The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

News and Events

ESU Happy Hour Series

Dr. Natwar Gandhi and Panna Naik
Still the Promised Land
Wednesday, September 30th at 4:00 PM (EDT)

Dr. Natwar Gandhi, retired independent Chief Financial Officer of Washington DC, has published a book about his personal story "Still the Promised Land."  Gandhi is a Distinguished Policy Fellow at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, Center for Financial Markets and Policy. He will be joined by his wife, distinguished poet, Panna Naik.

Program 6: Still the Promised Land. Dr. Gandhi program presents fascinating and deeply personal story of how an impoverished immigrant made his way to the new world, remade his life and ultimately became the chief financial officer of Washington, D.C. His life is an inspiring account of how to survive seemingly hopeless circumstances, with an uplifting message for present-day America.

More Information                 More Happy Hour Programs


Watch Previously Recorded Programs

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Fourth of July Messages

ESU of the United States, Chairman's Message

This year, as the ESU of the United States celebrates its 100th Anniversary, the world is dealing with a global pandemic of unparalleled magnitude, cries against racial injustice are echoing throughout our country and across the nations, and at the same time we remember two seminal events that occurred 75 years ago - the day when American, British and Allied forces combined together in Europe to drive the scourge of Nazism from our planet, and the day when nations of good will met together in San Francisco to sign the declaration that marked the establishment of the United Nations.

Far from being remote acts that adorn the pages of history books, both these events of 75 years ago are central and vital to what we are as an organization and both of them have significance as we face a world that has changed rapidly in six months, and shows no sign of reversal. The ties that bind America to the United Kingdom and to Europe, enshrined in the Atlantic Alliance, Nato and countless associations and affiliations that bring us together, are as necessary today as they ever were. Beware those who would decry or undermine bonds forged in blood in defense of liberty, freedom and tolerance. Our links extend far beyond the shores of Europe and, through our international outreach, the ESU is truly global in its desire for peace and fellowship between all people.

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ARNIC Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Alumni Voices -- Stories of Success

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Since opening its doors, ARNIC has served almost 2,000 newly arrived immigrants. At our latest virtual town hall meeting, five program alumni shared their stories with current ARNIC members. The five alumni took part in a panel discussion and spoke about how they have overcome barriers and found success in the U.S. The panelists gave advice to current ARNIC members and inspired them to look ahead confidently to the future.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, which takes place every June and recognizes the contributions immigrants make to U.S. society. 

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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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Celebrate the Queen’s 94th Birthday and Help Support the English-Speaking Union

You can celebrate the Queen's Birthday and support the ESU by posting a creative photo of you hosting a tea party on Facebook or Instagram (even a party of one) and a short birthday greeting to the Queen! For every photo posted on  Facebook or Instagram, President Dr. Quinn Peeper and Chairman Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill will each donate $100 per entry for the first 100 entries! This means that each post with #esuteadrive donates $200 to the ESU!  We are grateful to Quinn and Paul for their support at this time. Please help us raise much-needed funds to support our programs and students.

  1. Photos should be in high resolution and include a short birthday greeting to the Queen
  2. Posts should include hashtag #esuteadrive
  3. Photos should be creative with a tea party theme yet keeping social distancing in mind
  4. Please feel free to submit 3 photos per entry
  5. Contest will close on Monday, June 1st. The winner will be selected by Saturday, June 13th. The winning photo and message to the Queen will be sent to Buckingham Palace at that time.
  6. A selection of photos will appear in the ESU's Centennial Remembrance Album scheduled for release at the end of 2020
  7. Winner will receive an Amazon gift card

Click here to view our Facebook post

Click here to view our Instagram post

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Thank You to All Our Volunteers in English in Action!

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April 19-25 is Volunteer Recognition Week! We salute all of our volunteer tutors, unit directors and partner organizations and thank you for your dedication to the English in Action program. Your compassion is at the heart of every session. You create a welcoming environment for our students to improve and build their confidence in the English language.

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