PICC logo Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

March 21, 2018
In this issue...

Member of the Month: Kishore from BCAP
PA is Ready! Launches 2018 Grantmaking
Pittsburgh's Women's Leadership Group
PA Legislative Update: HB28
News from PICC Members & Partners
Upcoming Events

Member of the Month: Kishore from Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh

Kishore Pradhan, a long time Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) volunteer came to the U.Ss before the refugee resettlement program began and applied for asylum. He was the first person to come to Pittsburgh from the Bhutanese refugee camps. He played a crucial role in educating the staff at the Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh on cultural competency about the Bhutanese refugees arriving from the camps in eastern Nepal. He then began volunteering in the growing refugee population in Pittsburgh, which he continues until today. He played an important role in the formation of the Association of Bhutanese in America, a national level Bhutanese organization in the US, and is currently serving as its Executive Director. Mr. Pradhan started leading a group of liked-minded educated refugees from 2008 and finally co-founded BCAP in 2012 and served its first Board President until 2013. He stepped down to give opportunities to his peers and juniors to lead the community organization, but he has continued to serve on the board.

A passion driven community volunteer, Kishore works as a Senior Testing and Quality Analyst in Highmark Health Solutions but finds time to interpret at the Driver’s Licensing Center helping people with no or limited English in their learner’s permit tests. “It is something I get satisfaction in life out of -helping those who are less fortunate than myself,” says Mr. Pradhan, when asked why he drives about 40 minutes from his home to the community where he provides his voluntary services whenever needed. You can learn more about BCAP on their Facebook page

PA is Ready! Launches 2018 Grantmaking

PICC is proud to coordinate PA is Ready!, a statewide, community-led, capacity building initiative and grants program. PA is Ready! first came together in 2014 in response to the announcement of President Obama’s Executive Actions on immigration. Since then, it has expanded to reflect the changing needs of immigrant and refugee communities in Pennsylvania.

PA is Ready! uses a community-led collaborative model to increase access to immigration services for Pennsylvania immigrant and refugee communities and build grassroots leadership. This community-led approach extends to the grantmaking model, which puts decision making in the hands of activists and organizers on the ground, with the belief that grassroots organizations hold a type of expertise that can uniquely improve the quality of decisions.

In 2018, PA is Ready! will continue to fund collaborative projects focused on increasing access to immigration services, and is adding a new initiative focused on building organization's capacity to resist increased immigration enforcement and create local models to build safer communities for immigrants and refugees. On April 4, 2018, 3-4pm, the 2018 PA is Ready! grantmaking committee will be hosting an orientation webinar for prospective grant applicants. Participants will learn about PA is Ready! funding priorities, eligibility criteria, and application requirements. Registration is required! If you have any questions, please contact Carlos at carlosgonzalez@paimmigrant.org. 

Pittsburgh's Women's Leadership Group

Women Empowered to Lead (WE Lead) is a national women's empowerment training initiative piloting in seven cities nationwide. The Pittsburgh women's group held a leadership training on Sat. March 17 to discuss and understand their leadership roles and skills, and how they can be applied to helping to protect their communities.

The group also learned about US civics, politics, and local goverment representatives, in order to strategize about how we can influence policies and affect change locally. The following day, we had a cultural exchange where we shared food and discussed food, traditions, our commonalities, and shared values in supporting our communities. 

Our leaders are energized to do whatever they can to inform their peers about their rights, and are planning a clinic to hear from an attorney about the detention-deportation process, and then help their families and friends complete Deportation Defense packets to prepare for possible detention. These leaders will continue with their own trainings as well as hosting clinics and workshops for their communities going forward. If you would like to learn more about this program, please contact Alicia at aliciaquebral@paimmigrant.org. 

PA Legislative Update: HB28

Once again, Pennsylvania's legislators are attempting to pass a bill that would punish so-called "sanctuary" cities. The most recent version, HB28, would encourage municipal employees to report immigrants to ICE, would force cities and towns to jail people at ICE's request, and would divert law enforcement resources from local public safety concerns to serving federal priorities. If a municipality decided not to follow these mandates, it would lose all state funding and could be held fiscally liable for the actions of individual residents.

Ultimately, Congress must take action to pass just and humane immigration reform. Until then, cities and states are faced with the challenge of keeping their communities safe, promoting economic well-being, and protecting the rights of all residents. Legislation that attacks and penalizes cities and counties that are doing their best to achieve these goals is bad public policy. You can find more information on the Stop the Hate page on our website. Find your legislator at: www.legis.state.pa.us.

