A Conversation with Carnegie Corporation's Geri Mannion

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Michael Kavate from Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees, sits down with Carnegie Corporation’s Geri Mannion, as she shares her wisdom on the Corporation’s years of grantmaking in civic integration; the challenges and the opportunities.

Tell us about how immigrant and refugee issues fit into the mission of your foundation.

Carnegie Corporation of New York has a long history of supporting immigrant civic integration. Andrew Carnegie’s roots as an immigrant from Scotland compel us to embrace and highlight the contributions that immigrants have made to the United States since its founding.

How does immigrant civic engagement connect to your grantmaking?

Since the 1970s, the Corporation has supported efforts to encourage those least likely to vote or who have been blocked from voting — African Americans, low-income people, youth, and those from immigrant backgrounds — to register and vote. More recently, the Corporation has supported efforts to help eligible legal permanent residents naturalize, such as the New Americans Campaign. The vote is a powerful tool in holding elected leaders accountable. Political leaders don’t listen if people don’t vote.

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