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Virtual community forum will examine Oswego's immigration history

Interfaith Works CNY

An organization that supports New Americans in Oswego is hoping to get the community talking about Oswego’s history and ties to immigration, and how it’s playing out in 2020.

A virtual community forum Thursday evening will invite new Americans to tell stories about life in refugee and immigrant communities in central New York, as well as look back at Oswego’s history with immigrants and refugees. 

Sponsored by the Oswego Welcomes Refugees Steering Committee, the community session will draw parallels between past and present immigration influxes in the United States, focusing on Oswego County. 

Yara Osman, the Central New York Immigrant Community Navigator at Interfaith Works, will moderate the discussion, and has several goals for the session.

"One of the things we’re kind of excited to learn about, all of the different influxes and how our cities, Oswego and Syracuse, have evolved and changed over time," said Osman.

She said the time is right to take a deep dive into how New Americans meld into central New York communities.

"I think we’re living in a time, I don’t want to say xenophobia is on the rise, it’s always been prevalent, but it’s something we have to address," she said.

The community conversation will be held at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Anyone who wants to join can email rwood@ifwcny.org for an invitation.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.