It’s so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so important to fill out the Census, and here are University Settlement Adult Literacy Program students Lifen Wu (aka Stephanie) and Si En Wen (aka Wilson) to tell you why.
Please watch the compilation videos from Culture Club, 2A & 2P, and 3A & 3P students below.
In addition to George Floyd, you may have heard the name Breonna Taylor in connection with recent Black Lives Matter protests. Read the brief summary of her case in English and traditional Chinese below, courtesy of Send Chinatown Love:
Justice for Breonna Taylor | Traditional Chinese/English
今天（六月五日）是 Breonna Taylor 的二十七歲生日。她曾是位受褒揚的緊急醫務人員，更想當上護士。
Today (6/5) is Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday. She was an award-winning EMT and had aspirations of becoming a nurse.
三月十三日，她與男朋友 Kenneth Walker 在家裡，突然聽到有人闖入。
On March 13, Breonna and her boyfriend, Kenneth, were in bed when they heard people entering their house.
一群便衣警察，也沒敲門，就破門而入。他們聲稱有搜索令，懷疑 Breonna 的家中藏著一名毒販 Jamarcus Glover 的毒品或現金。Glover 當時已早被警方逮補。
According to the search warrant, police believed a suspected drug dealer named Jamarcus Glover – who did not live with Breonna – was keeping drugs or money at her house. Glover was already in police custody at this time.
The police were not in uniform. According to Breonna’s boyfriend and neighbors, they did not knock. They simply forcibly entered Breonna’s house.
Breonna 的男朋友第一時間誤認便衣警察為入侵者，打 911 報警，並拿出槍射中一名警察的腿。他的槍是合法持有，當地的法律也允許個人向入侵者開槍。
Her boyfriend, thinking they were intruders, called 911 and pulled out a gun. He shot at one officer’s leg. Kenneth has a license to carry a gun and lives in a state where it is legal to shoot at intruders if they are breaking into your home.
Remember, the cops were not in uniform, and neighbors and Kenneth say that they did not announce themselves when entering.
警方的反應則是開槍 20 多發，射死 Breonna Taylor。子彈更波及隔壁的公寓，裡面住著一名孕婦與五歲小孩。
The officers responded by shooting more than 20 times, fatally striking Breonna. Bullets also flew into the adjacent home, where a pregnant woman and a five-year-old were sleeping.
後來，警方指控男朋友 Walker 殺人未遂（最後並未起訴）。Breonna 的家裡則沒搜出任何毒品。到今天，沒有任何人為了 Breonna 的死而被起訴。Breonna 還活著的話，今天是 27 歲。
The police charged Walker with attempted murder (the charges were since dropped). No drugs were found in their house. As of today, no one has been charged with Breonna’s murder.
Click here to view Black Lives Matter vocabulary translated into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Nepali, and Arabic.
Here’s a video for you explaining systemic racism. You might need to watch it more than once – and if you need to slow it down, remember you can change the Playback Speed when you click on the Settings icon. In the Settings there are also subtitles in Spanish and Japanese, and you can click here to watch a version with Chinese subtitles. After you watch, take the quiz to test your understanding!
Letters for Black Lives is a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities. Click on the beginning of each letter below to read in Chinese, Spanish, or English – or click here to see all languages available.
In full support of the democratic right to dissent and protest, we join with many other voices of outrage across the country to call for justice for George Floyd. As our African-American staff, family members and communities express righteous anger at the injustice they face every day, we share in it and stand with them in solidarity.
En total apoyo al derecho democrático a disentir y protestar, nos unimos a muchas otras voces de indignación en todo el país para pedir justicia para George Floyd. A medida que nuestro personal afroamericano, los miembros de la familia y las comunidades expresan una ira justa por la injusticia que enfrentan todos los días, compartimos y nos solidarizamos con ellos.
University Settlement also signed on to this letter as part of the United Neighborhood Houses:
“George Floyd’s murder is not an isolated incident, but rather part of a deadly and familiar trend. The senseless killing of black and brown people by police officers is a public health emergency our country has the power to stop. Leaders and policy makers must grapple with our history of white supremacy and acknowledge how power, privilege, and oppression continues to shape daily life in America before we can ever hope to live in a country where communities of color are truly free.
