Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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Our Stories and Visions: Gender in Black Immigrant Communities

February 12, 2021

Because this report discusses topics that some may find triggering, we have broad content warnings for the whole report which include: racism, displacement, civil war, misogynoir, xenophobia, sexual assault, police brutality, immigration enforcement (ICE), deportation as well as mental and physical health. At the beginning of each chapter, section-specific content warnings are also provided. Below each graph and image, we include descriptive captions for accessibility.Our report is story-driven, which means that we center the voices and experiences of the individuals that we interviewed. We include quotes from them throughout the report. While we may not necessarily agree with all of the content or the language used in each quote, we include them because we believe they help paint a holistic picture of the stories and visions of Black immigrants.For confidentiality reasons, we have removed most personal identifiers and only refer to participants by their location and age. Towards the end of the report, we have a works cited page where you can see some of the articles, projects, and stories that inspired our research. 

Asian Immigrant Experiences with Racism, Immigration-Related Fears, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 18, 2021

Asian immigrants have faced multiple challenges in the past year. There has been a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, driven, in part, by inflammatory rhetoric related to the coronavirus pandemic, which has spurred the federal government to make a recent statement condemning and denouncing acts of racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian American communities and to enact the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. At the same time, immigrants living in the U.S. have experienced a range of increased health and financial risks associated with COVID-19. These risks and barriers may have been compounded by immigration policy changes made by the Trump administration that increased fears among immigrant families and made some more reluctant to access programs and services, including health coverage and health care. Although the Biden administration has since reversed many of these policies, they may continue to have lingering effects among families.Limited data are available to understand how immigrants have been affected by the pandemic, and there are particularly little data available to understand the experiences of Asian immigrants even though they are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the U.S. and are projected to become the nation's largest immigrant group over the next 35 years. To help fill these gaps in information, this analysis provides insight into recent experiences with racism and discrimination, immigration-related fears, and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among Asian immigrant patients at four community health centers.The findings are based on a KFF survey with a convenience sample of 1,086 Asian American patients at four community health centers. Respondents were largely low-income and 80% were born outside the United States. The survey was conducted between February 15 and April 12, 2021. 

The Border’s Long Shadow: How Border Patrol Uses Racial Profiling and Local and State Police to Instill Fear in Michigan’s Immigrant Communities

March 25, 2021

This groundbreaking report exposes how Border Patrol, an agency within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), uses racial profiling to target immigrants from Latin America and other people of color throughout Michigan. The report also reveals how Border Patrol colludes with state and local police agencies to target, arrest, and deport immigrants, many of whom are longtime Michigan residents. 

Bridging the Cultural Gap

February 10, 2015

As part of a proactive effort to address the cross-cultural barriers that arise in culturally and ethnically diverse communities, in 2009 Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) developed a grant program called Bridging the Cultural Gap. With a focus on using cultural tactics to move hearts and minds in support of immigrant integration, the program was focused expressly on supporting projects that allowed for Silicon Valley residents to come together to discuss shared values and concerns related to immigration. Between 2009 and 2014, SVCF invested $2.4 million in 12 projects that used cultural tactics such as dialogue, film, photography and storytelling to deepen relationships and cross-cultural understanding throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Over the course of five years, these grantees, with support from SVCF, focused their activities on identifying and cementing shared values between immigrants and receiving communities, as well as building relationships within and across various communities in the region.

Capacity Building; Communications & Media; Community-Based Outreach & Activity

The Right to Dream: Promising Practices Improve Odds for Latino Men and Boys

March 1, 2014

This report is organized around five experiences that define social and economic equity for men and boys of color, which in turn highlight nine priorities that require our attention and investments in order to remove structural barriers to success and allow young Latino men to see a clear path toward a positive future.

Children; Community-Based Outreach & Activity

Young Migrant Women Living in the Republic of Ireland Barriers to Integration

March 1, 2013

AkiDwA is a minority ethnic led national network of migrant women established in 2001 as a not-for-profit organisation in Ireland. The organisation emerged from discussions and meetings among a group of African women, coming together to share their collective experiences of living in Ireland, and in particular, feelings of isolation and exclusion, experiences of race discrimination in employment and access to services, and issues in relation to gender based violence. The organisation brings a gender perspective to issues of migration, to inform policy and practice, and adopts an advocacy based approach. This work is centred on hearing and strengthening the voices of migrant women and addressing the barriers they face in terms of integration in all aspects of social, cultural, economic, civic and political life. AkiDwA has over 2,250 individual members from some 35 counties in Ireland and has gained recognition as a leading non-governmental organisation in Ireland reviewing key legislation, policy and practice, and proposing reforms in relation to issues faced by all migrant women. In August 2012, AkiDwA commissioned Poorman-Skyers Research and Consulting to:a) Undertake a pilot study on young migrant women in Ireland on barriers to integrationb) Locate the study in some of the current literature on gender and migrationc) Identify best practice models of positive integrationd) Develop a series of recommendations targeted at government and non-governmental agencies in Ireland

Advocacy; Research & Evaluation; Women

Promise Arizona: Building Immigrant Political Power

January 1, 2013

This case study investigates the history and accomplishments of one organization that is making considerable strides in advancing the values and political interests of the Latino community. Beginning in 2010, Promise Arizona (PAZ) and Promise Arizona in Action (PAZ en Acción) work to empower Latinos and the immigrant community to flex their civic muscle through community organizing and political action. This case study provides a snapshot of the organization's formation, growth, and organizing initiatives and explores what strategies have been central to its success. It is one model of how grassroots organizing can contribute to achieving immigration rights.

