Author: JMC Mosaic

Crete provides fertile environment for newcomers, minorities to thrive

By Emily Case Late afternoon light pours into the Diaz Brothers Barbershop in downtown Crete, Nebraska, making the goldenrod-yellow walls of the small shop glow. Owner Julian Diaz has just finished cutting a customer’s hair and is sweeping the floor of the small shop, which has two stations — one for him and one for his brother, David Diaz. His four-year-old business is growing, and he enjoys the work. His job allows him to see many different kinds of people every day. “I get to cut the hair of people from everywhere from Africa to Asia,” he said. “I...

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Spice of life: New Americans and food

Food. At its core, it is a source of life. A necessity. We cannot survive without it. But food is much more. Food feeds the soul. It is a reflection of our culture and who we are. It is an integral part of our histories, our traditions, our celebrations. For refugees and immigrants feeling their way in a new country, food becomes even more important. It is a precious link to the past. A way to feel at home in a place that is not home. This multimedia project, produced by University of Nebraska-Lincoln students in the College of...

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Family literacy program teaches children and their parents

By Michaela Odens It’s after school, in the library of Roper Elementary, and several pre-schoolers sit on the floor playing with Legos while school-age children play educational games on computers. In the corner, a fussy baby is being bounced in the arms of a young volunteer. Across the room, two women talk about the day’s upcoming lessons. Down the hall, away from the noisy little ones, eight refugee and immigrant parents work hard to master English so they can more better provide for their children. The parents and children are participating in the Family Literacy Activities for Immigrants and...

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Refugee mentorship program staffed by UNL students faces volunteer shortage

By Joe McCarty Every Monday, Lucy Long, a secondary math and English education major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, spends about an hour mentoring a refugee family, teaching them English and helping them adjust to life in the United States. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small amount of time. But for Long of Lincoln, who also tutors high school students, leads a Bible study, visits Alzheimer’s patients and talks with homeless people in downtown Lincoln, it’s a considerable investment. “It’s like a part-time job I don’t get paid for but definitely better than a part-time job,”...

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Asian Community and Cultural Center finds new home but faces higher rent

By Chasity Blair The Asian Community and Cultural Center recently faced the challenge of moving to a new location within 30 days. The nonprofit has moved into a new home, but now it faces another test: finding money to pay for rent that has doubled. On June 28, the center received notice that the building at 2635 O St. was sold. The center paid $1,000 a month with a month-to-month lease at the old address and had been there for five years. That lease meant lower monthly payments for an organization with financial stress, said CEO and executive director...

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