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20 immigrant-serving organizations awarded mini-grants for We Are Boston 2020

$100,000 will go to nonprofits that support immigrant communities.

On this year’s National Immigrants Day, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) are celebrating Boston’s rich cultural diversity by awarding $100,000 in mini-grants to 20 immigrant-serving organizations. The mini-grants are funded through corporate sponsorships for We Are Boston, an annual end-of-the year reception that honors the contributions immigrants have made to our City. This year’s "We Are Boston 2020: From Resilience to Equity" is on November 19 from 5 - 6 p.m.

“The coronavirus pandemic shined a bright light on the disparities in our community,” said Mayor Walsh. “Immigrants have been on the frontlines from the beginning and they have also been the most impacted. This year especially, we need to celebrate immigrant contributions to our community and recover from this pandemic in a more equitable state than we entered it.”

“We picked this year’s theme because ‘resilience’ means the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, and that is exactly what our immigrant communities are doing during this pandemic. And this resiliency, this strength, is what gets us to equity,” said Yusufi Vali, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. 

The 20 diverse nonprofits will each receive mini-grants for $5,000 for services including COVID-19 relief, mental health support, legal services, youth development and career services.

The following organizations are selected for this year’s mini-grants:

Agencia ALPHA: The mini-grant will prepare 110 permanent residents to pass their citizenship exam and foster civic engagement on campaigns that impact the immigrant community. 

African Bridge Network (ABN): ABN will host workshops for 100+ skilled immigrants and provide individual career advising services to assist with career development and job search.

Boston Asian Youth Essential Service: Funding will support creative and artistic development activities for Chinese and Vietnamese youth from low-income families in Boston. 

Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights at Boston Medical Center: The Center will provide a winter-preparedness packet and face masks for asylum seekers, refugees, survivors of torture and their families. 

Brazilian Women’s Group (BWG): BWG will support Brazilian immigrant women by offering stipends for classes for professional development and by offering mental health support.

Cape Verdean Association of Boston: The mini-grant will support the Cabo Verdean Immigrant Resource Center that connects recent immigrants with resources such as ESOL classes, citizenship classes and application assistance and BPS Parent Engagement.

Caribbean Integration Community Development (CICD): Funding supports CICD’s work of helping Caribbean residents in Boston process Metro Housing’s Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) applications to make mortgage and rent payments.

Center to Support Immigrant Organizing (CSIO): CSIO’s program will engage more than 500 immigrant youth suffering from social isolation and other challenges during COVID-19 and build their capacity to be leaders in social change. 

Chica Project: The grant will support young women of color during COVID-19 by empowering them with the skills, confidence and networks to thrive and close the opportunity divide. 

Dominican Development Center (DDC): Funding will support the Latino Workers Leadership Empowerment Program to develop leadership skills among Latina immigrant workers confronting worker rights violations during and after the pandemic. 

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI): DSNI will provide food and financial support to residents. 

East Boston Social Centers, Inc.: The mini-grant will be used to purchase and deliver groceries, formula, diapers, cleaning supplies, masks, gloves and any other basic needs that East Boston families cannot afford at this time.

Found in Translation: Funding will support the Language Access Fellowship Medical Interpreter Training and Job Placement Program that provides a pathway out of poverty for bilingual, low-income and homeless women by training them as medical interpreters and connecting them to jobs. 

ICNA Relief - New England: The organization will implement a voucher project to increase food access to specific halal markets for marginalized communities.

Massachusetts Immigrants Support Group (MISG): The mini-grant will support immigrants in need of legal assistance, including victims seeking a divorce from abusive partners.

Project Hope: Funding supports classes for women and families in Dorchester and Roxbury to move up and out of poverty and closes the digital divide that hinders low-income communities of color from keeping up with employment trends.

Somali Parents Advocacy Center for Education (SPACE): SPACE will expand the Healthy Lives project that provides services to Somali families who have children with disabilities and have also been exposed to or infected with a virus. 

True Alliance Center (TAC): The mini-grant will be used to translate COVID-19 prevention materials and resources into Haitian Creole, create PSAs to educate the Haitian community about key issues and to conduct webinars targeting those at higher risk of COVID-19.

 VietAID: VietAID will provide mental health support during COVID-19 for immigrant youth in Dorchester through weekly workshops and culturally-specific individual support plans.

Vietnamese American Thang Long Limited: Funding will help launch a business support initiative for small business owners in Fields Corner and provide classes for employees. 

These mini-grants are made possible through the generous contributions from We Are Boston 2019 sponsors including State Street Corporation, Arbella Insurance Foundation, Eastern Bank and Verizon; and this year’s corporate sponsors include Arbella Insurance Foundation, Eastern Bank and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

For this year’s "We Are Boston 2020: From Resilience to Equity" on November 19, Mayor Walsh will recognize the successes of the past year and name this year’s honorees. The evening will culminate with the City’s new Cabinet Chief of Equity, Dr. Karilyn Crockett, speaking on the convergence and divergence of African American and immigrant struggles and how the corporate and philanthropic sectors can support the fight for equity for all. Any media who wish to attend can email

About the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) strives to strengthen the ability of immigrants to fully and equitably participate in economic, civic, social, and cultural life in Boston. MOIA also promotes the recognition and public understanding of the contributions of immigrants to the City. To learn more, visit the Immigrant Advancement website.

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