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Exceptional Immigrant Integration Initiatives in Adult Education, Community Revitalization, Cross-Program Coordination and Health-Care Access Honored with Prestigious National Award

Press Release
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Exceptional Immigrant Integration Initiatives in Adult Education, Community Revitalization, Cross-Program Coordination and Health-Care Access Honored with Prestigious National Award

WASHINGTON — The Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy today announced the winners of its 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives. This year’s prizes honor the nation’s first adult-focused charter school for cutting-edge adult basic education and workforce training programs that have helped tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees in Washington, D.C.; a Minnesota non-profit that works to revitalize low-income neighborhoods in the Twin Cities by empowering immigrant entrepreneurs to transform their local economy from within; and a Massachusetts coalition that is coordinating efforts of a wide range of community, government and business partners to help immigrants and refugees contribute more fully to the economic, civic and social fabric of the Commonwealth. Each winner is being given a $50,000 award.

The E Pluribus Unum Corporate Leadership Award goes to a national not-for-profit health plan that has been in the vanguard of efforts over the past decade to create innovative, scalable approaches that address the linguistic and cultural needs of patients, and thereby improve overall health-care quality and outcomes.

The E Pluribus Unum winners reflect the diversity of actors in the public and private sectors that are involved in immigrant integration efforts at the state and local levels. The winners will be honored tonight during an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. featuring a keynote address by Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, author of the recent Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.

The prizes program, established by MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy with generous support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, seeks to encourage the adoption of effective integration practices and to inspire others to take on the important work of integrating immigrants and their children so they can become full participants in U.S. society.

The E Pluribus Unum winners (click on links for more detail about each initiative) are:

  • Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, Washington, DC: A nationally recognized leader in the field of work-focused English and skills training, the school offers cutting-edge adult basic education and workforce training programs coupled with comprehensive support services that dramatically boost success for its adult immigrant and refugee students. Since 1970, the nation’s first adult-focused charter school has helped more than 60,000 students learn English, obtain educational degrees and workforce certifications that allow them to start jobs and climb career ladders, and become U.S. citizens, voters and home owners.
  • Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA): For over 25 years, MIRA has been the leading organization in New England promoting the rights and successful integration of immigrants and refugees. Building on its earlier success in getting Massachusetts to adopt a New Americans Agenda focused on improving integration outcomes, MIRA in 2011 launched its New Americans Integration Institute. The Integration Institute aims to help newcomers contribute more fully to the economic, civic and social fabric of the United States. It does so through policy-oriented research, training and stakeholder partnerships that promote effective policies and programs to address critical integration issues such as the credentialing of underemployed immigrant workers.
  • Neighborhood Development Center, Twin Cities, MN: This non-profit has worked to revitalize communities in 25 diverse low-income neighborhoods in St. Paul and Minneapolis since 1993. The Center has provided training to more than 4,250 entrepreneurs, including nearly 1,500 immigrants, and $10 million in small business financing, nearly half to new and existing immigrant-owned businesses. More than 450 NDC-assisted businesses are in operation, including a tortilla factory, a taxi company, barbershops and an Ethiopian restaurant. NDC also owns and manages six business incubators housing 120 small enterprises, the majority operated by immigrants. NDC is a national leader in both the community development and immigrant integration fields, providing culturally and linguistically competent services and forging partnerships with a wide range of community stakeholders.
  • Kaiser Permanente: Winner of the E Pluribus Unum Corporate Leadership Award, Kaiser Permanente focuses on the elimination of racial and ethnic health-care disparities and has been in the vanguard of efforts to create innovative, scalable approaches that address the cultural and linguistic needs of patients, and thereby improve overall health-care quality and outcomes. Its industry-leading training, testing and certification process for multilingual staff who serve as health-care interpreters, as well as for the physicians who speak with patients in languages other than English, helps to improve the quality of patient care while also capitalizing on the organization’s diverse workforce. Based in Oakland, CA, Kaiser Permanente serves more than 9 million members in eight states (California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, Oregon and Washington) and the District of Columbia.

“We are honored to be able to recognize some of the most exceptional work that is being done across the United States to help immigrants build their new lives. The success of immigration ultimately turns on immigrants and their children becoming full participants in the economic and civic life of the United States,” said Margie McHugh, co-director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. “Many thousands of dedicated and savvy groups and individuals support today’s immigrants and refugees with the process of integration and it is truly exciting to be able to shine a spotlight on those that rose to the top of this year’s competition.”

Said MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix, who co-directs the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy: “Our award winners demonstrate through their innovative, proven and replicable programs that they are many effective ways to promote the success of newcomers and their families in the classroom, workplace and broader society.”

Profiles, videos and more information about the honorees can be found at www.integrationawards.org.

For more information or to set up interviews with award winners, please contact Michelle Mittelstadt at 202-266-1910 or mmittelstadt@migrationpolicy.org.

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The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. Its National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is a crossroads for policymakers, state and local agency managers, local service providers and others seeking to respond to the challenges and opportunities today’s high rates of immigration create in local communities. For more on MPI, visit www.migrationpolicy.org.