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Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration

Publication date: 
December, 2006

Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration, published by Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees in 2006, is a succinct, easy-to-understand guide that describes how grantmakers at all levels can play an important leadership role on this issue. This toolkit for grantmakers draws on extensive research and interviews with hundreds of foundation, community, business, and government leaders. It incorporates academic research as well as policy and community-based concerns into a resource that also can inform the work of practitioners in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors.

The toolkit offers foundations many benefits, including:

  • Concrete recommendations to guide philanthropic investment in immigrant integration activities that connect directly to the missions and priorities of individual foundations.
  • A historical perspective on immigrant integration, as well as the demographic, economic, and social imperatives that drive the need for integration today.
  • The immigrant integration framework, which identifies key stakeholders in the two-way integration process, six pathways to integration, and ways in which integration benefits both the newcomers and the receiving society.
  • Profiles of more than 75 promising program and policy models that can inform work in local communities in the areas of community planning, language access, English acquisition, education, health and well-being, economic mobility, equal treatment, social cultural interaction, and civic participation and citizenship.
  • A filmography describing recent documentaries that put a human face on complex immigration issues--as well as a DVD of short film clips that can be used to engage foundation colleagues and other stakeholders in productive discussions on immigrant issues.
  • A resources section providing fast facts on immigration, a glossary of terms, an overview of U.S. immigration history, and an annotated listing of recommended readings.

Together, these components reveal the many ways in which philanthropy can support efforts to engage both newcomers and the receiving communities to partner and build a strong, cohesive society.