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Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Minority Rights

Mission: The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. We serve the Commonwealth's one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, strategic communications, citizenship assistance, and AmeriCorps initiatives that that provide capacity-building for community-based organizations. The Coalition involves an active membership of over 130 organizations, including community-based groups, social service organizations, ethnic associations, schools, refugee resettlement agencies, health centers, hospitals, religious institutions, unions and law firms, as well as thousands of individual members, contributors, and allies. We also serve immigrants in New Hampshire through our affiliate, the New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees (NHAIR).

Results: In the fall of 2011, MIRA launched the New American Integration Institute with the support of The Boston Foundation and an advisory board made up of key leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The NAII combines research with on-the-ground projects that help immigrants and refugees find solid footing in their adopted country. MIRA has also implemented a comprehensive civic engagement program including a media campaign to encourage green-card holders to apply for citizenship and events to help them with the process. As part of the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative, led by the Fish Family Foundation, and the statewide "Become a Citizen Now" campaign, supported by the Open Society Foundation, we work with members and volunteers at citizenship events that draw attendees from around the state and beyond. MIRA has supported countless immigrants and refugees through political advocacy and also through direct services like citizenship clinics and voter registration drives. In 2015 alone, we have helped nearly 550 people complete their citizenship paperwork and have registered over 500 new voters.

Target demographics: Immigrants and refugees.

Geographic areas served: Massachusetts and the New England area.

Programs: Policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, strategic communications, citizenship assistance, and AmeriCorps initiatives that that provide capacity-building for community-based organizations.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization! They promote the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees, as well as provide free services to the community. MIRA also conducts policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, strategic communications, and citizenship assistance throughout New England. The staff and volunteers are passionate about the work they do, and are determined to make a change in their community whether is working with legislators or doing community outreach. Volunteering at MIRA has been a fantastic experience!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MIRA is a fantastic organization! They do a lot of advocacy work on behalf of the immigrant community here in the greater Boston area that has made significant changes in the lives of many Bostonians. I have volunteered for their citizenship clinics where they provided just the right amount of training to support individuals applying for US citizenship. The clinics are well organized, their staff is friendly/helpful/knowledgeable, and I had a great time meeting clients and other volunteers. Working one-on-one with clients, helping them practice their English, and helping them complete their application made me feel like I had a real impact on each person. I have also sent volunteer groups from the university I work at to help MIRA register new US citizens to vote. All participants felt well-trained and accomplished, and had a great time volunteering at the JFK Library. In fact, it was such a positive experience that we have already signed up four additional groups to help out this summer! I love MIRA and highly recommend them for anyone looking for a well-organized, highly impactful volunteer opportunity in the issue area of immigration/immigrant rights.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here during one of my school semesters. MIRA had worked with a few individuals and groups from my school and that is how I heard of them. I am passionate about immigrant rights and immigration reform so I thought this would be a great place to learn more. Everyone here was so grateful for my coming in and helping. The work culture here is so friendly and everyone is truly dedicated to the mission of the coalition. I learned so much about working for an organization and being a successful organization while I volunteered at MIRA. They took the time to teach me their software, they gave me a desk, I took notes in meetings, and other things. It was nice to feel like I was really helping and it was appreciated. I really loved working with these passionate people.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MIRA does so many great things for the Massachusetts community. Their citizenship clinics are fun and help hundreds of people get their citizenship, and their policy work reaches far beyond Boston. I have found the staff to be very committed and enthusiastic, and they are always adding new programs and events. I was so glad to have chosen volunteer with MIRA, and I felt like my/our work had a really meaningful impact.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with MIRA has been so wonderful, the work they do is amazing!