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AILF 2007 Washington, DC
Immigrant Achievement Awards
Last updated April 26, 2007
Dr. Edward R. Braithwaite

Edward R. Braithwaite was born in Guyana, South America. A British colony at the time, it did not offer facilities for tertiary education to its nationals. Seeking higher education outside the country, he gained admittance to Cambridge University in England.

During his first year as a student, war broke out between England and Germany. Volunteering for military service, he became a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. At war's end, he returned to Cambridge and completed his degree in Physics.

He was suddenly and painfully confronted with one of the realities of British life from which both Cambridge and fellowship in the Royal Air Force had sheltered him - the cruel rigors of racial discrimination within British society.

Dr. Braithwaite eventually found employment as a teacher in one of London's most depressed neighborhoods. Over time he came to the surprising realization that he had an aptitude for teaching and writing. He applied himself to achieve some measure of ease and confidence within both disciplines. This led him to write about his experience in teaching, resulting in the publication of his first book "TO SIR, WITH LOVE".

In 1960 he was invited to work in Paris, France as Human Rights Officer for the World Veterans Foundation and later moved to UNESCO as an Education Consultant. When Guyana became independent from Britain in 1966, the new government asked him to be its first ambassador to the United Nations.

After his ambassadorship, Dr. Braithwaite was invited to join the English Faculty of New York University. He later served as Writer-in-Residence at Florida State University. In 1987, he became a citizen of the United States. A few years later, he was invited to be a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Krasnow Institute at George Mason University. In 1997, he joined the faculty of Howard University as an English professor.

In 2003 he was invited by the United States State Department to deliver a series of lectures and interviews in Austria and Hungary in celebration of Black History Month. While in Vienna, he was invited by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, an official body of the European Union, to attend their International Conference on Racism and Discrimination in Europe.


Mr. Moreno Carrasco

The ninth of eleven children, Moreno E. Carrasco was born in the Dominican Republic. When he was five years old, his father passed away leaving his mom to care for him and ten other children.

In 1978, he came to the United States with the intention of staying permanently. However, after learning English for one year, Moreno returned home to go to college because his mother was afraid he would get "corrupted" in the United States. He missed the U.S. dearly and returned after the first semester. His first intentions were to go to California to become an eneologist (wine producer). However, he started to tutor foreign students in English and developed a love for education. His French advisor suggested that he obtain his teaching certification, in case the "wine "thing didn't work out. He graduated in 1983 from The University of Maryland at College Park with a degree in French and Spanish Education. That summer he had the opportunity to attend summer classes at La Sorbonne in Paris. In 1984, Moreno started teaching in the Howard County Public Schools system. He became an assistant principal in 1992, and 1996, he joined the Montgomery County Public Schools system as principal at Eastern Middle School. Later in 2003, he would become principal of Richard Montgomery High School. Under his leadership, Robert Montgomery High School has been ranked as the number one school in the State of Maryland and as high as number 11 in the United States.

In 1988, he received a Master's degree in Supervision and Public Administration and has been serving as an adjunct professor of Diversity and Education at Johns Hopkins University since 1994.

He has been nominated for the Washington Post Leadership Award, and the Mark Mann Leadership Award. He received the Educator of the Year award in Howard County in 1996. In addition, Mr. Carrasco has been nominated and selected as the 2007 High School Principal of the Year in the State of Maryland.

Moreno currently lives in Germantown, Maryland with his wife and five children.

Dr. Nadia Krupnikova

Nadia Krupnikova was born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to Columbia, MO when she was 14 years old. As with many Soviet Jews, Nadia's family came to escape religious and political persecution of the Soviet Russia. They left Russia with ninety dollars and two suitcases per person, feeling lucky to have escaped as opportunities began to close. Along with her mother, Nadia worked odds jobs, including cleaning homes, looking after children and alterations to help support the family. At 18, she entered medical school in Kansas City, MO, with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist. Through the plethora of scholarships, grants and loans this dream was realized after she completed her residency at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Upon graduation she became director of inpatient psychiatry at GW, where she worked and taught until 1997. While there, she also co-authored a behavioral science review book.

From then until 2000, she worked at the world-renowned Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, MD, that was founded on psychiatric principles that Nadia respected. Nadia wanted to work with severely ill patients who required hospitalization. Certainly, medications were used in treatment of the mentally ill, but Chestnut Lodge advocated a very humanistic approach that paralleled Nadia's view. It was a "labor-intensive" psycho-therapy which required intensive patient-therapist interaction. The world fame of Chestnut Lodge was well deserved, and Nadia thrived while practicing medicine there. With the closure of Chestnut Lodge, Nadia began a private practice in Rockville treating patients who are often severely mentally ill.

Having been privileged enough to leave Russia and to come to the United States, Nadia has always felt a sense of moral obligation to help other new arrivals. In this capacity, she frequently assists in resettlement of newly arrived refugees, providing psychiatric care and professional assistance to people seeking asylum.

