New Americans Integration Institute

immigrant integration wordsThe New Americans Integration Institute (NAII), launched in 2011, focuses on helping newcomers claim their place in the civic, economic, and social life of America. A focus on immigrant integration means acknowledging the role of foreign born communities as crucial contributors to the social, economic, civic and cultural life of the nation, now and throughout its history, and a key source of the energy, creativity and human capital needed for the country to remain competitive and move forward in an increasingly complex and globalized world. We see immigrant integration as a two-way process--one that strengthens the systems and tools that allow immigrants in the U.S. to participate fully in their families, jobs and communities, and that benefits all Americans by providing immigrants with the opportunity to contribute to their fullest capacity to those jobs and communities and to the strength of the nation as a whole.

The Institute works through policy-oriented research and direct, on-the-ground integration projects that help drive that research, as well as through media and communications efforts to enhance the image of immigrants in our society and public discourse. The the Institute's recent areas of work include: career pathways for foreign-trained professionals; access to education for immigrant and dual language learner students, from pre-K to college; immigrant entrepreneurship; and positive messaging of immigrant economic, social and cultural contributions. We are very proud that MIRA and the New Americans Integration Institute were 2013 recepients of the Migration Policy Institute's E Pluribus Unum award, which honors exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States.

Partners and Allies

In pursuing these initiatives the Institute works with long-standing and new organizational partners, including community-based organizations, nonprofit groups, academic institutions, and state and local government bodies. MIRA is proud to have partnered with the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants to form the Massachusetts AmeriCorps New American Integration Program (NAIP), whose members have served at over 30 different immigrant- and refugee-serving organizations across Greater Boston, the North Shore, and the South Shore since 2011. NAIP AmeriCorps Members assist immigrants and refugees to gain economic stability and more fully participate in our society through improved English skills, becoming US citizens, developing job readiness skills and connecting with community resources. We are also excited at the recent launch of our second AmeriCorps program, Justice AmeriCorp Massachusetts. This initiative places attorneys at legal services agencies around the state to provide representation for unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central America.

These joint efforts are part of a nationwide move to reshape thinking and action in communities and the country as a whole to value the foreign-born as one of our greatest assets. MIRA joins in this effort with fellow members of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), which since 2008 has sponsored the National Immigrant Integration Conference.  MIRA's Executive Director serves as the NPNA co-chair. Now with 37 members in 31 states, NPNA has become a leading national voice for advancing immigrant rights and opportunities. Read the NPNA Principles of Immigrant Integration, authored by the Institute, here.

NAII Advisory Board

The Institute's work is supported by the experience, expertise and commitment of a distinguished Advisory Board that includes members from the nonprofit, government, academic, and private sectors.

Name Affiliation

Christine T. Brenner

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs
McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts Boston

Damon Cox

Director of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
The Boston Foundation

Emmanuel Franjul

Vice President
Frontier Capital Management Co., LLC

Hanna Gebretensae

Director
Eliot-Pearson Children's School
Tufts University

Alvaro Lima

Director of Research
Boston Planning & Development Authority

Suzette Brooks Masters

Immigrant Integration Strategist

Margie McHugh

Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy
Migration Policy Institute

Denzil Mohammed

Director, Public Education Institute
Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

Vinit Nijhawan

Managing Director, Technology Development Office
Lecturer, School of Management & Director of Enterprise Programs, ITEC
Boston University

Charles Smith

Senior Vice President - SBA Specialist
Eastern Bank

Alejandra St. Guillen

Director
Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement

Paul Watanabe

Director, Institute for Asian American Studies
Associate Professor, Political Science
University of Massachusetts Boston