The Bold Idea
The Bold Idea is a new endeavor that seeks to bring together practitioners, academics, policy makers, and funders from both within and beyond the AlumniCorps network for dialogue and action over a three-year period. Inspired partly by previous issue-based projects undertaken in its early years, like the Tuberculosis Initiative (1997-2002), the Bold Idea enables AlumniCorps to mobilize the resources, strengths, and experiences of the hundreds of partner organizations within its network. In doing so, the Bold Idea offers an opportunity both to make a defined, palpable impact on an issue of public interest and to advance the development of AlumniCorps’ network by cultivating established relationships and inaugurating new ones.
The current iteration of the Bold Idea is a two-year pilot focusing on immigration issues. AlumniCorps, in partnership with Appleseed, a network of 17 public interest centers in the United States and Mexico, received a grant from the Hewlett Foundation to promote network-based collaboration focused on the issues facing immigrants and refugees. Using the combined expertise and networks of both organizations, the Bold Idea aims to narrow down and define key issues, map thought leaders and resources, convene experts and stakeholders to set a common collaborative agenda, and support the advancement of efforts designed in response to the agenda.
To learn more about the Bold Idea, please contact the AlumniCorps Bold Idea Fellow, Sahand Keshavarz Rahbar (firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-921-8808 ext. 225).
Bold Idea News & Resources
- Notes from the 4/11/18 “Trauma in Immigrant & Refugee Communities” Bold Idea Webinar
- Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation: A Guide for Practitioners Assisting Immigrant Families
As millions of immigrant families face fear and uncertainty, Appleseed has recently updated our 2012 manual. This one-of-a-kind resource is designed for immigrants and those who work with them: the host of attorneys, nurses, social workers, financial services professionals, and religious workers who are stepping up in challenging times.
Immigration Network Directory - AlumniCorps and Appleseed have set up and launched a network directory using a platform called Airtable, which provides user-friendly databases that appear like spreadsheets. This immigration network directory is accessible to anyone with the link and includes two separate lists: one that contains the names, interests, areas of expertise, and contact information for network members, and one that contains tangible resources—research articles, presentation materials, and manuals—uploaded by network members. You can access the directory using this link. To learn more about its basic features, check out this brief guide.
Chicago Gathering - In response to the interest of network members in a follow-up gathering that would focus on local issues pertaining to immigration, AlumniCorps and Appleseed hosted a gathering for our Chicago network members on June 7. Chicago was chosen as the site of this gathering because of its unique position as a site of mutual strength for both organizations: Appleseed has a Chicago center, and AlumniCorps has a well-established cohort of Project 55 Fellows and alumni, along with historical connections to dozens of nonprofit partner organizations. The gathering, entitled “From Learning to Action: Working with Chicago’s Immigrant Communities,” provided a chance for AlumniCorps partner organizations and program participants to connect with one another and learn more about Chicago-specific immigration issues from subject-matter experts. The morning half of the gathering included a panel with Seemi Choudry, the Director of the Office of New Americans in the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, and Margaret Benson, the Executive Director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. The afternoon half of the gathering consisted of a group conversation during which participants shared insights with one another about the work they do with Chicago’s immigrant communities.
Reunions Panel - In line with the Bold Idea initiative, AlumniCorps hosted a panel discussion, “In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities,” during Princeton Reunions. Nearly 42 people attended the panel, which featured Phillip Connor, senior researcher at Pew Research Center; Jose Quinonez, Founder and CEO of the Mission Asset Fund; Maribel Hernandez Rivera, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives at the NYC Mayor’s Office; and Maya Wahrman, former Project 55 Fellow and Program Assistant in Forced Migration at the Princeton University Office of Religious Life.
Bold Idea Webinar: Trauma - As part of the Bold Idea initiative, Princeton AlumniCorps and Appleseed hosted a webinar presentation and Q/A on the topic of trauma and mental health in immigrant and refugee communities on April 11. The Bold Idea, funded by the Hewlett Foundation, aims to promote network-based collaboration and education on issues related to immigration and forced migration. 160 viewers from all over the United States tuned in to listen and learn from Dr. Usha Tummala-Narra and Dr. Maria Nardone about the various aspects of trauma, including the effects of the current political climate on mental wellness and the generational impact of chronic stress on immigrant families. If you’re interested in watching the recorded webinar, you can check it out here. You can also view the presentation slides here.
October 16 & 17, 2017- On October 16 and 17, Princeton AlumniCorps hosted a convening at Princeton University enabling dialogue and promoting action on immigration and refugee issues. The meeting, a launch of AlumniCorps’ new Bold Idea initiative, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, brought together nonprofit and public interest organizations, practitioners, academics, policymakers, and funders. Read more about this convening on our Shared Effort blog.