To the Editor:
Writing as a member of the board of directors of the Centreville Immigration Forum (CIF), I applaud your editorial, the op-ed by John Horejsi (SALT), and the opening articles. I am glad to see more attention being given to immigrants in Fairfax County, and I look forward to seeing the rest of the series. I don't think I need to explain what the CIF is, as it and the cause of its formal organizing in order to meet the challenge of finding totally private funding to operate the Centreville Labor Resource Center (CLRC), has been very well covered in these pages.
I would like to point out, however, that the challenge of getting the CLRC going even during a deep recession, has taken nearly all our time and attention. While the CLRC met an urgent need, we have not forgotten our greater goal, to find ways to bring together people of all nationalities, to appreciate each other’s differences, and thus to build a strong, vibrant and exciting place to live. (This is in my own words.) This sounds a lot like what Dr. Bemak of GMU says in Victoria Ross' first article, who I see used "vibrant", too.
As the CLRC approaches its first anniversary of operation, it will be celebrating with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 (just four days short of its anniversary). All are welcome to visit. More details can be found on www.centrevilleimmigrationforum.com on the home page, including a link to a clear map of where the center is.
Watching the CLRC grow and develop during its first year, a year of testing ideas, adapting, improving, building community, and establishing what I hope will be traditions, has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Come see why.
It is my hope that the CLRC will thrive in the coming year and that the CIF can begin thinking of other ways to achieve its greater goal.
Stephen Vandivere, Centreville