Mary Assel, a Dearborn native is the retired Director of the English Language Institute at Henry Ford College (HFC). She established the institute in the fall of 2001. Her many faceted marketing and public relations efforts helped to expand the program and attract students from over eighty-two countries. She taught English as a Second language in Africa, the Middle East, and the US for over 32 years.
Assel was the recipient of the 2007-8 Lectureship Award and the 2008 Women of the Year Award at HFC. She published and continues to publish articles on the brain anatomy, bereavement, cultural and socio-religious conditions of foreign students, and ESL teaching strategies. She is an active member of the interfaith communities and has presented numerous talks across the state. She served as Vice-Chairman of the Islamic Center of America Board of Education for ten years and Board member of Community Social Services of Wayne County (previously Catholic) for over three years.
In this era of Trumpism, immigrants in this country are isolated and alone. Though most Americans will say it is only illegal immigration that concerns them, the new restrictions on even legal immigration are appalling to many and leaves those recent emigres frightened for their jobs and families. Even for the young "dreamers" who have lived here for years, DACA (Deferred Action for Children Arrivals) remains unsettled.
It is worthy of note that all immigrants, even those ancestors of us who were born on this soil, leave their country of origins with "dreams" of starting anew in what they believe are the open arms of the land of the free.
Building America: Immigrant Stories of Hope and Hardship examines the stories of some of those immigrants who want to chronicle their or their family's origins in our great country. They want Americans to realize they love this country as much as we do, and maybe appreciate it more due to their personal trials in gaining citizenship and a restart for their family. All of the authors see the richness in the diverse cultures that come here and the special values of hard work, responsibility, and love of family that all seek, regardless from where they come.
The authors will donate their royalties to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Immigration Division in respect of their fight for individual rights of all people living in the United States of America.