Friday, February 12, 2016
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Integration Institute

The New Americans Integration Institute (NAII), launched in 2011, focuses on helping newcomers claim their place in the civic, economic, and social life of America. A focus on immigrant integration means acknowledging the role of foreign born communities as crucial contributors to the social, economic, civic and cultural life of the nation, now and throughout its history, and a key source of the energy, creativity and human capital needed for the country to remain competitive and move forward in an increasingly complex and globalized world. We see immigrant integration as a two-way process--one that strengthens the systems and tools that allow immigrants in the U.S. to participate fully in their families, jobs and communities, and that benefits all Americans by providing immigrants with the opportunity to contribute to their fullest capacity to those jobs and communities and to the strength of the nation as a whole.

The Institute will work through policy-oriented research and direct, on-the-ground integration projects that help drive that research, as well as through media and communications efforts to enhance the image of immigrants in our society and public discourse. The the Institute's current areas of work include: citizenship; immigrant entrepreneurship; workforce development and immigrant professional integration; and access to education for immigrant and dual language learner children, from pre-K to college. We are very proud that MIRA and the New Americans Integration Institute were 2013 recepients of the Migration Policy Institute's E Pluribus Unum award, which honors exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States.

Partners and Allies

In pursuing these initiatives the Institute will build on relationships with long-standing and new organizational partners, including community-based organizations, nonprofit groups, academic institutions, and state and local government bodies. MIRA is also proud to have partnered with the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants to form the Massachusetts AmeriCorps New American Integration Program (NAIP), whose 29 members have worked at 27 different immigrant- and refugee-serving organizations in Lynn, Boston and New Bedford since 2011. NAIP AmeriCorps Members assist immigrants and refugees to gain economic stability and more fully participate in our society through improved English skills, becoming US citizens, and connecting with community resources. We are also excited at the recent launch of our second AmeriCorps program, Justice AmeriCorp Massachusetts, in partnership with Greater Boston Legal Services. This initiative will place 12 attorneys and 3 paralegals at legal services agencies around the state to provide representation for unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central America.

These joint efforts are part of a nationwide move to reshape thinking and action in communities and the country as a whole to value the foreign-born as one of our greatest assets. MIRA joins in this effort with fellow members of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), which since 2008 has sponsored the National Immigrant Integration Conference. For the next two years, MIRA will act as the co-chair of the NPNA, along with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC). Under MIRA and CIRC's leadership, the NPNA has become a national voice for advancing principles of immigrant integration as part of immigration reform legislation currently being developed in both Congress and the White House, including the creation of an executive level Office of New Americans. Read the NPNA Principles of Immigrant Integration here.

NAII Advisory Board

The Institute's work is supported by the experience, expertise and commitment of a distinguished Advisory Board that includes members from the nonprofit, government, academic, and private sectors.



Damon Cox

Director of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
The Boston Foundation

Michael Dimino

Senior Business Advisor
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network
Boston Regional Office and Minority Business Center
University of Massachusetts, Boston

Hanna Gebretensae

Eliot-Pearson Children's School
Tufts University

Paul Grogan

The Boston Foundation

Alvaro Lima

Director of Research
Boston Redevelopment Authority

Ron Marlow (Chair)

Undersecretary for Workforce Development
Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Suzette Brooks Masters

Program Consultant, Migrations
J.M. Kaplan Fund

Margie McHugh

Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy
Migration Policy Institute

Eva Millona

Executive Director
MIRA Coalition

Denzil Mohammed

Director, Public Education Institute
Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Vinit Nijhawan

Managing Director, Technology Development Office
Lecturer, School of Management & Director of Enterprise Programs, ITEC
Boston University

Reggie Nunnally

Executive Director
Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office

André Porter

Executive Director
Massachusetts Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Robert F. Rivers

Eastern Bank

Alejandra St. Guillen

Mayor's Office for New Bostonians

Damien Thorman

The Thorman Group

Paul Watanabe

Director, Institute for Asian American Studies
Associate Professor, Political Science
University of Massachusetts, Boston