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What Does it Mean to be a Member of International Neighbors in Ann Arbor Michigan?

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Dear IN members: As we continue our journey through 2022 let us as individual women think about why we joined International Neighbors. What does it mean for you to be part of this 63-year-old group of women? Every country has its heroes and heroines that tried to teach us acceptance, honor and respect for humans, nature and wildlife. From Jane Goodall to Greta Thunberg: To MartinLuther King: To Malala Yousafzai and our local hero that just passed away, January 1st, 2022, Jim Toy, The list of heroes and heroines is endless and growing from each country. Let us be part of that list in any way, large or small. When Esther Dunham and her neighbors discovered that wives and children of graduate students from other countries faced difficulties adjusting and loneliness, they responded by hosting monthly tea groups where they taught the ladies everything from how and where to shop to learning the English language. They founded International Neighbors. They never considered race or religion to be an obstacle to friendship. That has not changed. You are all part of an amazing organization that makes a difference in hundreds of women’s lives every year. We do not consider race, sexual identity, politics or religion, we consider only the woman. Her thoughts, her needs, her culture, music and food. International Neighbors is committed to inclusion and learning. We depend on you, our members, to help the board and president know new directions and requirements so that we do not fall short in representing our members. You are the reason we exist. I would like us all to ask ourselves what we as a group and as individual women can do this coming year to improve our community here and abroad. How can we be the examples to the many brave learners no matter whether you choose the environment or civil liberties, how can we make a difference? Let us all commit to reaching out to others and to each other to really learn, to teach, and to accept people for their value as humans and nature as part of our mental well-being and our partner in survival. We have each other, we are powerful, smart and by the way… very fun. Here is to 2022, the year we make great! With respect and sincere hope, Andra Bostian Ferguson - President, International Neighbors

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