Forty-four percent of residents in Dallas/Fort Worth are New Americans—foreign-born and their children. Over 1 million immigrants moved to the metroplex during the past 10 years. They came from Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and, of course, Mexico and other Latin American countries. They speak 239 languages, and in 32 percent of the region’s homes English is not the language spoken.

Dallas’s strength lies in its diversity, according to Anne Marie Weiss-Armush, who will speak to GUSTO! on Monday, March 12, at 10 a.m. Weiss-Armush is founder and president of DFW International Community Alliance, an umbrella organization for 1,600 internationally themed groups across North Texas. Her presentation will bring the metroplex’s demographics into focus and reveal where these New Americans live and work and how they contribute to the community.

Through its web site, DFW International offers hundreds of links to global organizations and artists plus a calendar of 500 global cultural events each month. The organization also sponsors the annual Dallas International Festival and other special events and produces yearly demographic reports that give insight into the new global face of North Texas.

A Fulbright scholar to Mexico, a Spanish teacher, and an author of four books on Middle Eastern culture, Weiss-Armush lived 11 years in Saudi Arabia, where she lectured on Arabic culture for the national media. Her 20 years of work on behalf of North Texas refugees and immigrant communities have earned her numerous awards, including that of Dallas Peacemaker of the Year for 2003.

For more information or to see what’s going on in Dallas/Fort Worth’s multicultural and ethnic communities, visit the organization’s extensive web site, dfwinternational.org.

Come for coffee and conversation at 9:45 a.m. Everyone is welcome. More information about GUSTO! is at www.kingofglory.com/GUSTO.

NOTE: The follow-on activity, a tour of Dallas’s ethnic communities, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 23. Sign-up for the tour will begin at the April 10 GUSTO! meeting.

Peace be with you.

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