The Upper Darby Welcome Center is scheduled to host its second Safety Seminar on July 25 for residents concerned about improving their quality of life.
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., residents will have the opportunity to hear from local law enforcement officers, learn about how the new voting laws will have an affect on the next election, and receive additional information about keeping their community safe.
Guest speakers from the Upper Darby Police Department, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania will address attendees during this informational event.
In addition, the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians supports the efforts of the Upper Darby Welcome Center.
“I also work with Superintendant [Michael] Chitwood and Nashid Furaha-Ali of the Upper Darby Community Policing Center,” said Raya Fagg, director of Upper Darby’s Welcome Center. “My goal is to host at least one seminar a month for our burgeoning immigrant population. I help new residents navigate making the transition to life in Upper Darby.”
This year’s first seminar, held last month, focused on providing information and resources on the immigration process.
The safety seminar is open to all Upper Darby residents, targeting those that are not always trustful of law enforcement.
It will also explain the roles different seminar partners have in the community, as well as address the new voter ID laws and requirements.
Since 2008, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA) has tried “to cater to the community we are addressing,” according the association’s vice president Rahat Babar.
“Through a solid partnership with the Welcome Center for several years now, APABA-PA is able to be of value to the area’s Asian population,” Babar said.
Formerly the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the group is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to serve the Asian Pacific American community throughout the state.
“We’ve had a decent turnout (at previous Welcome Center events) not just from the Asian community,” Babar said. “We have a commitment to appropriately engage.”
Other partners of the Welcome Center include SCORE Counselors of America and the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service.
Fagg’s office offers an array of services from ESL/Civics classes in the evenings to providing civics exam prep, and job skills development for teenagers.
“I try to encourage new residents to the area to attend at least one township council meeting and find any way they know to become involved in the community,” said Fagg.
Some of the countries represented at last month’s seminar included Burma, Nepal, Vietnam, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Haiti, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While for some new residents Upper Darby is their first home here in the United States, some have relocated from other places.
“I think it’s my job to help residents make a seamless transition from their last home to their new home,” said Babar.
For more information on the Upper Darby Welcome Center, call (610) 734-7784.