Thursday, May 4, 2023
New I-Belong Fund Aims to Provide BIPOC and Immigrant-led Organizations Practical Tools to Develop Innovative, Pro-immigrant Media and Storytelling Content
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Tides Foundation has launched the Immigrants Belong (I-Belong) Fund to build and leverage the narrative and storytelling power of immigrant communities and proximate leaders in the U.S. to foster a pro-immigrant future based on shared values and belonging.
I-Belong will bring together 10 frontline Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and immigrant-led nonprofit organizations to disrupt harmful anti-immigrant narratives and shift the national conversation on immigration. The foundation has selected Define American, a narrative change organization that uses the power of narrative to redefine the immigrant story in mass media, to facilitate the “Community of Practice” that will guide the frontline organizations through a rigorous narrative learning curriculum.
“We believe a just and equitable future can only exist when all people feel they belong regardless of their country of origin. Digital campaigns that sow division and mistrust of others is one of our country’s most pressing issues today,” said Alex Rojas, senior advisor of philanthropy at the Tides Foundation. “This fund is meant to strengthen and leverage the power and capacity of immigrant changemakers, so they have the opportunity to develop narratives that accurately reflect their lived experiences and reclaim their humanity and promise. Define American is the right partner to facilitate this learning journey because of its long-standing commitment to humanzing immigrant storytelling.”
I-Belong will build on an already significant body of research and learning across the immigrant justice movement to combat xenophobia and misinformation through narrative change. The fund will support and strengthen the power of selected frontline, immigrant-led partner organizations to join I-Belong’s 2023 Community of Practice to redefine the immigrant story in mass media.
Define American will co-design a rigorous narrative learning curriculum that will provide selected grantees an opportunity to learn, create, and build new narratives about their respective communities. As lead facilitator, Define American will oversee the Community of Practice’s learning, connect them with experts in content creation and dissemination, host media trainings, and produce information accessible to the broader immigrant justice movement.
“With the 2024 election cycle fast approaching, the anti-immigration machine is expected to sow partisanship and strife for political gain,” said Shauna Siggelkow, director of digital storytelling at Define American. “We’re honored to have been selected as the lead facilitator organization for this incredible project from the Tides Foundation to help fight against mis- and disinformation. This partnership will help us support and equip a network of organizations at the forefront of this work with the resources to fight back and shape a more accurate narrative of the immigrant experience.”
The organizations selected for I-Belong’s 2023 Community of Practice are:
- Aliento Arizona – Aliento is a youth-led organization that serves undocumented, DACA, and mixed immigration status families. Through arts, organizing, education, and leadership development, Aliento aims to transform trauma into hope and action.
- American Business Immigration Coalition – The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.
- Asian American Advocacy Fund – Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta is the first nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in Georgia and the Southeast.
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration – The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) was formed to bring Black voices together to advocate for equality and justice in our laws and our communities.
- Comunidades Indígenas en liderazgo – CIELO is an Indigenous women-led, intergenerational organization that is combating racism towards Indigenous people by bringing visibility and resources to the Indigenous migrant communities.
- Florida Immigrant Coalition – The Florida Immigrant Coalition’s (FLIC) mission is to grow the connection, capacity, and consciousness of communities to strengthen pro-immigrant power in Florida.
- Justice Action Center – The Justice Action Center (JAC) is a new nonprofit dedicated to achieving greater justice for immigrant communities through a unique blend of litigation and storytelling strategies.
- La Union del Pueblo Entero – Founded by labor rights activists César Chávez & Dolores Huerta, LUPE builds stronger, healthier communities where colonia residents use the power of civic engagement for social change.
- Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition – The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) is a statewide, immigrant- and refugee-led collaboration that advocates for a stronger, more inclusive Tennessee where people of all nationalities, immigration statuses, and racial identities can belong and thrive.
- Texas Civil Rights Project – The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) believes that legal advocacy and litigation are critical tools to protect and advance the civil rights of everyone in Texas, particularly our state’s most vulnerable populations, and to effect positive and lasting change to law and policy.
About Define American
Define American is a narrative change organization that uses the power of storytelling to humanize conversations about immigrants. We conduct original, cutting-edge research to identify narratives that inspire people to action. Our advocacy within entertainment, digital media, and the arts is creating an America where everyone belongs. Define American was founded in 2011 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and has been named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company. For more information about our programmatic work, visit defineamerican.com.
About Tides Foundation
Tides is a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice. Tides works at the nexus of funders and changemakers, developing innovative solutions that enhance philanthropic giving and grantmaking, impact investing, fiscal sponsorship, collaborative workspaces, and policy initiatives. Applying our equity-centered lens, we work closely with our partners to shift power to BIPOC leaders, their organizations, and those who face systemic barriers to power.
Media contact: tides.org/media-relations/