International Day at The Immigrant Learning Center celebrates unity and diversity

By Shikha Vyas An International Day that is celebrated every year at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) has indeed become a great success. On Thursday, June 20, guests were handed a passport when entering the ILC building at 442 Main St. with a list of 22 countries from across the globe. ILC students were set up in classrooms throughout the building representing their countries and their culture with food, music, clothing, and displays.  “Over the year since we have opened the school, 118 different countries and over 10,000 students have studied here. That means helping 10,000 families,” said Diane Portnoy, Founder and CEO of The ILC. “Every student is very special and this is an opportunity where the students get a chance to show their cultural diversity.” Portnoy enthusiastically explained that on International Day everyone enjoys eating food, listening to music and seeing different kinds of  artwork, literature and traditional clothing. Moreover, this is the best way to learn about the culture of other countries, finding out about differences but also all the things […]


Malden hosts 8th Annual New Citizens Ceremony

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom, or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen … “ So begins the Oath of Allegiance that is recited at every Naturalization Ceremony for new citizens of the United States. These ceremonies can take place in nondescript federal office buildings, large convention centers or symbolic places like Ellis Island, a national park, or a national historic site. But here in Malden, there is an annual tradition of naturalization, begun in 2011, and spearheaded by The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC). The annual ceremony was first held at the Malden Senior Community Center, but has since moved to Malden High School. On Nov. 19, 2018, the annual ceremony naturalized 171 new citizens, who filled the center section of rows in the Jenkins Auditorium. “This ceremony allows us to make an important contribution to our community,” said Diane Portnoy, ILC Executive Director. “Even though more than one-third of Malden […]


Malden’s ILC Theater puts on a show

Malden’s Immigrant Learning Center Theater class recently hosted a performance event. The class is a unique learning experience for English for speakers of other languages in which conversational English is mixed with personal storytelling and sharing of participant’s experiences. This allows people to share their stories about coming to America, improves their English proficiency, and shines a light on the importance of immigrants to the community. The performance mixed humor and striking theatrical performance with moving personal experiences to make for an entertaining story and an intrigued audience. ILC has always been a safe and creative space to park dialogue about Immigration and its importance to our community while handling the voices of the people who have experienced it first-hand.