Marie’s skinny body is exaggerated from her over-sized 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 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.
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spouses can now apply for legal status because on June 26th, 2013 Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was repealed in the US Supreme Court case Windsor v. United States.
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.
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.
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.