Story by Mónica Barnkow
When her daughter was born in 2013, Mino Lora knew her world had changed.
Beyond the wonders – and surprises – embedded within her newly minted status as a mother, Lora knew the time had come to make it official.
“I want to share citizenship with my daughter,” explained Lora on a recent Thursday morning.
After years of hesitation, Lora, artist, activist, and mother was ready to add another title to the list: U.S. citizen.
It was fifteen years ago that she moved to Washington Heights from the Dominican Republic, and she acquired her green card in 2008.
Lora is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive and Artistic Director of the People’s Theatre Project, which she runs with her husband Bob Braswell. In their work together, the two delve deeply and regularly delve into issues of identity and displacement as experienced by local residents, many of whom are immigrants.
“I would have done it eventually,” said Lora of filing for citizenship.
But the arrival of Emma Lucia lent a new urgency.
“It was a great push having a North American daughter,” she explained.
In seeking out citizenship, Lora turned to a local resource: the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR), which recently launched “Citizenship Thursdays,” during which assistance with naturalization applications is provided to residents – at no cost.
Read more: Mino’s Motivation | Manhattan Times