Civic Engagement; Community-Based Outreach & Activity

Working on Integration at a Local Level: Toolkit

November 1, 2011

This toolkit is designed as an aid to organisations working with migrant communities to support their integration, primarily at local and regional levels. It provides guidance on the principles which should underpin projects and aim to achieve integration as "a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of EU countries"

The Civic Engagement Fund 2006-2009 Program Assessment Summary

September 1, 2010

The Civic Engagement Fund (CEF), founded in 2006, aims to increase the capacity of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian nonprofit organizations, it's community partners, in order that they may better serve their respective communities in a post 9/11 environment. The CEF provides AMEMSA organizations in the Bay Area ofCalifornia with small organizational support grants, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities. This brief is based on an external evaluation of the CEF's four-year (2006-2009) program, which comprised two cycles of grant-making, capacity building convenings, and technical assistance support. The methodology consisted of a literature review, focus group discussions with community partners/grantees, and conversations with advisory committee members and AAPIP staff. The 2010 Program was designed in part based on feedback from this evaluation report.

Capacity Building; Civic Engagement; Research & Evaluation

Using Experiments to Improve Progressive Hispanic Voter Registration

July 1, 2010

This was an ambitious project. By bringing together leading organizations from different areas of the progressive movement, The Atlantic Philanthropies sought to address a gaping need for progressives: how can we be more effective at progressive Hispanic voter registration? With over 12 randomized controlled experiments, across different modes of voter registration, this research project has yielded several useful results, and quite a few unexpected ones. Many of these results involved collaborations between the groups involved in this project: Campaign for Community Change, Democracia Ahora, Rock The Vote Action Fund, and Women's Voices. Women Vote Action Fund. This spirit of cooperation was critical to the success of this project, as each group contributed its own unique strengths and expertise to the broad portfolio of projects.

Civic Engagement; Coalition Building & Collaboration; Research & Evaluation

Tempering the Immigration Debate: An Assessment of the American Dream Fund

March 10, 2008

In 2003, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation joined with Ford, Carnegie and others in a national effort to encourage immigrant civic participation, and a year later, Knight adopted a variation of that strategy: funding a wide array of local, grassroots nonprofits in Knight communities. Its name: the American Dream Fund. A review of reports and interviews with nearly 20 people involved in all facets of the American Dream Fund shows that:It does appear to be meeting its broad goals of helping integrate immigrants into the civic fabric of some of the Knight communities. Because of the loosely defined nature of engaging immigrants in civic life, the overall effect might be less than the transformational change the foundation seeks.The 47 funded organizations represent a wide cross-section of nonprofits, in terms of immigrant communities served and program interests. Some are interested in advocacy, some in providing services, some in both. Most grants in the first phase starting in December 2005 were for $50,000 over two years. Public Interest Projects, which administers the fund, has determined that 18 of the 47 grantees do not work in areas related to naturalization. Funding of those groups will cease.Previous Knight Foundation staff was aware and supportive of the advocacy component of the program.American Dream Fund grant recipients report that they have become very active in networking and collaborating with national and local groups, according to the Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry, the hired evaluator of the program. Creating such links was described as a "key component" of the program at its inception. Grant recipients say their greatest need is for assistance in fund raising and other sustaining technical help.American Dream Fund grants went to 22 of the 26 Knight communities, not all 26 as envisioned. Public Interest Projects says identifying viable organizations that work with immigrants in some of the small communities was a challenge.Knight Foundation and Public Interest Projects underestimated the amount of staffing needed to oversee so many grants and to help grantees

Civic Engagement; Research & Evaluation

Philanthropic Case Study: The Civic Engagement Fund for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Communities - Bay Area Demonstration Project

March 5, 2008

In September 2006, the Civic Engagement Fund for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (Fund) approved its first cycle of seventeen capacity building grants totaling $129,000 to support Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Civic Engagement Fund for AMEMSA Communities is a capacity building initiative designed to support AMEMSA nonprofit organizations through a mix of small grants and the provision of technical assistance. The Fund was developed through a strategic partnership between Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), an affinity group of the Council of Foundations, and The San Francisco Foundation, a regional community foundation. The collaborative now includes seven additional San Francisco Bay Area philanthropic institutions.This paper explores this unique partnership between an affinity group and a community foundation developed with an explicit goal of developing new strategies to amplify the issues and challenges facing disadvantaged communities and identify innovative funding solutions.

Capacity Building; Community-Based Outreach & Activity; Research & Evaluation