American Muslim Voice is taking part
in the VOICES Project
The American Muslim Voice is taking part in the VOICES Project (Voting & Organizing in Immigrant communities through Education & Support), a new federal immigration reform initiative that aims to support the civic participation of immigrants through the creation of a network of immigrant communities in Santa Clara County
Only the following six communities are chosen for this project: Iranian, Latino, Korean, Muslims/Pakistanis, Vietnamese, Western Africans, West African refugees.
An important component of the Project is a needs-assessment research study that looks at the needs and concerns of immigrants in Santa Clara County. This study will greatly inform a pro-immigrant rights agenda for our future work.
To assess the Community’s needs, we are conducting focus groups to interview various members of the immigrant community. As a VOICES Community Organizer for the Muslim immigrants, the AMV would like to take this opportunity to invite you to be a part of the Needs-Assessment Focus Group for our Community.
Overview of the VOICES project
The VOICES project was created to support the civic participation of underserved immigrant communities in Santa Clara County. While making up the majority of the County’s total population, immigrants have been battling to have more influence on federal policies and issues that affect them. In the past 10 years and especially since 9-11, immigrant communities have fought for policies that expand legalization and refugee admissions, defend civil rights and civil liberties, promote family reunification, and protect rights at work. The goal of the VOICES project is to unite those voices and create a network of immigrant communities in Santa Clara County to hold legislators accountable and advocate for better federal polices for all. Together, we are stronger and our voices louder.
This yearlong initiative will consist of several phases:
Nov-Dec 2004: SELECTION OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS
A VOICES Advisory Board will be responsible for selecting Immigrant Community Organizers to be a main driving force of the Project. The selected Organizers will be expected to attend trainings on leadership development, cultural diversity and policy advocacy (amongst other issues).
Jan- Feb 2004: FOCUS GROUP FACILITATION
Community Organizers will be trained to conduct focus groups within their communities to identify the major issues and concerns affecting immigrants.
Feb- March 2005: CREATION OF A UNITED POLICY AGENDA
Community Organizers will be expected to report back the results of the focus groups. They will also be expected to participate in a meeting to form a multi-ethnic policy agenda that unites the common concerns of different immigrant groups under one pro-immigrant agenda.
March - Aug 2005: POLICY ADVOCACY
VOICES participants will learn how to actively engage other communities in their struggles. They will be taught advocacy and leadership skills as they participate in the Immigrant Civic Accountability Network (“I CAN”)
Aug – Sep 2005: EVALUATION OF THE PROJECT
VOICES organizers and participants will evaluate and analyze the successes and setbacks of the VOICES project. We will plan and organize a retreat to assess the efficacy of the project and reevaluate federal policy reform platform to strategize about future goals and objectives.
February 10, 2005