The English-Speaking Union

News And Events

June is Immigrant Heritage Month!

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At this time of crisis and deep divisions in our society, we are reminded of the ESU core values of inclusion, equity and opportunity. 
Today, as always, we are committed to listening to the voices of all members of our community. We support and stand with immigrants and celebrate their contributions to our society. 

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Town Hall Meeting : Know Your Rights During COVID-19

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On May 14th, ARNIC held its second virtual town hall meeting. The purpose of these meetings is to foster community, reduce social isolation and share resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting included a Know Your Rights presentation, which was led by MASA in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. Over 30 of our immigrant clients attended the event along with ESU staff. 

Topics covered in the presentation included:

  • City health guidelines during COVID-19

  • Recent changes to immigration policies

  • Strategies on how to interact with federal immigration officers and local enforcement

  • Free and safe legal services available to New York City residents

  • Tenant rights

ESU will be hosting a series of town hall meetings on timely and relevant topics for our immigrant clients.  Our next town hall meeting will focus on Upstander Bystander Strategy Interventions. 

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First Virtual Town Hall Meeting for Tutors

We were thrilled to host our first virtual Town Hall Meeting for tutors on May 1!  The event was attended by over 50 volunteer tutors from all over New York City as well as other ESU branches across the U.S. We discussed the new ways in which the English in Action conversation program continues to provide services to our students.  Tutors shared their experiences of talking with students remotely and best practices for holding conversation sessions online. As part of our ongoing support for our tutors we will be sharing helpful resources, online platform guides as well as tutoring tips shared by our community of tutors. We will also be hosting workshops for tutors on topics of interest and continuing our monthly tutor support groups.   

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Support Our Community of Immigrants

May 5th is #GivingTuesdayNow

Support our community of immigrants! 

Our immigrant students have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. They live in neighborhoods at the center of the pandemic, including Corona, Elmhurst and the South Bronx.

The ESU has created an emergency fund to support our 250 immigrant clients during this uncertain and challenging time.

Donate today to support immigrants in need 

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37th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition goes digital Crowns winner from Washington D.C. during quarantine

Embodying the premise that the "show must go on," the English-Speaking Union (ESU) celebrated its 100th anniversary by employing available technology to produce a digital ESU National Shakespeare Competition in this, its 37th year.

Using texting, online meetings and YouTube, the organization responded to the pandemic by putting on its first-ever digital competition. A 3-day event filled with activities had been planned for the 50 high school students representing ESU branches across the United States. When COVID-19 intervened, the organization chose to pivot rather than disappoint the thousands of students who had participated in classroom and ESU Branch competitions for the opportunity to perform at the finals, originally sited at the Public Theater in Manhattan.  

Ava Blum of the Washington D.C. Branch won first place and a scholarship to attend the 2021 Midsummer Conservatory Program at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, U.K. Her teacher, Jim Mahady of Georgetown Day School, will receive the $1,000 Teacher Recognition Award, instituted this year as thanks to teachers who have adapted to current challenges.

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