NYC commissioner of immigrant affairs speaking tonight

By Chelsie Field


What’s your story? What’s your future?

These are questions that Fatima Shama, commissioner of immigrant affairs for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will address in her talk “Immigration Nation: Past and Future” being held tonight at the University of Massachusetts at 7:15 in the Student Union Ballroom.

One out four people in the United States is an immigrant or has a parent who was an immigrant, according to a press release for the event, and Shama herself was born in the Bronx to immigrant parents – her mother is Brazilian and her late father was Palestinian.

Shama, who has served as the commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs since 2009, will speak about how immigrants can benefit the economy and culturally enrich the United States, according to a press release. The release also says that Shama will incorporate stories of people from all over the world along with her own insights.

Shama is also expected to engage community members, students and faculty in discussions about how and why immigration works for the United States and how it affects the entire country, according to the release.

Pre-recorded remarks on immigration by Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and UMass Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jean Kim, an immigrant herself, will supplement Shama’s discussion, according to the release.

Two students, one faculty member and one community member are also expected to contribute their own stories of their immigration experiences during the event, according to the release.

The goal of the event, whose lead sponsors include the UMass Jewish Leaders in Business and the Muslim Student Association, is to promote cross-cultural interaction and cooperative coexistence with cultures from around the world as well as here in the United States.


Chelsie Field can be reached at [email protected]