What you can do:

  • Call your State Representative and tell them that HB28, and all anti-sanctuary policies are bad for PA
  • Talk to your local mayor, city council, and police chief to educate them about HB28 and its potential harmful effects


Upcoming Events

See full calendar of events

Welcoming Schools Webinar/Taller de Welcoming Schools en Español

Weds. Mar 21
English: 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Español: 8:00pm - 9:00pm

Learn how you can use the Welcoming Schools toolkit to pass resolutions and policies in your school district that will help protect immigrant and refugee families. You must register in order to participate. 

Aprenda como usar nuestro “Welcoming Schools Toolkit” o “Kit de herramientas de Escuelas Acogedoras” para aprobar resoluciones y políticas en su distrito escolar que ayudarán a proteger a las familias inmigrantes y refugiadas. Por favor registre aquí para participar.

Public Benefits for Immigrants & Refugees

Sun Mar 25, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Chinese Christian Church & Center, 225 N. 10th St., Philadelphia PA

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia will conduct a basic training on various public benefits that immigrants can be eligible for.

This workshop will be held in English and Mandarin and/or Cantonese.

PA is Ready! 2018 Grantmaking Launch

Wed Apr 4, 3:00pm - 4:00pm

This webinar is designed to orient prospective PA is Ready! grant applicants with the information they need to submit a successful PA is Ready! grant application. During the webinar, members of this year’s Grantmaking Committee will discuss:

Registration is required! You will receive the necessary information to join the webinar following registration.

Legislative Advocacy Training

Thu Apr 5, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
HACC, 1500 North 3rd St., Harrisburg PA

Ever wanted to SPEAK UP about a state or local issue, but didn’t know where to start? Register today! This event is free and open to the public. Share on Facebook! 

April Community Navigator Training Series

PICC will be hosting a full Community Navigator training series in Harrisburg from April 14-21, 2018 to give community leaders the skills and knowledge to assist their peers in accessing resources and understanding their right. Registration is required. Interpretation and childcare are available upon request for all sessions.

PICC organizará una serie  de talleres de Navegantes Comunitarios en Harrisburg del 14 al 21 de abril de 2018 para capacitar a líderes comunitarios con las habilidades y el conocimiento necesario para ayudar a sus vecinos a acceder a recursos legales y comprender sus derechos. Se requiere registrarse. Interpretación y cuidado de niños están disponibles bajo petición en todas las sesiones. 

News from PICC Members & Partners

The Country We Want to Be: A Faith-Based Reflection on Immigrants and Refugees in the 21st Century

Friday, April 13th, 7:00-8:30pm
Main Room of the Sugar Loaf Chateau of Chestnut Hill College, 9220 Germantown Avenue at the Corner of Bells Mill Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19118

For the last 26 years, Donald Kerwin, an attorney, has been working to safeguard the rights of immigrants and refugees, first with CLINIC (a Catholic legal services network that serves low-income immigrants) and then at the Migration Policy Institute, a major research center. Since 2008 he has been at the Center for Migration Studies, a Catholic think tank devoted to the study of international migration and the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities. He is an expert on policy analysis, and has served as an advisor and board member with many national organizations. This lecture is sponsored by the Bretschneider Lecture Endowment and the New Sanctuary Committee of Saint Vincent de Paul in Germantown, and the Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation of Chestnut Hill College as part of its series "Cultivating Compassion: Doing the Work Our Times Demand." PARKING AVAILABLE ON PREMISES. 

2018 Statewide Immigrant & Refugee Rights Convening

When: May 20-21, 2018
Where: Hilton Harrisburg, Harrisburg PA

The theme of PICC’s 2018 Statewide Immigrant and Refugee Rights Convening is “Building Local Power.” In the face of an extreme anti-immigrant agenda at the federal and state levels, it is more important than ever to build alliances among immigrant and refugee communities and allies. Through local coalitions and partnerships we can build the power to defend our communities and fight for the policies we need. Register today! Or read more about the program, workshops, and speakers.

Please Donate to PICC!

PICC depends upon your support. Please donate to PICC today to support our advocacy and organizing work to mobilize the immigrant vote, build immigrant leaders, campaign for pro-immigrant policies at the local, state and federal levels, and support the effective implementation of pro-immigrant public policies.

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

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