Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation


New Grants Support Immigrant Families Facing Deportation

Today, we are proud to announce new grants through our Immigrant Rights Fund, a special initiative created by our donors in the weeks after the 2016 presidential election to build a boroughwide response to unjust government policy changes threatening Brooklyn’s immigrants and their families.

We have committed a minimum of $1 million over the next four years to support local organizations working for immigrant rights as they address both immediate and long-term needs, from legal assistance, community safety, and social services to advocacy, organizing, and leadership development. Nearly 40% of Brooklyn residents—950,000 people—are foreign-born; it is estimated that 172,000 Brooklynites are undocumented.

“Brooklyn is showing the rest of the country what strength and unity look like in the face of division and injustice. Our borough’s nonprofits, religious institutions, community organizations, and resident advocates are coming together in inspiring and effective ways to protect and provide sanctuary for immigrant families—who are such a vital part of our borough and our neighborhoods. These new grants bolster their critical work, and are a strong statement from our donors that we stand together against injustice.”

- Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke

In February, we awarded $95,000 to eight local organizations to support Immediate Response efforts in the wake of the since-halted executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries as well as new refugee admissions. 

These new grants are aimed at long-term challenges, including increased threats of deportations that would separate parents and children, as well as continued funding for advocacy and organizing.

Sustained Response Grants (Spring 2017)

  • $20,000 for the Sanctuary Families Project at the Center for Family Life (CFL), which supports immigrant parents at risk of deportation and mobilizes community allies to create long-term child care plans for children remaining in the United States. CFL will work with up to 100 immigrant families in Sunset Park and will recruit, train and certify a cohort of neighborhood-based kinship and foster parents who will be prepared to serve as sanctuary families for children. Funding will also support a partnership with the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) to develop and distribute 1,000 “Visual Guardianship Guides” that illustrate guardianship choices for immigrant families.
  • $20,000 to Faith in New York to mobilize local congregations in support of immigrant rights. Key strategies include the Faith Over Fear Emergency Response Network, which provides immediate legal aid, mobilizes supporters in the faith community, and builds awareness of mass deportation issues; monthly trainings for congregations that have offered their houses of worship as a safe sanctuary for immigrants in case of large-scale deportations; Know Your Rights workshops for immigrant communities; and a civic engagement strategy to mobilize support for an immigrant justice platform, including a municipal voting campaign, candidate forums, boot camps for congregations and faith leaders, and voter outreach.
  • $10,000 to New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) to support immigrant-led efforts that mobilize interfaith congregations to defend families facing deportation, build awareness of unjust immigration policies, and serve as witnesses in immigration court and detention centers. NSC is developing a cohort of Sanctuary Congregations in Brooklyn and citywide to provide housing for individuals and families at risk of deportation while they pursue a stay of deportation or suspension of their case entirely. Funds also support leadership trainings, ongoing legal clinics, and a rapid response volunteer network of immigrants and allies.
  • $10,000 for Safe Horizon’s Immigration Law Project (ILP) to expand services to immigrant victims of crime, abuse, domestic violence, trafficking, and torture in Brooklyn—particularly those with complex immigration matters, at risk of being removed from the United States. Funds will also increase training for frontline staff at community-based social service agencies so that they are informed on current immigration policies and practices. This includes staff at local hospitals, schools, shelters, and places of worship.

Read more in our official announcement here.

Liane Stegmaier

Chief of Staff (She/Her/Hers)
Nearly 40% of Brooklyn residents—950,000 people—are foreign-born; it is estimated that 172,000 Brooklynites are undocumented.