To help meet the needs of refugees in Nashville, Tennessee, CeLCAR has partnered with Nashville State Community College (NSCC). Nashville happens to be home to 20,000 Kurdish families who have settled there over the last two decades, people whom the local Mayor’s Office refers to “New Americans”.
CeLCAR happens to be one of sixteen national Language Resource Centers, funded by a Title VI grant with the U.S. Department of Education. With support from CeLCAR grant funds, NSCC’s Patricia Armstrong has created a new course for people who want to learn Kurdish. Classes begin on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Students in the class will also use CeLCAR’s Kurdish language materials. Nawzad Hawrami, a Kurdish representative on the New Americans Advisory Council Board, has helped with CeLCAR’s needs analysis survey and with drumming up interest in the class among local heritage speakers of Kurdish. Because of the mayor’s leadership, a number of the students who have registered for the class are employed as local police, emergency management personnel, or as educators in the public school system, people who want to increase their Kurdish language and cultural competence.