The City of Dreams: NIIC Comes to New York
November 2, 2015
By Steven Choi, Executive Director of The New York Immigration Coalition
“You can literally travel the world by coming to Brooklyn,” says Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and Board Member of the New York Immigration Coalition. It’s true: New York has one of the most diverse populations in the entire country, with more than 4 million immigrants in the state making up nearly a quarter of its entire population. About a third of New York State’s immigrants hail from Latin America, more than a quarter are from Asia, and 1 of 5 are from the Caribbean or Africa—with significant numbers coming from virtually everywhere on the globe. Chinatown, Little Italy, the Ukrainian Village—everywhere you go, you’ll witness evidence of the cultural diversity that makes this city—and country—so great.
That’s why this year, the New York Immigration Coalition is proud to serve as the local co-host for the 2015 National Immigrant Integration Conference – New American Dreams: Advancing Opportunity, Equality and Justice (NIIC). NIIC has grown from a small convening of leaders to the largest gathering focused on immigrant integration in the United States. Previous conferences have been exciting events that brought together policy, corporate, nonprofit, labor, academic, faith, community and philanthropic sectors from across the country to shape policy initiatives and community solutions. Now in its eighth year, NIIC will have over 1,000 of these key allies and stakeholders present—the biggest NIIC yet.
Coming to town on December 13-15, 2015 in Brooklyn, the conference features more than 30 sessions, covering 11 different issue areas and giving participants the opportunity to discuss the biggest barriers to integration facing immigrant communities and to build solutions for integration. In addition, attendees will have the chance to explore New York’s diverse immigrant communities through “NIIC ♥s Immigrants” tours. As you’ll discover between panel discussions and visits to the city’s historical landmarks and cultural institutions, there’s truly no better place to host this event than New York.
But NIIC is not just about New York, of course. With a presidential election year just around the corner, and with immigration undoubtedly one of the debates’ hot-button issues, NIIC is a critical convening to collectively articulate what our national vision for immigrant integration looks like. Politicians from both parties have discussed comprehensive immigration reform, administrative relief for undocumented immigrants, and border control, among other issues—many unfortunately resorting to anti-immigrant rhetoric in the process.
We think NIIC can be part of the antidote. We ask our participants: What are your dreams for yourself as an immigrant? For your friends who are immigrants? For your communities? How can we work together to include New Americans better in our neighborhoods and all across the country? What’s your new American Dream?
Join us at NIIC this December 13-15, 2015 at the New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NY to take this conversation to the next level. Visit NIIC2015.org for more info.