And Justice For All: The State of Black Immigrants at the NIIC

The National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) 2016 begins this Sunday - will you be there?

More than 1000 leaders from across the field will gather in Nashville to cast a vision for our collective future. As we chart our path ahead, it's critical that we center racial justice in our movement for immigrant rights. We're so excited to announce the line-up for one of the critical conversation's we'll be having on the plenary mainstage.

And Justice For All: The State of Black Immigrants and the Movement for Black Lives

This plenary will feature expert panelists exploring the experiences of Black immigrants, including refugees, asylees and those who are undocumented, and discussing the importance of centering racial justice in our work towards creating inclusive, progressive immigration policy. Attendees will also hear key findings and policy recommendations from the groundbreaking report "The State of Black Immigrants" published by the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and New York University Law School.

Amaha Kassa, Founder and Exeuctive Director of African Communities Together (ACT). Amaha is an Ethiopian Immigrant with 22 years of professional experience as a labor and community organizer. For 9 years he directed the East Bay Alliance for Sustainable Economy (EBASE). Prior to launching ACT, Amaha received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. 

Anshantia "Tia" Oso, National Organizer of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). Tia is responsible for developing and implementing strategy for BAJI's national campaigns, coalitions and programs as well as manages BAJI's flagship project--the Black Immigration Network (BIN)--a national network of over 40 organizations in communities serving African-Americans and immigrants of African descent to build relationships, develop skills, and advance an agenda for immigrant rights and racial justice.

Francesca Menes, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC). She leads the development and implementation of strategic legislative Policy and voter engagement campaigns at FLIC. In addition, she sits on the National Steering Committee of the Black Immigration Network and co-coordinated the #Rights4ALLinDRcampaign. Francesca was born and raised in Miami's Little Haiti Community.


Representative-elect Ilhan Omar, Minnesota House Representative. A former refugee, she is the first Somali-American, Muslim women in the nation to hold an office at this level. Representative-elect Omar's interests in politics began at the age of 14, when she was an interpreter for her grandfather and watched neighbors come together to advocate for change at the grassroots level. Through her work as a policy analyst and community advocate, she has advocated for important issues including support for working families, educational access, environmental protection, and racial equality. 

Jonathan Jayes-Green, Coordinator of the UndocuBlack Network. Jonathan is an undocumented Afro-Latino from Panama and was raised in Maryland. He has served as the Administrator of the Governor's Commission on Hispanic and Caribbean Affairs for the Governor of Maryland, lobbied and advocated for the passage of the Maryland Dream Act, and joined a joint campaign with Equality Maryland to advocate for an intersectional understanding of undocumented LGBT folks affected by both the Dream Act and Marriage Equality. 

Also, mark your calendar for a special session hosted by the Advancement Project and the National Immigration Law Center on Sunday evening, December 11th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm for immigrant advocates to sharpen their storytelling skill and strengthen their capacity to engage in solidarity work and intersectional organizing.

Black immigrants are invited to join the Black Alliance for Just Immigration for an informal caucus before the NIIC starts on Sunday, December 11th from 12:00pm - 1:15pm.

See the conference website for more information on these panelists and the all of the other amazing speakers, track leads and performances at the NIIC 2016. Be there in person and join the conversation. Register today!

See you in Nashville,
Stephanie Teatro, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
Lindsey Harris, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
Tara Raghuveer, National Partnership for New Americans
Cynthia Greenberg, National Immigrant Integration Conference