Miami

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Paulette's path to citizenship

As I enter Paulette’s apartment, she introduces me to her Garden of Eden. Paulette is fascinated by floral design—she embellishes her residence in an arrangement of real and artificial flowers. Paulette’s apartment showcases her bright disposition and I instantly feel welcomed into her home. She hands me a can of Orange Fanta as I sit on the couch next to her piano. Paulette always had an affinity for playing music from what she tells me. I do not know what to expect from this interview, all I know is that I am instantly intrigued by her personality.

SOAR takes flight: Youth protest across South Region

In January, AFSC staff and youth from across the South Region led protests and a national panel discussion to confront the issue of police violence and militarization in the United States.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday served as the launch date for SOAR (South Organizing Against Racism), which inspired youth-led events in over 15 cities including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Greensboro, Miami and New Orleans.

Marie's citizenship success in Florida

Marie’s skinny body is exaggerated from her oversized dress, but her personality is anything but frail.

While she speaks, her voice fluctuates wildly in its tone; and while she talks, her face is brightly animated. Marie has much to say, but she does not have much time.

Like Yvette, she meets with me during her short break from work at the Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale. As I listen to her story, the rain pours down from the sky in buckets, and makes thunderous little claps on the roof above us.

Yvette's story

Yvette meets with me during her lunch break in the middle of an intense Florida summer rainstorm to tell me about her journey as an American citizen. The decorum for an interview cannot be worse, but nonetheless, Yvette has plenty of patience to participate in my project. As lightning cracks all around us, and a chintzy version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” plays repetitively on the loudspeakers, Yvette maintains her graciousness. We sit at a table in the Swap Shop—a flea market complex in Ft.

Finding paths to citizenship in Miami

Within the last year, the AFSC Miami office began groundbreaking work towards helping gay immigrants married to American citizens obtain legal permanent status (LPR). Gay immigrant spouses can now apply for legal status because on June 26th, 2013 Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was repealed in the US Supreme Court case Windsor v. United States.

New beginnings in the South Region

A sense of rebirth and renewal is spreading throughout the South Region under the dynamic new leadership of Kamau Franklin. Kamau, a civil rights attorney who was named regional director in April, brings to AFSC his rich background in organizing at the grassroots level around issues of racial justice and civic engagement. He shares his vision for the region here.

A message from the South regional director

Greetings, AFSC South Region supporters,

AFSC South Star Summer 2014

Summer 2014 issue of the AFSC South Region's South Star newsletter.

Marie's Story

Marie

 Marie in her living room, 05/28/14

Marie was a migrant, like many, who were in search for a better life. She prayed to God that she would survive her journey to the US and that better opportunities were suspended in the horizon.

New U.S. citizens in Miami celebrate

In November, just a week after the U.S. presidential election in which immigration issues played a prominent role, over 200 Miami-area residents gathered together to celebrate their new status as U.S. citizens.

Each student took the stage to shake the hand of their teacher, Paul-Andre Mondesir, AFSC’s Haitian community social advocate, who guided them through the complex path to becoming a citizen in the twice-weekly class he teaches in a tiny strip mall storefront.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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