Nadia is involved in local Jewish community programs that combine Russian and Jewish educational interests. As a young refusnik in Soviet Russia, she admired the Russian language but loathed the Soviet communist system that denied her access to some of her favorite novels as well as to her heritage. It is her goal to see that the children born to Russian immigrants are able to retain, their language, their culture and the incredible stories of courageous family members willing to risk much for the opportunity to live in freedom.

Nadia is the proud mother of three beautiful girls: Sonia, aged 15; Leah, aged 9; and Rivka, aged 3. She is married to Mark Silinsky who is a senior counterterrorism analyst in the Department of Defense and her most fervent fan. They live in Kensington, MD.

Michel Richard

His style is light, fresh and intelligent, with witty presentations and texture. Michel was a pioneer in French/California cuisine, before moving to Washington, DC, where Michel Richard Citronelle became his flagship restaurant.

Richard knew he wanted to be a chef when he first glimpsed a restaurant kitchen at the age of eight. "The white hats, aprons, and all of the food - I fell in love." His fate was decided.

Michel's creativity can be seen in prestigious culinary publications such as Food & Wine, Food Arts, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and has been featured in the Washingtonian, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among others. Michel has recently released his second book, Happy in the Kitchen, and opened Central Michel Richard, a new American-French casual dining restaurant in downtown, Washington, DC.

Sgt. Jamal S. Baadani

Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt to Yemeni parents, Jamal Baadani emigrated to the United States at the age of 10. At the age of 17 Baadani joined the United States Marine Corps and attended Boot Camp one week after graduating from High School.

Due to his belief in “Duty and Patriotism” to country, Baadani felt that as an immigrant to America serving in the U.S. Military by making the transformation as a United States Marine legitimized his place as a citizen of this great country. Coming to America as a child who couldn’t speak English followed by struggles as a teenager to fit in as a normal young man alongside his American peers was always a challenge for him during his early days in America. Service in the United States Marines enabled Baadani to feel that he had overcome the challenge of belonging to America - becoming a strong and proud American man.

Jamal felt an obligation to give back to his community, and shortly after the horrific days of September 11th, 2001, he founded the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military to stand up for the Arab and Muslim American Communities in response to the backlash and discrimination they received at the hands of their fellow Americans.

Baadani quickly understood that the backlash and discrimination faced by the Arab and Muslim American Communities after 9/11 was mostly due to a lack of understanding by their fellow Americans. Using the U.S. Military uniform as the bridge to understanding coupled with Baadani’s will to educate his fellow Americans about the Patriotism of Arab and Muslim Americans, Baadani’s hope of bringing them closer together resulted in his continuing persistence to make America a better place for all Americans. Sharing in the same conviction of using the uniform and “Duty and Patriotism” as a bridge to understanding, hundreds of Arab American service-members, to include General John Abizaid, joined APAAM to share in Baadani’s vision of making America a better place for all Americans.

Lawrence Weinig

A native of Hempstead, New York, Mr. Weinig spent spending his early years in Newark, Delaware, returning to New York City for high school and college. Upon graduation from Manhattan College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Area Studies, he spent 2 years in the military, serving the US Army in Thailand for a year and working as a base newspaper editor.

After being discharged from military service, he returned to New York City where he met and married his wife of 35 years, the former Lenore La. They have two sons, Eric and Martin. Both are now married. And they have two granddaughters.

After working in several private sector jobs, Mr. Weinig decided to enter the civil service. In December of 1971 he accepted a position with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. After 5 years as an inspector, he transferred to the district office of INS in Baltimore, Maryland serving as an immigration examiner and later as assistant district director for Examinations.

In 1982, Mr. Weinig accepted a position at the INS Central Office in Washington, DC as a senior inspector. The following year, he was selected as the first chief of the newly formed Administrative Appeals Unit, created to centralize appellate work formerly being done by the four INS regional offices. In 1986, Mr. Weinig accepted a new assignment, staying in Washington as deputy assistant commissioner for Adjudications. From 1986 through mid 1995, he served in a series of permanent and acting positions including assistant commissioner for Adjudications and associate commissioner for Examinations and was eventually selected as a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service.

In June of 1996, Mr. Weinig opted to leave INS senior management and accept new responsibilities developing and publishing program policy guidance in the form of on-line field manuals for the major INS components (Adjudications, Inspections, Investigations and Deportation).

Following passage of the major immigration reform legislation in 1996, Mr. Weinig was named as the project director assigned to manage the drafting and implementation of interim regulations and policy guidance, most of which remain in effect today.

In December of 2002, Mr. Weinig retired from public service. Since that time, he has remained active in the field of immigration, working as a consultant for various private sector companies and for the International Organization for Migration, conducting migration management assessments in several Caribbean nations.

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