Settlement House Programming
Unbounded Vision, Magnified Good
How does The House of the Seven Gables, this icon of American culture, leverage its power to do good? Our settlement house programming supports local immigrant families through:
- classes that serve adult students striving to learn English and acquire citizenship, preparing them for oral interviews and supporting their naturalization applications;
- stimulating, thoughtful, community-based conversations on immigration and immigration reform;
- innovative programming developed to find and tell new stories, such as Caribbean Connections, a summer enrichment program for elementary school students.
The unbounded vision our founder, Caroline Emmerton, carries a remarkable, generative force: it continually inspires us to dig deep into community, reach out to partners, and magnify good.
ESL and Citizenship
The Gables offers English-as-a-Second Language and citizenship classes to adults eager to learn English and those aspiring to become American citizens. The classes are held at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.
In recent years, The Gables has also hosted naturalization ceremonies on its lawn for local residents who have completed the program as well as new citizens from the Boston area. This is done in collaboration with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Community Conversations on Immigration and Other Social Justice Issues
In keeping with our Settlement mission, The Gables hosts a series of community dialogues to address topics in immigration and immigration reform. Unlike a traditional lecture, Community Conversations encourage discussion between the speaker and audience members during the course of the presentation. We have been proud to partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Becoming American series as well as Community Supported Film for past programming.
In 2022, The Gables are excited to be hosting a series of Community Conversations centered around racial equality. These events are designed to engage community members in thoughtful and respectful conversation facilitated by Shawn Newton, a member of the City of Salem Race Equity Task Force. This task force was created by Mayor Kimberly Driscol in June 2020 to assess policies, services, and community systems in Salem and address systemic racial disparity. The Task Force surveyed Salem residents from December 23, 2020, through January 8, 2021, asking people to share their experiences and priorities moving forward in five categories: education, economics, culture, public safety, and health care. The results of this survey were made available to the public in July 2021, along with their final report.
“Community Conversations: Understanding Racism and the Journey of the Race Equity Task Force” is designed to be an interactive dialogue with and between community attendees and the presenter. The overarching goal is to enhance awareness of the phenomenon of racism and the methods and techniques to undo it. The first two sessions will be a deep dive into understanding and dismantling racism, while the remaining sessions will focus on the journey of the City of Salem Race Equity Task Force. Shawn A. Newton has over 25 years of experience in the higher education profession. He is the former Chairperson for the City of Salem Race Equity Task force. To learn more about the Race Equity Task Force and view their report, visit: raceequitysalem.org
“Community Conversations: Understanding Racism and the Journey of the Race Equity Task Force” will be held on the following days in person at The House of the Seven Gables Visitors Center from 6-8 p.m. These events are free to the public, and while we hope you are able to join us each month, it is not necessary to attend every session.
Monday, March 28, 2022: The Starting Point (Part 1)
Prior to starting the journey of examining race equity in the City of Salem, it was important for the Race Equity Task Force to come to an understanding of what racism is. This month’s interactive dialogue is designed to be part one of a two-part learning experience of understanding the phenomenon of racism and strategies to address it.
Monday, April 25, 2022: The Starting Point (Part 2)
This month’s Community Conversation will do similar work to March’s interactive dialogue of understanding the phenomenon of racism and the strategies to address it. Prior to starting the journey of examining race equity in the City of Salem, it was important for the Race Equity Task Force to come to an understanding of what racism is. Learning sessions, like these first two Community Conversations, were the springboard for our work on the Race Equity Task Force. You do not have to have to attend March’s Community Conversation to attend this conversation.
Monday, May 23, 2022: The Charge
Salem’s Race Equity Task Force was charged with identifying systemic and institutional racial inequities and, to the best of their ability, recommending potential strategies to help overcome those disparities. Our third interactive dialogue will not only focus on what this journey was like but discuss additional ways the community could work together in addressing disparities.
Wednesday, June 27, 2022: Where Do We Go From Here?
Our fourth interactive discussion will cover the recommendations made by Salem’s Race Equity Task Force for potential strategies to overcome disparities identified in their final report. We will also discuss how we as a community can work together to end racism.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS SERIES OF COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS, VISIT THE EVENT CALENDAR.