New York’s settlement houses have been progressive leaders in this State for over a century and continue to speak out against racial injustices while building inclusive communities. Today they fight racist ideology in public policy debates from so-called “voter ID laws” to the discrimination against Asian Americans during the coronavirus outbreak to the higher social-distancing arrests and summons in communities of color. During a global pandemic, we have seen the stark consequences of that racist ideology laid bare as black and brown New Yorkers are dying at twice the rate of their white neighbors.
United Neighborhood Houses continues to reckon with America’s racist legacy, and together with our member settlement houses, we affirm our commitment to serving as allies, listening when challenged, and leveraging what power and privilege we have to fight systemic racism. We stand shoulder to shoulder with settlement houses in extending our deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family while repeating the mantra that has shaped the latest iteration of America’s long-running battle for civil rights: Black Lives Matter.”
And here are some English for Speakers of Other Languages Lesson Resources related to the protests:
Reading, listening, vocab, and comprehension exercises at three different levels
Reading, vocab, and video for three different levels
Video, reading, discussion questions – somewhat advanced
VOA has a series of articles and videos, but no vocab or comprehension activities – intermediate to advanced
Registration required but free – intermediate but maybe good for high beginning too, listening and discussion questions, audio can be slowed down
Registration required but free – you can change the reading level from intermediate to advanced
Registration required but free – a very good set of intermediate reading, vocab, listening, and comprehension exercises
And here are some photos to use for discussion or writing using vocabulary from the above lessons:
Here’s another student story highlighting the importance of adult literacy and why the City Council and mayor need to maintain funding for adult literacy at $12 million per year. 2.2 million New Yorkers like Felix, whose story is below, need adult education!
My name is Felix Gomez, and I’m from Bogota, Colombia. In Colombia, I used to work as head of inventory security in a multinational company named Home Center and I studied business administration specializing in financial risk. But because of safety and economic reasons, I decided to leave my country and come to the U.S. I came here alone in 2018 but later my mother came here and now we live together.
I love New York. I like the atmosphere, I like the people, I like the public transportation. I like that people respect others and don’t care what others do. It’s an open-minded city. I feel safe, I feel relaxed. There are a lot of opportunities to grow, to study. I like the different seasons. I like it all. I love this city.
When I arrived here I couldn’t work in the same field that I worked in in Colombia but I had to make money. So I started to work as a dishwasher, and after that as a busser, after that as a barback, and also as a cashier at Penn Station. But then the coronavirus came and the businesses closed.
My boyfriend is a nurse in the hospital and he told me that they needed people to work there in the housekeeping department and help in the emergency room. So I went there and had an interview in Spanish and English and I got a job as an emergency room assistant.
When the ambulances call the hospital they tell them what the patient needs, and when the patient arrives in critical condition, there’s a list of information including the room and equipment and then we help bring them to the correct place and get them what they need.
In this hospital the doctors and nurses don’t speak Spanish or only speak a little Spanish, so when they call us everything’s in English. For example, they say, “Hey, Felix! I need napkins! I need cleaner! I need the respiration machine!”
I’ve worked there for two months, during the most critical times of the coronavirus. It was a heavy, sad atmosphere with a lot of protocols and anxiety but at the same time with the support of the city. Because every day at seven everyone applauded in support of everyone who works in the hospital. This was beautiful.
I feel very good in this job, and now I think I’d like to study to become a nurse. I believe it’s a very interesting career and it’s a profession in which you need a lot of love, a lot of passion and a lot of desire and dedication to work. So after getting my papers and improving my English, my next step is to study nursing.
I think that in the United States and in New York the possibilities for Latinos is very good, but it’s really necessary to speak English well and it’s necessary to have structured and formal classes. A friend of mine told me about the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program and that it was a good program, one that requires persistence and dedication, and I started last fall. I’ve learned and I’ve advanced and thanks to these small advances I could get a job in the hospital. I’m grateful for this because in this pandemic I could get a job that makes it possible for me to support my family.