Tag Archive: Anne Marie Weiss-Armush

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.

Who’s Your Neighbor

“Who’s Your Neighbor” was the topic of the January meeting of the Religion Communicators CouncilDallas-Ft. Worth Chapter – held at University Park UMC. I am a member of RCC as a representative of Christ UMC, Farmers Branch, and the Communications Committee. Giving the presentation was Anne Marie Weiss-Armush, president of the DFW International Community Alliance.

The DFW International Community Alliance is a network of over 1600 internationally-focused organizations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex that embodies the cultural and economic vibrancy of the global community. Their mission is to “build mutual understanding and respect by linking diverse international cultural communities.” The organization not only aligns the diverse groups with one another and the society as a whole, but the members of the groups with themselves. Yahoo groups were formed, such as an African group, to promote community among those living in different areas of the metroplex.

A newsletter is sent out by email each week listing the cultural activities of the many varied ethnic groups. As a new subscriber, I look forward to receiving notice of events in our community and the surrounding area. The subject was quite timely, considering our pastor, Dr. Vic Casad’s recent sermon on the demographics of our community and congregation. While Weiss-Armush praised churches who are reaching out with ESL classes – of which Christ Church is one – there are more opportunities for advancing communication among various ethnic groups with the goal of unifying the community with open exchange of cultural influences.

The Christ Church congregation is a diverse group of individuals and families, as are other faith communities. However, there are other people(s) in our community who are seeking faith, or simply help, on some level, but are unsure where to turn for guidance and assistance. We see them every day at the store, the library, the rec center, and other places.

As part of our mission to share the love of Christ, we need to reach out to other faiths and cultures to move toward a unified community – understanding, appreciating, and celebrating our differences. Sometimes we reject what we do not understand instead of realizing that the ways in which we are actually different are relatively insignificant. As part of our mission as stewards of God’s earth, we must work alongside – and in community with – our multi-faceted neighbors. Which, as the alliance illustrates, is true of any and all faith communities whose end result of mission is to help and serve others.

Do I see opportunities in our community to share the word and be of physical and spiritual assistance? All the time. Do I have opportunities to ask questions and listen to someone about their faith community and how we are alike? Again, all the time. Do I avail myself of every opportunity to be a witness to the love of Christ? Unfortunately, no. But I am praying about it and working on it. How about you?

Peace be with you.

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