National Dialogues on Immigration

Take Action

Have you joined the conversation and now want to take action? Listed by region are organizations and initiatives where you can get involved on various immigration issues in different communities.

Where to go to be active: Northwest

What's Going On ?

Attend the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC), December 14-16, 2014

Attend the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC), December 14-16, 2014

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) is this year’s co-host for the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC). The annual conference brings the advocacy, policy, service, corporate, labor, and academic worlds together to build solutions for immigrant integration. Bring your voice to NIIC 2014 and help achieve fair and inclusive immigrant integration policies at the federal, state, and municipal levels. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) was formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles; promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations; and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.

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Volunteer with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)

Volunteer with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)

The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) was established in 1976 to serve immigrants and refugees in Portland, Oregon. Since its founding, IRCO has served over 150,000 people - immigrants, refugees as well as mainstream Portlanders - through the provision of programs and services that meet needs related to training and employment, health and aging, English language learning, naturalization and social adjustment, community development, early childhood, parenting and youth development, education and interpretation and translation. You can play a vital role in extending and enhancing IRCO’s services to immigrants and refugees as a volunteer. IRCO has openings for people interested in a variety of tasks, including tutoring, mentoring, assisting with classes, and many other exciting opportunities. IRCO is in search of committed people who are passionate about working with international populations.

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Volunteer with Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC)

Volunteer with Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC)

The Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC) is the only organization in the West Puget Sound dedicated to assisting immigrants from all nations in meeting the challenges of striving to become productive, contributing members of our community. With only one very part-time paid staff, KIAC depends almost entirely on the good hearts of community partners and volunteers. KIAC offers flexible volunteer opportunities to suit all interests. Volunteers are a critical part of KIAC’s success and are essential to the community. KIAC will help you develop valuable life skills and relationships while you give back to your local community. Whether you are interested in coordinating events, working with the legal program, helping clients start a business or understand their tax responsibilities, or helping with translations, there are always places for you to get involved.

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Organizations

World Relief Seattle

World Relief Seattle

World Relief Seattle has worked since 1979 to empower the local church to serve refugees in the Greater Seattle Area. Originally founded to care for those fleeing war in Southeast Asia, World Relief Seattle has since grown to resettle refugees from over 25 countries. Over the last decade, the organization has welcomed an average of 650 refugees each year. The people served come from regions as diverse as Southeast Asia, the Middle East and East Africa; over the past few years, the largest populations worked with are from Burma, Bhutan, Iraq and the Former Soviet Union.

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Tacoma Community House

Tacoma Community House

Tacoma Community House creates opportunities for immigrants and other community members in the Puget Sound region through comprehensive services focused on self-sufficiency, inclusion and advocacy. Tacoma Community House aims to provide the highest quality of services to the people served. The diverse programs are a catalyst for change and growth. By fostering self-sufficiency, Tacoma Community House give participants the skills they need to transition out of poverty, navigate a new culture and be successful in their lives. Tacoma Community House sees itself as a pathway to change leading to generations of self-sufficient people and a region welcoming of immigrants and refugees.

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The Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) Roundtable

The Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) Roundtable

The Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) Roundtable is a nonprofit charitable organization, formed in 2006, to provide practical help to detainees and their families, as well as raise awareness about the NWDC facility in Tacoma, WA. The Roundtable is unique, with a widely diverse membership, including advocacy groups, churches, aid organizations, government agencies such as ICE, Congressional liaisons and GEO, the private firm that owns the facility. The Roundtable works within existing law to promote fair, humane practices, provide much needed assistance and build healthy connections between communities in our great “nation of immigrants.” The Roundtable strives to promote the full integration of all immigrants into a society that is based on equality, understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect among the many diverse communities represented in our region.

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The Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC)

The Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC)

The Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC) is a non-profit legal organization providing affordable immigration services to underrepresented women and children in California. ICWC strives to provide security and stability for children who are abused, abandoned or neglected and for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes. ICWC has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco.

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Where to go to be active: Northeast

What's Going On ?

