Welcome Home: A Funder Learning Tour with Maine's Immigrants and Refugees

June 6, 2019 @ 7:30AM — June 7, 2019 @ 4:00PM

Join us to learn more about the immigrant experience in the Rural Northeast

Welcome Home: A Funder Learning Tour with Maine's Immigrants and Refugees image

Making a Philanthropic Impact for Maine's Immigrants and Refugees

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Welcome Home: A Funder Learning Tour with Maine's Immigrants and Refugees

Save the date for this informative funder learning tour on Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7. This program is hosted by the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Funders Collaborative, and co-sponsored by the Broad Reach Fund, The Clowes Fund, Maine Health Access Foundation, MaineHealth, Sam L. Cohen Foundation, John T. Gorman Foundation, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Coffee By Design, Maine Community Foundation, and Maine Initiatives.

Participants will learn about Maine's immigration landscape - the urgency of the current immigration context and the innovative and collaborative ways the state's nonprofit sector is addressing new community needs. Over two days, funders and philanthropists will visit innovative immigrant-led organizations, learn more about Maine's vibrant immigrant community, and connect with other funders and community leaders working on immigrant-related issues.

Site visits, speakers panels, and breakout sessions will cover topics that intersect at multiple funding priorities: workforce development, education, legal advocacy, public policy, women's empowerment, service delivery, and civic engagement. Immigrant leaders, community activists, and other nonprofit leaders will share practices in community empowerment, civic engagement, and trauma-informed approaches to education and service provision. Throughout the program, funders and philanthropists will learn how peers have responded to Maine's changing immigration landscape and will consider other opportunities to empower Maine's immigrant families.


Day 1:

  • Begin with a deep dive into Maine's immigration landscape. Local leaders will kick off our event with an overview of changing demographic and economic trends, followed by a briefing on Maine's current immigration law policy, pitfalls, and opportunities. The first set of breakout sessions will focus on health equity, rural economic development, and community-based organizations.
  • After lunch choose between two bus tours of Lewiston, Maine: a community walking tour exploring the changing demographics of the city through the lens of education, social services, and cross-cultural conversations, or a farm tour centered on sustainable agriculture and cooperative economics with Maine's refugee community.
  • Wrap-up the day with a lively reception at the Portland Press Hotel. Make new connections, explore ideas for action, and experience vibrant arts and culture components that will shine a light on Maine's local talent.

Day 2:

  • Kick-off Day Two with site visits in Portland, Maine: choose between a tour of educational innovation both in school and after school or visits centered on a dynamic workforce development pipeline engaging local government, businesses, and nonprofits.
  • Continue the conversation and hear from immigrant-serving organizations on the front lines during a series of panels and breakout sessions. Choose from topics - civic engagement, women's empowerment, language acquisition, culturally appropriate response strategies, housing, and youth engagement out-of-school - that relate to specific grantmaking priorities or areas for additional exploration.
  • Conclude your experience with a funder exchange: share ideas, experiences that resonated, outstanding questions, and next steps for engagement.