In April, PDA announced its annual grant opportunity for refugee- or immigrant-led organizations that focus on immigrant and refugee rights. Established in 2021, these awards go to support their public policy advocacy to connect their local and personal experiences with national dialogue and campaigns. For 2022, grants were awarded to these five organizations:
Led by a refugee who is a person of color, Bridges Faith Initiative is a DC-based interfaith organization with constituencies in the South-Central, West and East Coast areas of the U.S. Bridges’ mission is to protect and integrate refugees and immigrants by enlightening policy makers as well as developing programs to support refugee integration. The PDA grant allows them to dedicate staff and mobilization resources to its Atlanta National Immigrant Community Project, which pushes members of Congress in Georgia to support just and humane border policies by ending detention of Haitian, Jamaican, and LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers in the State. It is Bridges’ dream to stem the rising anti-immigrant rhetoric in Atlanta—and support pro-immigrant policies nationwide.
Mission Talk (MT) and Latino Christian National Network (LCNN) are putting their award toward their joint project, Taking It on Tour, a September–November 2022 immigration advocacy training and mobilization bus tour through seven key city, suburban, and rural communities in Florida—Tampa, Fort Myers, Homestead, Gainesville, Deltona/Deland, Kissimmee, and Wauchula City. Each location already has MT leaders who can expand and strengthen their community’s local voice for greater impact on immigration at the federal level. Both organizations believe that this partnership provides more opportunities to advocate for immigration reform after the midterm elections and at the start of the new Congress in January 2023. This groundwork will prepare the MT Florida leaders and the LCNN national leadership to intensify broader, more diverse multi-faith networks for national advocacy efforts.
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 2022 award will assist their five community organizing campaigns meant to pressure the Administration and Congress to rescind immigration policies and practices that criminalize, punish and deport immigrants. This assistance covers plans such as: workshops focused on the continuing development of community leadership; a focused retreat to discuss their ideas about the direction of the struggle for justice; and Consultas del Barrio, a participatory community-wide conversation with residents to reflect on current priorities and map out the future. Consultas was praised by Daily News columnist, Albor Ruiz, who wrote: “It is real grass-roots democracy…practiced by the immigrants who live in East Harlem.”
NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium) 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 will help them amplify their Citizenship for All 2022 campaign, which organizes Asian Americans toward improving the family-based immigration system, achieving citizenship for all intercountry adoptees, and building local power for the federal campaign to win citizenship for all.
The SHARE Foundation’s mission is to strengthen solidarity with and among the Salvadoran people—both in El Salvador and the United States—in the struggle for economic sustainability, justice, and human and civil rights. Their award will be used to mobilize the local TPS (temporary protected status) community in the San Francisco Bay Area to lobby congresspeople, increasing pressure in no less than three districts. SHARE’s main objective has, and always will be, to achieve permanent residency and equal rights for all TPS holders; however, in this instance they intend to focus on advancing the rights of migrant communities from Central America. One of the key desired end results is for the Biden administration to designate TPS for Guatemala and re-designate it for Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. This is crucial because the Bay Area TPS community volunteers are different nationalities, who work hard every day to ensure their children and families are taken care of, they have disassociated themselves from their countries of origin, and they do not have adequate or safe conditions to return to Central America.
PDA looks forward to the success of each of these immigrant-led organizations. If you live or worship in the areas where these organizations are based, we encourage you to contact them to see how you can be an ally. We encourage our Presbyterian siblings in other parts of the U.S. to likewise seek partnership with refugee-led and immigrant-led groups in your community. If you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, please take a look at the following suggestions below:
- Refugee Congress: Delegates from each state are former refugees and asylum seekers who are also leaders in their local communities.
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project: A coalition of over 300,000 asylum seekers across the United States
- National Partnership for New Americans: A network of local and statewide coalitions advocating for Citizenship
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration has 5 local chapters in Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, CA and Miami, FL.
- We are All America: Refugee led national organization, training refugee organizers in collaboration with other national organizations.