Dear Friends of KIAC,
May was a month of high and lows. From a personal standpoint, I received my long awaited letter from USCIS for the final part of my immigration journey – notice of my Citizenship Interview. After restudying for the civics exam, and with all my paperwork in hand, I attended my interview and was sworn in as a US citizen later that same day. I stood with nearly 100 other immigrants from various parts of the world. The whole experience was a positive one for me, and I ended the day feeling grateful about becoming the citizen of this country I’ve called home for the last thirty years of my life.
It was during the same week that we as a country responded to two incidents of mass shootings (and many more have followed). I had to pause and reflect on this reality as I became a citizen. As an immigrant and the head of an immigrant assistance organization, the racial profile of the victims caused even more devastation and concern. As I grappled with the duality of celebrating citizenship while recognizing there is much work to be done, the quote by Dr. King, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals” resonated and brought back gratitude and hope. I know that our team at KIAC and our extended family of volunteers, donors and community organizations is comprised of dedicated individuals who continue to do tireless work with passion.
Here are a few KIAC highlights from May:
This is the first Touchpoint I’ve penned as a citizen of the United States of America. I feel privileged to stand with all of you – dedicated individuals with passionate concern, as we work towards the goals of justice and equity.
Thangam Chandrasekaran, Executive Director
PS. In doing our part to continue combating misinformation, we have debunked a few immigration myths. Please enjoy our “Myths vs. Facts” below.
PPS. Our Marketing & Development Team said that NOT sharing a citizenship photo would be a disservice to our work. You can check it out below.