PICC logo Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

DECEMBER 2017
In this issue...

Report from NIIC!
Pittsburgh Community Navigator Training
Member of the Month: FURIA's Milca
Getting Ready for 2018!
Youth Organizing Updates
Upcoming Events

Report from NIIC 2017!

PICC is grateful to have been able to coordinate the participation of 13 staff members, community leaders, and youth from across the state to attend this year’s National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) in Phoenix, Arizona from December 10-12th. The NIIC, sponsored by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), is the largest conference on immigration in the country. This year’s participants enjoyed plenary sessions with prominent immigrant rights leaders, attended workshops designed to explore key issues facing immigrant communities, and learned from the work of other coalitions and organizations working to advance immigrant rights across the country. Taylor De La Peña, Program Coordinator at Ceiba, recounted that, “Attending the NIIC conference was valuable both professionally and personally. Professionally, because I learned about innovations and collaborations happening among immigrant serving organizations all over the country, which has brought up ideas about ways we can be innovative with our communities in Pennsylvania.” Another participants, Karen Cabrera, one of PICC’s youth leaders, felt glad she attended the NIIC because, “I was able to learn what other youth groups are doing to help undocumented students succeed and fight for a better future.”


Pittsburgh Community Navigator Training Series

This summer, PICC hired our first full-time staff in Western PA and after only a few months, were able to host our first Community Navigator training series. Over the course of two weeks, 20+ community members and allies participated in trainings, with 12 people completing the entire series to become certified PICC Community Navigators!

Beginning in January, 2018 we will be working with participantes to take the next step to put these new skills to work and host  Know Your Rights workshops and legal clinics in Western PA. We can't thank our partners enough - Casa San Jose and Friends of Farmworkers for their expertise and Global Wordsmiths for their social justice focused interpretation. Pittsburgh is poised for great things!

Pittsburgh has big plans to continue this Community Navigator work and creating new partnerships. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the beginning of this journey!


Member of the Month: FURIA Member Milca

Milca is a mother and a fighter! She has two children and is invested in fighting for immigrant rights. She is determined to teach her children that their voices should never be silenced. She became a member of FURIA because many families she knew had been broken apart by deportations, many husbands had been deported back to their countries and mothers have been left alone to care for their children in many households across Pittsburgh (and across the country). “I want family deportations to stop and families to stop being broken apart. Many of our children are born here, and it will be very hard for them to live in our home country. I want to organize with FURIA and immigrant women because I want our voices to be recognized and for goals to come true. I don’t just want people to ask us to talk at a rally or share our story because they need an immigrant person. I want us to be considered always when making decisions about our community. We, immigrants have a voice!" Follow FURIA on Facebook


Getting Ready for 2018!

Over the last few weeks, PICC has spent time with our members and partners reflecting on 2017 and building a vision for our work in 2018. We are excited to work with such an amazing group of people and organizations!

This week, PICC members shared their priorities for 2018 and identified opportunities for collaboration and collective action. A few highlights: PICC will be hosting 4 Community Navigator trainings series in 2018; organizations are ready to engage immigrant communities in voter education and mobilization in 2018 elections; community groups are ready to ramp up the campaign for driver licenses. Make sure to check our calendar of events starting in January so you can get involved!

In November, PA is Ready! grantee organizations gathered to reflect and begin the process of setting funding priorities for 2018. PA is Ready! is an innovative capacity building grant that encourages collaboration between community-based organizations and service providers. PA is Ready! shifts the traditional power dynamics in philanthropy by empowering a committee comprised of representatives of community-based organizations and providers to identify broad funding priorities and evaluate grant proposals. The application process for PA is Ready! grants will begin in the spring. Stay tuned for details!

Upcoming Events

#StoptheHate Bi-Weekly Call

Fri Jan 12, 2018, 12:00pm

Join activists from around the state who are working to stop all anti-immigrant legislation in PA and to pass pro-immigrant policies at the municipal and state levels. Every call we will have an in-depth presentation on a different topic or campaign. This week’s topic: Effective legislative advocacy.

Registration is required to receive the video link and call-in information.

#StoptheHate Bi-Weekly Call

Fri Jan 26, 2018, 12:00pm

Join activists from around the state who are working to stop all anti-immigrant legislation in PA and to pass pro-immigrant policies at the municipal and state levels. Every call we will have an in-depth presentation on a different topic or campaign. This week’s topic: Sanctuary policy advocacy for allies.

Registration is required to receive the video link and call-in information.

Youth Organizing Updates

2017 was a difficult year for the immigrant and refugee community with the election of Trump, an increase of ICE raids and deportations and anti-immigrant/refugee rethoric by the new administration. In the face of these difficult times, immigrant and refugee youth leaders showed their resilience and strength to push through and organize for their families and community. A few highlights from this year:

  • After month's of conversation with PICC's youth leaders, students, parents and educators and collaboration with the Sheller Center for Social Justice, Temple Beasley School of Law, we launched our Welcoming Schools Toolkit and Campaign to ensure that all institutions of education K-12 were aware of how to support their immigrant families by passing school policies to make their schools a welcoming environment and protect them from ICE.
  • PICC hosted another summer youth convening bringing together 30 immigrant and refugee youth from PA. Many leaders from previous years became trainers and led workshops throughout the weekend. This event provided support and a place for young people to come build unity and create a network across the state.
  • Before the September 15 DACA anouncement, PICC convened youth across the state to have conversations and put together a plan of action. Youth leaders asked PICC partners to host "safe sites" for young people and families to come together and find unity and support amoung each other. Also, on Sept. 15 many PA youth mobilized to DC to protest the rescission of DACA.

You can help ensure youth are able to continue this work by donating to PICC's youth organizing project. Today, many young people are continuing to organize around issued that impact the immigrant community through public speaking engagements, creating youth committees, participating in art advocacy projects, and supporting each other. We are grateful for all the young leaders moving the movement along and will continue to make sure they are represented in PICC's work in 2018 and beyond by providing more opportunities for training and youth only conferences, creating a leadership statewide board, hiring 2 summer youth organizing interns, hosting the 4th statewide youth convening and providing support as requested.

Help our youth committees start out strong in 2018 by giving to PICC today!

Connect with us:
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
2100 Arch Street 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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