A summary of our work in the past year and where are headed in 2018
CSIO’s spaces provide an opportunity to develop a very deep analysis, to experience transformation…It’s a chance to connect with other groups, which is honestly a strong outcome… We need to all fight together to confront the problems facing immigrant communities.
– Heiny Maldonaldo, Director, Fuerza Laboral, RI
Grassroots Leadership Network 70+ immigrant leaders & directors participated in 2 dialogues to build a more unified immigrant movement. Grassroots leaders helped CSIO organize and facilitate the sessions, ensuring a deep connection with the pulse of the immigrant movement. Gatherings provided deep exchanges and strategizing about how to overcome isolation and competition in order to move forward as a single movement.
The Immigrant Teen Leadership and Solidarity Program With grassroots partners ACEDONE and Margarita Muñiz Academy, CSIO provided leadership workshops and solidarity activities for over 100 African, Latin American, Caribbean and Asian teens. Highlights included a teen-led immigrant youth speak out, which drew more than 200 people; the leadership of over two dozen teens in the People’s Counter Inauguration march and the protest against the ban on Muslim immigrants, and teen-led neighborhood and community exchanges in Roxbury and Chinatown. We also launched an organizing initiative– with support from UMASS Boston – to improve English Learner instruction in the Boston Public Schools.
Grassroots Leadership Institute CSIO provided a 6-session Grassroots Leadership Institute in Spanish to Somerviva – a cohort of Somerville immigrant residents working for social change. 16 residents built leadership skills while deepening group bonds. With Agencia ALPHA, CSIO provided an Institute for a dozen staff & leaders that centralized grassroots leadership and organizing as ALPHA’s social change strategies.
Immigrant E.D. Network CSIO brought together 8 immigrant Executive Directors for capacity building workshops, peer exchanges, and mutual support in very demanding jobs. Topics included measuring impact of grassroots leadership & organizing, and connecting grassroots work to the larger movement.
Organizational Development CSIO provided ongoing coaching, t.a. & other supports to Agencia ALPHA organizers, volunteers and staff to help the group build deep and sustainable practices that cultivate grassroots leadership. Agencia ALPHA shifted its focus from services to leadership and organizing. Rather than framing its work as ‘client-centered’, ALPHA now cultivates the leadership of those who seek immigration support. Over a dozen immigrants served by ALPHA are now leaders in ALPHA’s community leadership team, and have helped launch an “Immigrants Make America Great Again’ campaign.
CSIO’s Development CSIO recently completed the first project we have undertaken in our 17-year history to document the impact of our supports on immigrant leadership and movement building. Authored by CSIO Co-Founder Ann Philbin, the report proves the impact that CSIO has had on developing more powerful and effective leaders, grassroots-led organizations and networks. It lays out CSIO’s critical niche in the social justice movement.
Network of Immigrant & African American Solidarity The NIAAS Core Group held strategic planning sessions that resulted in the creation of an inventory of anti-racism tools that NIAAS will offer communities and organizations in 2018 and beyond. NIAAS was active nationally, presenting its tools at the national African American Museum of History and Culture and contributing to the leadership of the Black Immigration Network.