Learning English as a second language can be about much more than studying grammar. As one group of students showed, it can also be about becoming more confident, independent, and integrated in their new community.  Read more.

Learn more about immigration issues

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Find out about the results of our grantmaking

MCF Strategic Plan:

Integration of Immigrants

Historically, immigrants have contributed significantly to the vitality of our country but have often faced challenges in becoming accepted as community members. By encouraging newcomers to become fully integrated into community life, we strengthen the democratic process, enrich the economy, and enliven our experience of the world. Within the next decade, a significant number of California's potential voters will be children of immigrant parents and will be in a position to influence public policy on both a local and national level. As immigrants in Marin gain economic self-sufficiency, their increased earning and purchasing power translates into a more resilient and competitive economy. Perhaps most importantly, appreciating and respecting the diversity of backgrounds from which we all come is critical to the health of our community.

Strategy: Support efforts to integrate immigrants into the community

New immigrants have difficulty accessing services due to challenges with language and cultural barriers, a lack of awareness of services, lack of transportation, and legal status. A spectrum of inter-related services is necessary to facilitate immigrant integration, with each area having the potential to reinforce the others. As a result, MCF is funding in these four areas:

Improving English language proficiency: Research suggests that English language acquisition is the gateway to economic advancement and is a viable strategy to achieve immigrant integration. In addition to basic English, the classes that MCF is funding train workers to learn the language of their workplace (e.g., childcare, landscaping, and health care).

Providing opportunities for economic advancement: This includes support for employment training programs and job matching programs.

Providing access to health, social, and legal residency services: This includes funding outreach and referral efforts as well as training service providers on how to improve responses to immigrants’ needs.

Offering ways that immigrants can be engaged in community-based efforts: This includes providing opportunities for leadership and civic participation, community planning and advocacy, and participation in cultural events. These kinds of activities provide venues for building understanding, respect, and tolerance among diverse groups, including immigrants and longer-term residents.

Grants made since the implementation of MCF’s Strategic Plan:

Grants
Organization Description Awarded Amount
Bay Area Organizing Committee To support immigrants' engagement in civic life. $40,000.00
Bay Area Organizing Committee To support integration of immigrants programs. $20,000.00
Canal Alliance To conduct a planning process for a municipal ID campaign for Marin County. $40,000.00
Canal Alliance To provide programs in ESL, economic advancement, access to services, and community engagement to immigrants in the Canal district. $385,000.00
Canal Alliance To support ESL classes, economic advancement and access to services for immigrants. $230,000.00
Canal Alliance To support integration of immigrants. $560,000.00
Canal Alliance To support the Canal Alliance Integrating Immigrants Project. $450,000.00
Canal Welcome Center To conduct a feasibility study for an open air market in the Canal district. $38,000.00
Canal Welcome Center To support a pilot leadership program and program evaluation. $20,000.00
College of Marin Foundation To provide college skills and career bridges for ESL students. $80,000.00
College of Marin Foundation To support integration of immigrants programs. $85,000.00
Community Action Marin To provide ESL classes, services, and community engagement opportunities to the Asian community in Marin. $15,000.00
Community Action Marin To support the Asian Access Resource project. $20,000.00
Community Action Marin To support the Asian Resource Access Project. $20,000.00
Community Action Marin To support the Marin Asian Advocacy Project. $15,000.00
Conservation Corps North Bay To provide immigrants with classes in English, job training, and other subjects, and assist immigrants to obtain services. $17,000.00
Conservation Corps North Bay To support Immigrant Corpsmember Development. $17,000.00
E3: Education, Excellence & Equity To support immigrant youth for higher education & leadership development. $20,000.00
E3: Education, Excellence & Equity To support integration of immigrants programs. $20,000.00
Fair Housing of Marin To implement new pilot initiatives to help immigrants understand their housing rights and responsibilities. $25,000.00
Family and Children's Law Center To train service providers on how to respond to immigrant clients' needs and educate immigrants about their rights. $20,000.00
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees To support learning on immigrant integration. $30,000.00
Jumpstart Network To support ESL classes. $5,000.00
Latino Council of Marin To provide assessment and technical support for immigration service providers. $10,000.00
Legal Aid of Marin To establish the Opportunity Center to provide access to jobs, services, ESL classes, and volunteer opportunities. $233,333.00
Legal Aid of Marin To support Marin Opportunity Centers. $150,000.00
Marin Child Care Council To support Abriendo Puertas - Opening Doors, a parent leadership and advocacy training program. $20,000.00
Marin Community Foundation To fund a consultant to conduct a study of immigration patterns in Marin. $42,500.00
Marin Community Foundation To support the assessment of English language instruction programs in Marin. $50,000.00
Marin Community Foundation To support the Immigration Working Group. $15,000.00
Marin Literacy Program To support ESL programs. $26,000.00
Marin Literacy Program To support literacy services for immigrants. $30,000.00
Marin Literacy Program To support the newcomer empowerment project. $20,000.00
Novato Community of Christ To support English classes. $5,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To support immigrant access to services. $40,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To support immigrant services. $30,000.00
Novato Human Needs Center To support immigration support services. $40,000.00
Novato Unified School District To support the Lynwood Family Literacy Program. $15,000.00
Novato Youth Center To support Vibrant Novato (Proyecto Vibrante de Novato). $50,000.00
Novato Youth Center To train health promotores to conduct outreach among immigrants in Novato. $116,667.00
Parent Services Project, Inc. To support the Mentores Project, a Canal neighborhood outreach project for underserved families. $25,000.00
Parent Services Project, Inc. To support the Mentores Project, a Canal neighborhood outreach project for underserved families. $25,000.00
Tamalpais Adult School To support English language proficiency. $30,000.00
Tamalpais Adult School To support ESL program for parents. $25,000.00
West Marin Community Services To assist immigrants in receiving services needed to integrate into the community. $3,500.00
West Marin Community Services To support integration of immmigrants. $5,000.00
West Marin Community Services To support the Community Resource Center. $15,000.00
West Marin Community Services To support the Community Resource Center. $20,000.00
Whistlestop To support the integration of immigrants through ESL classes. $5,000.00
Total Integration of Immigrants Grants: $3,219,000.00