Posted on November 5th, 2009 by Jamie Glavic

The Hispanic Chamber, in partnership with BRIDGES for a Just Community and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, announces the publication of “Cincinnati: A City of Immigrants, Struggling Toward Acceptance and Equality.” The intent of the new booklet is to educate junior high school students about the six major groups of immigrants who came to Cincinnati beginning in the 1830s.

“Cincinnati: A City of Immigrants” will be unveiled on Friday, November 6 at 4 p.m. The 24-page history curriculum was developed and written by well-known historical researcher Mary Ann Olding and a variety of local ethnic consultants, and reviewed by Cincinnati historian Dan Hurley and several representatives at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The booklet highlights the six largest immigrant groups to come to Cincinnati since 1830: Germans, Irish, African Americans, Jewish, Appalachians and Hispanics.

“We want all immigrant groups, including the current wave of Hispanics, to experience a welcoming community where they receive fair and equitable treatment,” said Robert C. “Chip” Harrod, president and CEO of BRIDGES for a Just Community.

“Immigration stories are not typically taught in our schools, which is why this publication includes the struggles experienced by each of six immigrant groups that came in large numbers causing outrage, anti-immigrant sentiments, rejection and even violence,” said Alfonso Cornejo, president of the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA. “Our hope is that this new program will encourage young people and others to examine their own immigrant roots – from goetta to guacamole and everything in between – to feel a greater sense of acceptance for all immigrants,” he added.

Donald Murphy, CEO and President of the Freedom Center said, “Cincinnati has benefited from the influx of many different groups of immigrants throughout its history, but at times during the City’s growth, some immigrant groups were made to feel unwelcome by those who had come here only a few decades earlier. Negative public campaigns and strategies that pitted immigrants against immigrants posed a threat to their freedoms.”

Over the course of the coming year, the Hispanic Chamber, BRIDGES and the Freedom Center will collaborate to roll-out the “Cincinnati: A City of Immigrants” program to area school systems. Education and training for local teachers will be made available in the coming months.

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