Volunteer with the Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont

Volunteer with the Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont

The Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont provides educational, cultural, and life-skill training programs in an effort to promote self-sufficiency within and among the individuals and families comprising not only the Somali Bantu community, but all refugees, immigrants, and low-income families and individuals in need of service. The Somali Bantu Community Association is looking for dedicated individuals to help support programming and help to meet the needs of the community.

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Sign the We Belong Together Petition, “No More Kids in Detention!”

Sign the We Belong Together Petition, “No More Kids in Detention!”

Unaccompanied children as young as four years old are fleeing violence in Central America. Mothers with young children are risking everything to find safety. Nearly two thirds of the children making the dangerous crossing would qualify for international protection due to the extreme violence and abuse they faced in their home countries. Tell President Obama that children and families don’t belong in detention by signing the petition, “No more kids in detention!” There are currently 2,503 signatures; the goal is 3,000 signatures. We Belong Together is an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum, with the participation of women’s organizations, immigrant rights groups, children, and families across the country. It is a campaign to mobilize women in support of common-sense immigration reform that will keep families together and empower women.

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Volunteer with Refugee Youth Project (RYP) in Baltimore

Volunteer with Refugee Youth Project (RYP) in Baltimore

Since 2003, the Refugee Youth Project (RYP) has been providing quality after-school programming for refugee youth pre-K through 12th grades in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The RYP is a joint program of Baltimore City Community College and the International Rescue Committee. It is fully grant-funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s School Impact Grant. This grant is distributed and monitored by the Maryland Office of Refugee and Asylees, which provides support and services to refugees to ease their transition into American society, and serves as a resource to the governor and general assembly on refugee and immigrant policy. The RYP currently serves more than 300 refugees between the ages of 4 and 21 from over 17 countries. You can volunteer as an academic tutor or mentor for youth. RYP’s tutor and mentoring program matches newly-arrived students in Baltimore City and Baltimore County with caring adults who commit to serving as guides, resources, friends, and teachers to youth for a period of 6 months or more.

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Organizations

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. They serve the Commonwealth's one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development and strategic communications. The Coalition involves an active membership of over 130 organizations, including community-based groups, social service organizations, ethnic associations, schools, refugee resettlement agencies, health centers, hospitals, religious institutions, unions and law firms, as well as thousands of individual members, contributors, and allies.

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Immigration Equality

Immigration Equality

Since 1994, Immigration Equality has supported and represented lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and HIV-positive immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom. As the only LGBT organization with a staff of immigration attorneys, Immigration Equality impacts both the individuals served and the immigration system as a whole. For more than 20 years, Immigration Equality has been focused on providing free legal services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive immigrants, including: Asylum seekers forced to flee to the U.S. to find safety; Binational couples and families separated by oceans; Detainees trapped in immigration jail facilities; and Undocumented LGBT people living in the shadows inside the U.S.

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Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC)

Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC)

Established in 1996, the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC) is a broad-based network of community agencies, religious groups, legal service providers and immigrant rights activists committed to protecting the rights and welfare of refugee and immigrant communities in the state. Within this network, numerous refugee and immigrant groups are represented. CIRC’s mission is to promote the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees in Connecticut, and to foster their civic participation.

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International Institute of Rhode Island (IIRI)

International Institute of Rhode Island (IIRI)

Through national and local partnerships with organizations and individuals from faith-based, public, and private sectors, the multilingual staff of the International Institute of Rhode Island, Refugee Resettlement and Assistance provide newly arrived refugees with basic needs, cultural orientation, and assistance accessing health-care, education, and employment services.

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Where to go to be active: Southwest

What's Going On ?

Volunteer with South Key Programs’ Immigrant Youth Shelters

Volunteer with South Key Programs’ Immigrant Youth Shelters

Southwest Key Programs is a national nonprofit organization providing transformative education, innovative safe shelters and alternatives to incarceration for over 200,000 youth and families annually. South Key Immigrant Youth Shelters reunifies unaccompanied immigrant children with their families while providing shelter and services in a nurturing and therapeutic environment. Over 85,000 unaccompanied children enter the United States every year coming from countries all over the world such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, China, and Honduras. Some are orphans, some are trafficked into the country, some come here to work, others to escape abuse and poverty. All of the children Southwest Key serves through its Unaccompanied Minors Shelter Programs are under 18 years old and here without a parent or guardian. Most are in search of their families and a better life.

