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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From Trauma to Development: A Policy Agenda for an Equitable Future for Young Children of Immigrants

May 19, 2022

By 2025, children of immigrants will make up nearly one-third of the U.S. child population. More than 94 percent of children of immigrants under the age of six are U.S. citizens, symbolizing a shift in the face of the nation. The ability of young children to learn, grow, and succeed defines what our nation will become, and yet, children of immigrants often lack the necessary resources to grow to their full potential. Additionally, due to a host of factors including their parents' journeys to the United States, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, language fluency, and the disruptions and destabilizations of the COVID-19 pandemic, the children of immigrants are also coping with trauma that, without proper resources and care, could leave them struggling throughout their whole lives. Relying on interviews with immigrant parents, experts, and advocates in the immigrant and child advocacy spaces, as well as a growing body of early education research, this report summarizes the barriers to learning, growth, and development for young children of immigrants and the policy solutions--like access to early education tailored to their families' particular needs--that could help them to overcome not only the social, educational, and economic barriers they face, but also to heal from trauma and live happy, healthy lives in the United States.

Children

Educating English Learners During the Pandemic: Insights from Experts, Advocates, and Practitioners

April 13, 2022

There is a growing body of evidence about the disproportionate impact the pandemic had on English learners (ELs). We sought to capture the complexity of learning conditions for this student population during the COVID-19 pandemic by interviewing 20 EL education leaders. These experts' experiences revealed that while remote learning posed significant challenges to EL education and services, educators improvised, collaborated, and continued to innovate throughout the pandemic. To help EL students moving forward, education leaders on all levels must acknowledge both the struggle and perseverance that shaped their educational experiences during the pandemic.

Children

Community Perspectives on COVID-19 Recovery: A Report on 2021 Community Conversations

March 21, 2022

As Chicago works to come back from the pandemic, years of disinvestment and structural racism have made economic recovery harder for some communities than others. To have a truly equitable recovery, it's important to understand the on-going impact the pandemic has had on Black and Latinx communities hit hard by job loss, sickness, and death. In collaboration with The Chicago Community Trust and We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery, New America Chicago commissioned a report from BECOME to learn more about how these communities were recovering and what is still needed from local and federal policymakers for these communities to not just recover but thrive.We Rise Together is a coalition of corporate and philanthropic funders working with the community to accelerate equitable economic recovery in the Chicago region. Housed at The Chicago Community Trust, We Rise Together is increasing employment opportunities for Black and Latinx workers, strengthening businesses of color, and spurring investment in disinvested neighborhoods. Because We Rise Together is committed to grounding the initiative's efforts in the lived experiences of Chicago's most marginalized communities, the decision was made to host Community Conversations across Chicago neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.  A team from BECOME worked with New America Chicago, The Trust, and We Rise Together to plan seven Community Conversations in collaboration with nonprofits from each neighborhood. Participants had strong recommendations for support and resources to help their neighborhoods recover economically from the pandemic. Consistently, across all neighborhoods, we heard that people struggled and continue to struggle economically and emotionally as a result of the pandemic. Still, most found unexpected positives in the midst of the pandemic.