Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands | The New York Community Trust
October 10, 2018   |   By The New York Community Trust
Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
A young member of Damayan Migrant Workers Association at a march.

SPEAKING OUT: A young member of Damayan Migrant Workers Association at a march for immigrant rights.

Programs guide and empower young immigrants

Over the past year, shifts in immigration policy have fueled fear and anxiety in our city. Some legal residents are concerned about losing their status, while citizens fear their parents and other family members may be deported.

Many young immigrants have found refuge in neighborhood groups that offer legal and emotional support, and a place to gather and organize. These groups must respond quickly, appropriately, and effectively to unpredictable policy changes.

To meet these demands, The Trust has awarded $1 million to 13 groups that assist immigrants.

The Academy of Medical and Public Health Services, Atlas: DIY, Masa, South Bronx United, and Terra Firma will provide academic, mental health, and legal support, which can help young immigrants balance their lives and find stability.

A teen girl filming in the subways.

BEHIND THE LENS: A student learns filmmaking and will go on to produce her own short film at Global Action Project.

Other groups will train young people to stand up for themselves and organize. The Arab American Association of New York, Arab-American Family Support Center, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project, and Mekong NYC will offer know-your-rights workshops, teach public speaking skills, and promote self-advocacy.

The New York State Youth Leadership Council focuses on improving school policies for undocumented students. With our grant, it will organize teams at high schools and universities to fight for immigrant rights.

Global Action Project, a nonprofit that trains young people in videography, digital literacy, and activism, will work with other groups to combat anti-immigrant rhetoric and advocate for human rights.

“The dreams of young immigrants are being thwarted at every turn,” says Shawn Morehead, program director for education and human justice grantmaking at The Trust. “We hope these grants help them find their power to change policies and perceptions, while providing emotional and practical support.”

Learn more about our support for children, youth, and immigrants

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