Standing Up Naturalization in Your City: What does it take?

This session will explore how multiple sectors can develop and implement a successful coordinated naturalization program. Panelists will discuss models for the contributions of municipalities, business, and CBO’ s to advance citizenship efforts. What is the necessary funding and where can it come from? What is necessary to create effective partnerships with immigrant organizations? Practitioners at all levels can explore improving their efficiencies with new stakeholders to create greater capacity for naturalization in their cities. Speakers:

  • Alaa Mukahhal, Program Manager, National Partnership for New Americans -- Alaa Mukahhal is a Kuwaiti born Palestinian raised on Chicago’s southside. She has organized undocumented communities before joining the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA). In her capacity as the Citizenship Project Manager at NPNA, Alaa has worked with the twelve core members of NPNA to set up citizenship programs across the U.S. that have assisted over 25,000 immigrants to become U.S. citizens.
  • Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, NYC Mayors Office of Immigrant Affairs -- Nisha Agarwal is an accomplished public interest lawyer and a leading voice in immigration reform at the local and national level. She brings to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs an entrepreneurial drive and a proven record of enacting pro-immigrant legislation in New York City and New York State. Agarwal received her B.A. summa cum laude from Harvard College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
  • Stephanie Teatro, Co-Executive Director, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition -- Stephanie Teatro is the Co-Director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state. Stephanie leads TIRRC's programs to build the capacity of grassroots immigrant leaders to speak for themselves, to engage fully in the civic process, and to advocate for policies that make it easier for everyone to fully participate in public life. Stephanie serves on the board of the National Partnership for New Americans, is a member of the Memphis Mayor's Multicultural Coalition, and sits on the Nashville Mayor's New Americans Advisory Council.
  • Kelly M. Fay Rodríguez, Assistant to the Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO -- Kelly Rodríguez works in the office of EVP Tefere Gebre on citizenship, immigration and civic engagement issues for the Federation. She holds a J.D. from CUNY School of Law, where she was a Haywood Burns Civil & Human Rights Fellow. She previously worked at the NYS AG's Office and SEIU Local 32BJ.
  • Jamie Alderslade is Director of Policy, Research and Communications in the Community Development division at Citi. Citi Community Development lead’s Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. Earlier this year, Citi was proud to be named as the founding corporate partner of Cities for Citizenship, Cities for Citizenship is a major national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities across the country to invest in citizenship programs. It is chaired by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, with support from the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans.