Please save the date to attend NIIC 2013 November 17th through 19th in Miami Florida!

NIIC 2013 Hosts

 Florida Immigrant Coalition seeks fair treatment for all Floridians, including immigrants, and their integration into the civic, economic and cultural life of our communities. Read more.

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. Read more


The National Partnership for New Americans (the Partnership) advances the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just and welcoming democracy for all. Read more.


Connect with NIIC 2013




African-American and Pan-Immigrant Communities

Track Description:

It is increasingly important to understand the intersections of African-American and immigrant communities in the face of rapidly changing demographics and real and perceived lines of difference, particularly with respect to race, ethnicity and immigration. This track will equip participants with the tools necessary to create thriving communities and organizations among African Americans and diverse immigrant groups. Topics include understanding the diversity within the immigrant community, building alliances amongst African Americans and immigrant communities, harnessing the power of faith communities, and creating a unifying narrative around race and immigration.

African-American and Pan-Immigrant Communities sessions were organized by Rhonda Ortiz of the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, Dushaw Hockett of SPACEs, and Ana Garcia-Ashley of Gamaliel.

The Black “Community” and the “Black Experience” in the Twenty-first Century

Workshop Date:       Sunday, Sept. 23
Workshop Time:      10:30-12:00

Workshop Description: This is primarily a knowledge-building session to share information on the shifting demographics in the country and the questions, challenges and opportunities these shifts present for use of the terms “Black,” “African-American,” and “African.” We will present research on the demographics of immigrants of African descent across the nation and the changing demographics of traditionally African-American communities. African immigrants will share why and how they have come to reside in the United States. Finally, we will discuss on-the-ground work to connect the dots between constituencies, specifically the intersections of immigrant and African-American communities and the opportunities for building alliances together.


  • Amaha Kassa, Executive Director, African Immigrant Diaspora Alliance
  • Francesca Menes, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Florida Immigrant Coalition
  • Ejim Dike, Executive Director, Human Rights Network    


  • Manuel Pastor, Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California / Co-Director, USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration


A New Place on Race: Thinking, Talking and Acting on Race and Immigration

Workshop Date:       Sunday, Sept. 23
Workshop Time:      1:45-3:15

Workshop Description: This highly interactive session will introduce participants to the tools and approaches that social justice organizations and local governments use to create spaces for relationship-building across real and perceived differences. This includes exploring how we can harness the power of our minds to further intergroup alliance-building. The session will invite participants into a discussion about a new vision for intergroup relations work and introduce online and offline aspects of a resource center designed to help people navigate these differences and build a deeper sense of community.


  • Angela Stuesse, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of South Florida
  • Dushaw Hocket, Executive Director, Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs)


Understanding the Issues that Crosscut Communities

Workshop Date:       Monday, Sept. 24
Workshop Time:      10:30-12:00

Workshop Description: Disparities in education and health care persist between African-American and pan-immigrant communities and across the nation at large. This session seeks to explore the history and nature of joint issues that equally affect African Americans, the children of immigrants, and recent immigrants. This will include discussions of how African-American and immigrant rights groups can engage in campaigns to create healthier and stronger communities.


  • Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Beth Glenn, Director of Education Programs, NAACP
  • Amne Darwish Talab, Social Services Director, ACCESS


  • Ana Garcia-Ashley, Executive Director, Gamaliel


Building “Community” and Power When Communities are Changing

Workshop Date:       Monday, Sept. 24
Workshop Time:      1:50-3:20

Workshop Description: America is becoming a true world nation that is increasingly multiracial and multicultural. The media focuses on the tensions and conflicts between African Americans and immigrants as they overlap/intersect more and more in their neighborhoods and the workforce. But several stories are missing in that portrayal: the daily accommodations in our neighborhoods and schools; the common struggles to reduce disproportionate incarceration; and organizing efforts around housing, jobs and the environment that have crossed the boundaries of race. Missing is the story of collaboration in the face of conflict. This session will focus on strategies to build strong African-American/immigrant alliances that deal honestly with points of tension and work toward a stronger, more just community.


  • Cathy Montoya, Director of Field Immigration and Capacity Building Initiatives, The Leadership Conference
  • Saket Soni, Executive Director, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice
  • Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA de Maryland


  • Gerald Lenoir, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration


The Power of Spirit and Culture to Make A Way Out of No Way

Workshop Date: Monday, Sept. 24
Workshop Time: 3:30-5:00

Workshop Description: Particularly tailored for religious institutions and others that lead with faith, spirit, and culture in their work, this session aims to harness the power of faith to create stronger and closer communities. We will discuss faith-based organizations’ efforts to bring people together via faith, beliefs and spirituality by highlighting models for using multilingual faith initiatives, responding to changing congregations and utilizing places of worship to celebrate culture and traditions.


  • Reverend Dennis Jacobsen, Incarnation Lutheran Church
  • Rabbi Ron Simon, Jewish Spiritual Leader


  • Ana Garcia Ashley, Executive Director, Gamaliel