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Volunteer with Colorado Refugee ESL Volunteer Services (CRESL)

Volunteer with Colorado Refugee ESL Volunteer Services (CRESL)

The Colorado Refugee English as a Second Language Program (CRESL) serves adult refugees who have recently resettled in Colorado, primarily in the Denver metro area. CRESL provides English and literacy instruction, as well as job-readiness education and acculturation lessons. The CRESL Program has been in place for over 25 years. CRESL is always growing and volunteer needs are always unmet.

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Take Action with Darfur and Beyond to Prevent and End Genocide

Take Action with Darfur and Beyond to Prevent and End Genocide

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Darfur and Beyond is bringing people and organizations together to promote advocacy and build political will to end genocide and mass atrocities throughout the world. Darfur and Beyond are CORE members of
Act for Sudan, which is an alliance of American citizen activists and Sudanese U.S. residents who advocate for an end to genocide and mass atrocities in Sudan. Act for Sudan is dedicated to advocacy that is directly informed by the situation on the ground and by Sudanese people who urgently seek protection, justice, and peace. Darfur and Beyond support the ENOUGH Project, which has launched a text-for-action mobile advocacy campaign that will strictly be for actions related to Sudan. They will send out actions roughly once a month. The first action will be for calls to congress to support the Sudan legislation.

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Organizations

The Nevada Immigrant Coalition (NIC)

The Nevada Immigrant Coalition (NIC)

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Nevada Immigrant Coalition (NIC) is comprised of organizations from all over the state of Nevada who are working together for Nevada's immigrant communities. NIC's mission is to build strategic communication and cooperation among immigrant rights organizations and activists.

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Refugee Services of Texas, Inc. (RST)

Refugee Services of Texas, Inc. (RST)

Refugee Services of Texas, Inc. (RST) is in Fort Worth, Amarillo, Austin, and Houston, Texas. RST is a not-for-profit social service agency, established in 1978 and, to date has resettled over 15,000 refugees plus provided case management services to over 20,000 displaced people. Refugee Services of Texas, Inc. is a not-for-profit social service agency guided by principles of human compassion and dignity committed to providing quality services for refugees, asylees, and survivors of trafficking. The five RST offices throughout the state provide resettlement services and programs designed for the local communities served. Working in partnership with faith-based communities, businesses, and volunteers, RST provides clients with resources, referrals, education, and guidance to ensure their success in leading self-sufficient lives in Texas. Volunteer opportunities include Co-sponsor Teams, Welcoming Committee Teams, ESL and/or Refugee Mentors, office help, client transportation, bus & train riding instruction, and special events assistance.

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The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Program

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Program

The Florence Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Arizona. Although the federal government assists indigent criminal defendants and civil litigants through public defenders and legal aid attorneys, it does not provide attorneys for people in immigration removal proceedings. As a result, an estimated 86 percent of immigrant detainees go unrepresented due to poverty. The Florence Project strives to address this inequity through direct service, partnerships with the community, and advocacy and outreach efforts.

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One Million Bones

One Million Bones

Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, One Million Bones is a collaborative social art project, designed to raise awareness about the millions of victims and survivors of ongoing genocides by engaging the public in educational dialogue while hand-making bones. One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice, combining education, hands-on art making, and public installations to raise awareness of mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma. One Million Bones is a project of The Art of Revolution, an organization dedicated to leveraging the power of art to inspire activism.

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Where to go to be active: Southeast

What's Going On ?

Promote Civic Engagement with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)

Promote Civic Engagement with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)

Join the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) by encouraging immigrants to become citizens, register, and vote. The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state.

