Last February, twelve women walked into the kitchen on the fourth floor of the central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. They came from many countries; all were survivors of torture. That day, they were attending a cooking class.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” says Elizabeth Fitzgerald, administrator at the Free Library’s Culinary Literacy Center. She’d been contacted by the Nationalities Service Center, a local organization that helps recent immigrants and refugees settle in after arriving in Philadelphia. The organization asked her to help organize a cooking class for their women’s group.