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Immigrants Of The Day: Gepsie M. Metellus of Haiti, John Houseman a/k/a Charles Kingsfield of Hungary, and Clementine M. Msengi of Rwanda

by Kevin R. Johnson

Gepsie M. Metellus (Haiti)

Gepsie_metellus Gepsie M. Metellus is cofounder and executive director of Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center, a social service organization that serves the Haitian community of South Florida. Sant La seeks to provide information and referral services in the areas of social services, education, housing opportunities, economic self-sufficiency, and access to health care and legal services.

Metellus was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She earned an undergraduate degree from City University of New York-Queens and a graduate degree from Florida International University. She has experience with education and public administration from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Government.

Metullus is a founding member of Haitian Women of Miami, the Association of Haitian Educators of Dade County, and the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition. She has authored several books on the Haitian community in South Florida. Metullus is a strong advocate for Haitian-American women and Haitian political refugees.

October 23, 2007 | Permalink

John Houseman a/k/a Charles Kingsfield (Hungary)

Houseman_2  John Houseman (19021988) was an actor. Born Jacques Haussmann in Hungary, he was educated in England at Clifton College before immigrating to the United States. He then took the stage name John Houseman.

Houseman produced more than two dozen films, including the 1946 film noir, The Blue Dahlia. He first became widely known to the public for his Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning role as Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 film The Paper Chase, a role which he reprised in the television series of the same name.  For a scene from the film, click here.

Houseman was the Executive Producer of CBS's landmark Seven Lively Arts series. Houseman also starred in Rollerball (1975) and the Neil Simon film, The Cheap Detective (1978).

In the 1980s, Houseman was also known for his commercials for brokerage Smith Barney, which featured the catchphrase, "They make money the old fashioned way . . . they earn it."

Houseman was a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Clementine M. Msengi (Rwanda)

Clementine_msengi Our Immigrant of the Day is Clementine M. Msengi, Founder and Executive Director of Bright Move Network in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Msengi first arrived in the United States in 1995 as a refugee from Rwanda. After completion of an intensive English course, she enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa. In three years, she earned her undergraduate degree in Health Promotion and received the "Purple and Old Gold Award," an award given to the department's graduating senior with the highest grade point average. Msengi continued her education at the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her graduate degree in Community Health.

Msengi founded Bright Move Network in 2003, which is a community organization that provides education and referral services to refugees and immigrants. Bright Move Network is also working to ensure that these new community members have the skills, resources, and capacity needed to fully contribute civically and economically to their communities.

"I really hope that someday immigrants and local residents will get to know each other very well. So much of the prejudice and cultural misconceptions will disappear and we can all work together to grow our communities and make them better for the future generations."  -Clementine M. Msengi

October 24, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.