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Center for Immigrant Families

Award Recipients - 2001

Ujju Aggarwal, Donna Nevel, Amy Velez, coodinators

Ujju Aggarwal, Donna Nevel, Amy Velez created The Center for Immigrant Families to advance human rights of immigrants families and engage community members in collective efforts for social change.  The Center works primarily with low-income immigrant women of color and relies on a “Participatory action research” approach to organizing that believes in a community’s participation in its transformation.”  This model connects psychological issues with social, political, legal and economic needs.  “Through an empowerment process that includes workshops, trainings, and campaigns that emphasizes people’ histories, culture, and experiences, The Center builds community power for social justice.”
The Center conducts workshops with headstart center and service agencies that have not typically had an organizing component and with community groups interested in strengthening their work.  Participants can also pursue ‘organizing for change’ training, which include issue analysis, long-term planning and organizational building sessions.  Most participants become activists in their communities and children’s schools, create support around child care and domestic abuse, and connect to women’s and international campaigns.  Participants have joined efforts to enact universal pre-k legislation and bi-lingual education.  For participants, this is often their first experience with the “self-empowerment linked to cooperative leadership and democratic social action,” that characterize The Center’s programs.


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