Immigrants Lead Boston
Twenty people make up the October 2021 to February 2022 class of Immigrants Lead Boston. They represent 18 countries, 9 Boston neighborhoods, and speak 14 languages. The program helps immigrant leaders become more civically active on issues that are important to them.
This year's class drafted testimonies on housing justice, access to mental health services, and lack of access to COVID-19 resources. One participant submitted their testimony in favor of bill H.4461, an Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility, which would allow immigrants in Massachusetts to get driver's licenses regardless of status.
“I learned a lot of things even though I have lived here for over 20 years,” said Amina Aden, a participant from Roxbury. “I didn’t know about all the rights I have as an immigrant, and I now know how to help myself and communities I care about. I also have met so many people from different cultures and we got to share our perspectives with one another.”
Participants also attended a community meeting of their choice and were given the opportunity to give feedback and share their experiences with City officials about how to ensure community meetings are more welcoming and accessible.
“I knew this would be a great program where I would learn a lot,” said Jun Xie, a participant from South End. “What was surprising was how much it impacted my mindset. I am feeling so empowered and inspired recently, and I feel like I now have an obligation to do something for my community instead of just volunteering occasionally.”
The Immigrants Lead Boston Graduation was on February 17, 2022. Participants shared their experiences and Mayor Michelle Wu gave the keynote address and answered questions. Watch here.