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Take Action with the South Carolina Immigration Coalition (SCIC) to Protect Vulnerable Children and Dreamers

Take Action with the South Carolina Immigration Coalition (SCIC) to Protect Vulnerable Children and Dreamers

The South Carolina Immigration Coalition (SCIC) is a statewide coalition of leaders in faith, secular, civil and human rights communities and organizations working under the principle of social justice through inclusivity. SCIC first came together in 2010 under the leadership of South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center with funding from The Leadership Conference Education Fund to fight the South Carolina Legislative initiative amend the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Act (2008). SCIC’s mission is: to promote social justice in State legislation and policies, combat anti-immigrant initiatives, work to integrate communities, and help educate South Carolinians about issues impacting communities, to foster a welcoming environment in South Carolina.

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Volunteer with Friends of Refugees (FOR)

Volunteer with Friends of Refugees (FOR)

Friends of Refugees (FOR) in Clarkston, Georgia, strives to care for refugees through building relationships and opportunities that provide for their well-being, education, and employment as they become contributing members of society. In the early 1990s, refugees began to be resettled in the community of Clarkston, Georgia, a small town located near metro Atlanta. During this time, the population of Clarkston grew 34% as refugee families from over 150 different ethnic groups found a supportive urban environment for development and growth. Since this process began, some 60,000 refugees have begun their journeys as New Americans in this area. With so many ethnic groups represented within and around the city, Clarkston has been called “the most diverse square mile in America” by the New York Times Magazine. As the refugee population in Clarkston grew, the need for specialized human support service organizations became apparent. Friends of Refugees (FOR) was founded in 1995 for this purpose. Look for volunteer opportunities including after-school tutors to refugee children, summer camp volunteers in June, and tasks for savvy social media users who want to help spread the word about FOR.

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Organizations

The Refugee Resettlement Program in Mobile, Alabama

The Refugee Resettlement Program in Mobile, Alabama

The Refugee Resettlement Program in Mobile, Alabama is the branch of Catholic Social Services created to meet the special needs of refugees. The Mobile program is the only refugee resettlement program in Alabama. Each year, the Program resettles between 170-200 refugees. The program began in the early summer of 1975, with the fall of the South Vietnamese government to communist control. Bishops across the United States provided an immediate response offering the support of social service agencies in their diocese. Since that time, Mobile has welcomed more than 6,300 refugees. In recent years, resettlement opportunities have been provided in Mobile for Susanes, Cubans, Liberians, Afghans, Somalis, and Meskhetian Turks. In each case, a plan is developed to assist the refugees achieve self-sufficiency in the shortest time possible. Services provided include: reception, orientation, case management, job development, English language training, school and health related issues, translation, legal assistance, and more.

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World Relief Nashville

World Relief Nashville

World Relief has placed refugees in the Nashville, Tennessee area starting in the early 1980s. Their goal is that the local Church will embrace refugees by meeting the physical, relational, and spiritual needs of refugees who have been forced to leave their country, culture, friends, and families for safety. World Relief is a global organization with the mission of empowering international refugees to become self-sufficient. In cooperation with the local church and community partners in Middle Tennessee, World Relief helps to transform the refugee community socially, economically, and spiritually.

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Casa Angelina

Casa Angelina

Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Casa Angelina helps exonerees, the homeless and immigrant workers. A non-profit organization, it was created for the sole purpose of helping people who, for different reasons, are in need of basic services such as food, shelter, medical, legal and spiritual advice. Casa Angelina distributes breakfast and clothing to the homeless and immigrant workers daily. The organization also provides temporary living arrangements for inmates who have completed their sentences and fulfilled their obligations to society but are not being released for technical reasons and for the homeless, along with rehabilitation assistance; legal assistance for immigration issues; free translation services in Spanish, English, and Portuguese; and food baskets to needy families as available.

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The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FIC)

The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FIC)

The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FIC)is a statewide alliance of immigrant rights organizations with offices in Miami, Tampa and Palm Beach. FLIC has 30 member organizations, including farmworkers, students, service providers, grassroots organizations and legal advocates, who come together for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants. FiC’s mission is accomplished through coordination of immigrant organizations and community education, organizing and advocacy.

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