Great Immigrants: Partners
to our Democracy newsletter
Every July 4th, Carnegie Corporation of New York salutes the legacy of immigrant Andrew Carnegie and millions of immigrants who continue to make our nation vibrant. We’re joined in this effort by the following partners, many of whom have contributed stories from their own members who are naturalized citizens. Explore their unique perspectives by following a link to the right of a partner description.
The New Americans Campaign is a groundbreaking national network of legal-service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, foundations and community leaders that is paving a better road to citizenship. We are modernizing and streamlining access to naturalization services, so that greater numbers of legally qualified permanent residents take the critical step to becoming American citizens. We are currently driving a national, nonpartisan citizenship campaign throughout the country, focused on eight major cities with large numbers of citizenship-eligible residents. Our campaign brings together over 80 organizations across the country including the following key funders who have made an unprecedented investment in supporting aspiring citizens: Carnegie Corporation of New York; the John S. and the James L. Knight Foundation; Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; Grove Foundation; Open Society Foundations and The JPB Foundation.
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews from more than 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Over 6000 of StoryCorps’ archived interviews include content related to the immigrant experience. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages. You can learn more about StoryCorps at storycorps.org.
The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czeckoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honour the contributions of foreign-born scholars and artists living in the United States, was inspired by the couple’s careers in biomedical science and art history, respectively, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The Foundation hosts events to promote the work of immigrants, awards annual prizes to prominent immigrant biomedical scientists and artists, and sponsors cultural programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival.
The Tenement Museum tells the stories of immigrant families who resided in the historic Lower East Side tenement of 97 Orchard Street between 1863 and 1935. Through guided tours or recreated homes and the surrounding historic neighborhood, the Museum connects the immigrants experiences of the past to those of the present.
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. Founded in 1981, NALEO Educational Fund achieves its mission through integrated strategies that include increasing the effectiveness of Latino policymakers, mobilizing the Latino community to engage in civic life, and promoting policies that advance Latino political engagement. NALEO Educational Fund provides national leadership on key issues that affect Latino participation in our political process, including immigration and naturalization, voting rights, election reform, the Census, and the appointment of qualified Latinos to top executive and judicial positions.
New American Workforce, a program of the National Immigration Forum, works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process so they become more valuable workers and full participants in the workplace, community, and economy. In 1915, Bethlehem Steel was one of the first U.S. employers to provide free English language instruction to its immigrant workforce. The National Immigration Forum expanded this idea to include citizenship training and assistance. It looks to work with innovative companies that are in the forefront as strategic diversity leaders. It offers each partner customizable services for their operation that don’t increase budget or personnel workload. With six sites around the nation in key legal permanent resident populated areas, the project is experiencing rapid growth as more business leaders see the vast importance of extending citizenship services to their legal permanent resident employees. Already, the project has extended citizenship education regarding the benefits of citizenship and the application process to more than 79,000 employees across the nation. The project continues to grow as it adds more business partners each day and expands to a new site, Houston, later this summer.
Welcome.us, a new non-profit organization, is dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world. Led by Tolu Olubunmi, an immigrant and DREAMer, the organization is focused on launching the Welcome.us campaign and establishing Immigrant Heritage Month to honor the ways in which America and the immigrants who have built our country are linked in a shared, productive history. Welcome.us is supported by FWD.us, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Padmasree Warrior, and other tech leaders.
CLINIC connects and serves the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations that assist low-income immigrants with their legal needs. Its over 250 affiliate agencies operate out of nearly 300 offices in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. CLINIC provides extensive training and technical support to these charitable agencies, which are Catholic Charities, diocesan programs, and other community legal programs. CLINIC affiliates directly serve low-income immigrant families. Some also operate special projects serving at-risk immigrant detainees, immigrant workers, and survivors of domestic violence and violent crime. CLINIC’s network of affiliates has grown dramatically, from 17 to over 250 community organizations since 1988.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.
Building on its Charter mandate, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
promotes the well-being of immigrant communities by recommending policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City
Established in 1997, CUNY Citizenship Now
provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.
The Immigration Advocates Network
(IAN) is a collaborative effort of leading immigrants’ rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates, organizations, and the public by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools. To learn more, visit www.immigrationadvocates.org/projects
Pro Bono Net (www.probono.net) is a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to justice. Through innovative technology solutions and expertise in building and mobilizing justice networks, Pro Bono Net transforms the way legal help reaches the underserved. Today, we work with a broad network of access-to-justice partners to close the justice gap. Our comprehensive programs enable legal advocates to make a stronger impact, increase volunteer participation, and empower the public with resources and self-help tools to improve their lives. Pro Bono Net co-founded, with leading immigrants’ rights organizations, the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) to promote more effective and efficient collaboration in the immigrants’ rights sector.
Founded in 1979 by Bill Ong Hing, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
(ILRC) is a national nonprofit resource center that provides legal training, educational materials, and advocacy to advance immigrant rights. The mission of the ILRC is to work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center
is home to the Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Bush Institute. The Bush Center’s 226,000-square-foot building and 15-acre urban park reside on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. President and Mrs. Bush founded the Bush Center to continue their work expanding freedom at home and around the globe.