PDA’s refugee and asylum seeker advocacy is rooted in scripture, General Assembly procedures, and the voices of those who experience U.S. immigration policies first hand. Even as we strive to center our advocacy on their communities, we are also aware of the disparities in resources and access that refugee and immigrant led organizations face when compared to our denomination and other faith-based institutions.
In March 2021, PDA established a new grant opportunity for refugee or immigrant led organizations with a focus on immigrant rights. Awarded to those already engaged in public policy advocacy, the overarching goal of the grant program is to support the capacity of local/grassroots organizations so that they can connect local and personal experiences with the national dialogue and campaigns. Of the 17 applications we received, four grants were awarded to the following organizations:
Brockton, Massachusetts, is the only majority Black city in New England due to its Cape Verdean, Haitian Creole, and LatinX population. The Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC) Immigration Team used the PDA grant to raise its visibility both locally and nationally through the creation of their new logo; production of 5,000 signs with variations of “From many roots, one Brockton”; and production of a video on Pathway to Citizenship, DACA, and TPS.
Movement for Justice in El Barrio is a majority-women community organization that fights for housing justice, immigrant justice and gender justice and, following their unique model, consistently challenges multiple forms of oppression, based in East Harlem, NYC. The Movement’s award covered community outreach (posters, mailings, etc); staff time for event organization; travel expenses to attend national rallies and vigils; and to support their five immigrant justice campaigns: to end family separation, to cut DHS funding for immigration detention & deportation, to release individuals in immigration detention, to promote a pathway to citizenship and to strengthen local defenders against xenophobic attacks.
NAKASEC supports Asian Americans, the fastest growing immigrant and people of color community in the nation. It has three major strategic priorities: expand Korean and Asian American grassroots and voting power; develop and support a new generation of youth and immigrant leaders; and solidify as a robust and sustainable movement organization. PDA’s support helped them hire a new campaign organizer, support Immigrant Justice Fellows, travel expenses, and supplies to extend and amplify their Citizenship for All campaign.
Located in Wisconsin, Voces de la Frontera is a membership-based community organization whose vision is to create a world where all people live free of poverty and discrimination, have access to safe, dignified work, quality education, and health care; where immigrants can cross borders with dignity; and human rights and workers’ rights are respected; where government is truly “of the people”, and all families thrive. They used their grant to produce a documentary film, Loving Our Neighbors—Undocumented Immigrant Agricultural Workers in Wisconsin, for outreach with Wisconsin rural faith communities. They are now in their final stages of producing two versions: one shorter option (approximately 25 minutes) for in-church audiences and a longer film for general audiences.
As you can see from the above, PDA grants can be put to a variety of uses specific to your group’s advocacy need. We want to hear from applicants about what funds are needed to sustain them as advocates in this moment. In selecting grant recipients, PDA will strive for diversity in nationalities and language groups, geographic reach within the U.S., and immigration policy focus. While it is not necessary for advocates to be a member of the PC(USA), priority will be given to supporting leaders with ties to the PC(USA). Total funds available for 2022 are $100,000 and the maximum grant amount cannot exceed $50,000. Application deadline is May 2 and recipients will be notified no later than June 6, 2022.
If you have any questions or would like more information about this grant opportunity, please contact Susan Krehbiel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The grant announcement and FAQ can be found here, and the application form and instructions can be downloaded here.