leaders and organizations working to advance and integrate Latinos into American society. Dominicanos USA attended the event as DANF honorees, in recognition of the work they do and how it has impacted the Dominican community. Eddie Cuesta, National Executive Director of DUSA, was there to receive the award on behalf of the organization.

The DUSA team also participated and engaged with the Dominican Heritage Night attendees. The team registered eligible citizens to vote, with the goal of further integrating Dominicans into American society.

Donate here

Marches Make News, Voting Makes A Difference

Marches Make News, Voting Makes A Difference

On the morning of January 20th, 2018, in the heart of New York City, over 200,000 people attended the second annual Women’s March. The demonstrators held signs that came in waves of color as they marched. Etched on these signs were the concerns of many New Yorkers, including issues such as women’s rights, immigrant reform, and racial equality.

Dominicanos USA, in partnership with the League of Women Voters, stood at the outskirts of the Women’s March in New York City, with the goal of registering eligible voters.

The Women’s March did not only represent the shift women want to see in society but also encompassed the various concerns of the people. It ultimately became their platform to speak. From toddlers to senior citizens, the Women’s March became home to a diverse pool of people who united as one, regardless of age, gender, or race.



By: Dinahlee Pena 

DUSA is Now Hosting Free Civics Classes

DUSA is Now Hosting Free Civics Classes

This winter, Dominicanos USA has partnered up with the New York Historical Society to give free civics classes to green card holders in preparation for their naturalization interview. The series of classes will be hosted at our Bronx office and will be available to individuals who are permanent residents. These free civics classes are part of DUSA’s mission to help immigrants from our community become naturalized citizens.

The New-York Historical Society offers FREE civics classes for green card holders on the path to American citizenship. The 24-hour course prepares permanent residents for the civics test portion of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization interview.

The interactive course covers all 100 questions from the USCIS Civics Test. Participants will explore the Museum and learn about American history and government using objects, paintings, and documents from our collection. Classes are taught in English and are accessible to English Language Learners.

The Citizenship Project is made possible by generous grants from the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The New York Community Trust, and in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now!

“When I shared with my friends about the sessions, they asked me why not just memorize the 100 items for the citizenship exams?
My reply was: I’m a visual person and I usually internalize an info or issue with actual viewing and hearing, and that it is my intention to understand better the history of the United States.”

-Elsie, originally from the Philippines

New Courses Start This Winter

January 6 – February 3
Saturdays, 10am – 4pm
January 9 – February 15
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 – 8pm
February 17 – March 10
Saturdays, 10am – 4pm
Dusa busca empoderar a los dominicanos en Estados Unidos

Dusa busca empoderar a los dominicanos en Estados Unidos

manuel matos dusa

Dominicanos USA (Dusa) se define como una organización sin fines de lucro que busca crear “un puente institucional” que contribuya a mantener la conexión cultural y económica entre los domínicos estadounidenses y su patria de origen, afirma el presidente de su Junta Directiva, Manuel (Manny) Matos.

“En Estados Unidos se encuentran casi dos millones de dominicanos, 1.9 millones, con la más alta concentración en Nueva York, con una presencia destacada en Rhode Island, New Jersey, La Florida y algunas áreas de Texas”, pondera.

Explica que Dusa, nacida legalmente en 2014 como una organización no gubernamental registrada bajo el marco jurídico de Estados Unidos, se dedica desde 2015 a empoderar a los dominicanos para que se puedan registrar como votantes o tramitar su ciudadanía para acceder a mayores derechos.

Desde el punto de vista de Matos, con la llegada de Donald Trump a la Casa Blanca y la postura del mandatario ante los inmigrantes, muchos residentes en Estados Unidos entendieron la necesidad de convertirse en ciudadanos.

“El clima político ha motivado, definitivamente, a muchas personas elegibles para votar a convertirse en residentes, son personas que han cumplido con el requisito de cinco años residiendo de manera permanente”, dice. “Ayudamos a difundir la información sobre los requisitos para la naturalización”.

