New American Changemakers Program
The MIRA coalition has launched a New American Changemakers program to uplift the voices of newly naturalized U.S. citizens and create more opportunities for civic engagement and participation in MIRA’s advocacy work. Participants will attend a series of four workshops on topics related to understanding our local, state, and federal government structures, learning about MIRA’s key policy initiatives, and gaining skills to successfully advocate with policymakers. The program will also include participation in a civic engagement activity. Participants will receive a $250 scholarship to support their full participation. We aim to create long-lasting relationships with participants and plan to provide ongoing opportunities for civic engagement and involvement with MIRA’s work long after the program ends.
Content of the program: Fall 2023
Participants must be able to commit to participating in four virtual 90-minute workshops, as well as an in-person civic engagement activity, over the course of approximately 5 weeks. The Fall 2023 cohort will participate in the following sessions:
- Introductions and Civic Engagement Training – Tuesday, September 5, 2023 from 6pm-7:30pm
In this first workshop, participants will learn about the MIRA Coalition and we will have an open discussion on why and how to become civically engaged. We will talk about how we can be more educated and informed on issues that affect all us and the communities that we belong to, and be introduced to tools and strategies to make changes, from how to sign petitions to how to contact your state representative – and everything in between in this change journey.
- Government 101 – Tuesday, September 12, 2023 from 6pm-7:30pm
In this workshop, participants will learn about the structure of our local, state, and federal governments, who does what, and how decisions relevant to immigrants’ lives are made. We will also take a critical look at the US democratic system, who has power, and who is disenfranchised.
- Advocacy 101 – Tuesday, September 19, 2023 from 6pm-7:30pm
In this workshop, participants will learn about MIRA’s policy priorities and share what policy issues are important to them and their local communities. Participants will learn how to effectively meet with policymakers. By using role-playing exercises, we will learn how to express opinions on policy issues, balancing policy and storytelling. Participants will also learn to create and share advocacy materials with their network of family and friends.
- Reflection and Graduation – September 26, 2023 from 6pm-7:30pm
- In this final workshop, participants will reflect on what they have learned in this program, and how they plan to use the new information and resources. We will conclude with a virtual graduation and certificate ceremony.
- Civic Engagement Activity – TBD
Participants of the Fall2023 cohort, will have an opportunity to participate in one of MIRA’s civic engagement events, including voter registration or volunteering at a citizenship clinic.
Participants who complete the entire program (4 workshops plus civic engagement activity) will receive a $250 scholarship. The scholarship is meant to reward participants for their time and commitment to greater engagement in their communities, and ensure equitable access to the program for those who may need additional support in order to participate. Scholarship funds will be disbursed following the first session, and then upon completion of the program.
Who can apply?
New Americans (naturalized citizens) living in Massachusetts are eligible to apply for participation in the program. If you have any questions about participating in this program please contact our citizenship team at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to apply:
Click here to complete the short online application. Deadline to apply is August 15, 2023.
Read the experiences from our second cohort, Spring Class of 2023