10 organizations awarded mini-grants to support immigrant families and communities
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today awarded $100,000 in grants to 10 community-based organizations through the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) Mini-Grant Program to further support immigrant integration and empowerment efforts in the City of Boston.
"Boston is a city that welcomes all residents, and works to lift up every family and individual in our city," said Mayor Walsh. "Lifting up everyone includes our immigrant communities -- I'm proud these grants will help improve lives here in the City of Boston, and give all residents an opportunity to succeed."
The selected ten immigrant-led and immigrant-serving non-profit organizations will focus on delivering a combination of services that include welcoming and supporting evacuees from the recent natural disasters; organizing and hosting immigration legal screening clinics; and hosting and facilitating family preparedness education workshops for Boston's immigrant community.
"The City of Boston is a world-class city because of the array of cultures, languages, and beliefs that make up every neighborhood in Boston," said Chief of the Mayor's Office of Health and Human Services, Marty Martinez. "It is essential that the City assist in increasing capacity in services that provide our immigrant community every opportunity to thrive."
"We know that so many organizations in Boston work diligently every day to help our immigrant have the tools they need to succeed," said Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement. "These grants will increase the capacity of some of these organizations, which are addressing issues that have recently emerged or have demonstrated growing need."
The following organizations were selected to receive awards:
African Community Economic Development (ACEDONE): Funding will be used to conduct educational workshops in schools and with youth groups that address the causes of Islamophobia, xenophobia, and to provide know-your-rights training to immigrant youth.
Agencia ALPHA: Funding will be used to support legal screening clinics and family preparedness workshops.
Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW): Funding will be used for educational workshops to support family preparedness for individuals at risk of deportation.
Boston Higher Education Resource Center (HERC): Funding will be used to support access to college programming for immigrant youth, support a part-time case manager, and add capacity for family preparedness.
Brazilian Women's Group: Funding will support immigration legal screening clinics, family preparedness workshops, and mental health counseling.
East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC): Funding will support legal screening clinics and "Know-Your-Rights" clinics to prepare individuals for interactions with immigration officials.
Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI-USA): Funding will support additional capacity to host immigration clinics and education workshops for individuals with Temporary Protected Status.
Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA): Funding will add capacity to further coordinate efforts among the partners of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (PRVI) Welcoming Project to support arrivals from recent natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC): Funding will support legal screening clinics, pro bono immigration clinics, and application assistance.
Roslindale IS for Everyone (RISE): Funding will support legal screening clinics to support undocumented immigrants and those at risk of losing immigration status, such as those with Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). RISE will also conduct educational workshops to support family preparedness for these aforementioned groups.
"Our MOIA Mini-Grant is vital to the services we are providing to those affected by recent natural disasters," said Vanessa Calderón-Rosado Chief Executive Officer, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción. "Our award will allow IBA to effectively serve new and current families over the long-term by enhancing case management services to all the Puerto Rican and Caribbean newcomer families that have been displaced by Hurricane Maria and Irma."
"The past few months have been very difficult for all immigrants living in this country, and particularly for those affected by the elimination of their Temporary Protected Status (TPS)," said Geralde Gabeau, Executive Director at IFSI. "With this hostile environment, demands for services have risen exponentially. Most of us community leaders have been called to respond to this crisis with no resources. This mini-grant is a great way to start putting in place the infrastructure needed to support our immigrant community. Many thanks to the Mayor's Office for its support."
Since the first iteration of the MOIA Mini-Grant Program in 2015, over 2,000 constituents have benefited from programs such as ESOL classes, DACA/DAPA legal screening clinics, citizenship application assistance, an immigrant youth mentoring program, and civic engagement classes. Funding for the MOIA Mini-Grants program is made possible by the generous contributions of our We Are Boston Gala supporters.
About The Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement:
The mission of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Advancement is to strengthen the ability of immigrants and Boston's diverse cultural and linguistic communities to fully participate in the economic, civic, social, and cultural life of our great City. The office also works to promote the recognition and public understanding of the contributions of immigrants to Boston.