También cita entre las razones que motivan a los residentes a convertirse en ciudadanos, el hecho de que “muchos dominicanos han llegado a puestos muy altos en el Gobierno federal”. Entre los funcionarios electos y designados de origen dominicano, Dusa cita al congresista Adriano Espaillat y los senadores estatales José Peralta, Ana Quezada, Grace Díaz, Ramón Pérez y Marisol Alcántara. También a los concejales Julissa Ferreras, Antonio Reynoso, Fernando Cabrera, Ydanis Rodríguez, Jelmin Caba, Carmen Castillo, Sabina Matos, Franklin Solano, Kedrys Vásquez, Nilka álvarez Rodríguez, Jeovanny Rodríguez, Modesto Maldonado y Estela Reyes.

Otros funcionarios de origen dominicano son Diana Reyna, Emily Domínguez, Carmen de La Rosa, Aldrin Bonilla, Flavio Rivera, Luis Felipe Fernández, Héctor Lora, Dan Rivera, Franklin García, Claribel Martínez Marmolejos y Jimmy Zorrilla. La lista incluye a Robert Uribe, alcalde del poblado Douglas, en Arizona.

dominicanos este de estados unidos
Matos resalta, además, la importancia que tiene para los ciudadanos estadounidenses de origen dominicano el hecho de registrarse como votante.
Como ejemplo, cita el hecho de que el congresista dominicano electo en el Distrito 13 de Nueva York (Adriano Espaillat) ganó por 849 votos, “y en ese distrito nosotros registramos casi 30 mil votantes”. Resalta que “en campaña de registro tenemos un ejército, súper entrenado, guiado por la tecnología” para poder ubicar a los domínicos estadounidenses.

Dusa tiene el apoyo de varias empresas dominicanas, entre las que figuran INICIA, Grupo Punta Cana, Fersan, MARTÍ, Grupo Ambar y Banco Popular. En Estados Unidos ha tenido respaldo de universidades como Stanford, Yale y Georgetown, así como de la Fundación Naleo. La organización surge para crear un mecanismo que permita a la clase empresarial dominicana apoyar a la diáspora en Estados Unidos, como una manera de crear “beneficios mutuos” y mantener el vínculo con una población que, como resulta natural, se va desconectando en cada nueva generación de migrantes.

Matos, hijo de migrantes y padre de estadounidenses de origen dominicano, resalta la importancia económica y social que tiene para el país el mantener la conexión con su diáspora, sin importar su generación.

De acuerdo al Banco Central, el 70.22% de las remesas que recibió el país entre enero y noviembre de 2016 provino desde Estados Unidos y el 1.09% de Puerto Rico. Durante ese período entraron por ese concepto US$4,898.7 millones.

Dusa se propone impulsar un proyecto con el Gobierno y la clase empresarial, utilizando como modelo el Comité Americano de los Judíos, considerado “un maestro en el área de manejo de diáspora”.

Ventajas de la ciudadanía

Desde 2010 se estima que el flujo de inmigrantes dominicanos admitidos como residentes permanentes por Estados Unidos ronda entre 40 y 50 mil por año, según informaciones de Dusa. En 2014 fueron 44,577 y en 2015 un total de 50,610. Para 2014 se estimaban en 480,000 los dominicanos con residencia permanente, de los que eran elegibles para optar por la ciudadanía unos 300,000, indica la organización sin fines de lucro.

Para 2016 se naturalizaron 31,320 inmigrantes de origen dominicano, un número superior a 2015 (26,665), pero inferior a 2013 cuando fueron 39,590. Entre sus acciones, Dominicanos Usa recuerda a los inmigrantes las ventajas que pueden tener al ser ciudadanos, entre los que destacan el derecho a votar, a postularse a cargos públicos y a ser elegibles para empleo o beneficios federales.

El Dinero https://www.eldinero.com.do/52080/dusa-busca-empoderar-a-los-dominicanos-en-estados-unidos/

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