Building Organizations, Building Community: Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment

The Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) aims to build the capacity of the Filipino American community to affect constructive social change through grassroots education, research, and services.

"

Word got around that civic reflection not only helps the organization but helps participants personally with what they are doing. The longer the [discussion] series went on, the deeper and broader the sharing of experiences.

"

--Jerry Clarito

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment

Audience Focus

The leaders and volunteers of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment.

Goals

  1. Empower participants to be more understanding of the differences in our society
  2. Ensure that AFIRE programs align with the organization's mission to treat every person as a human being and not as a "labeled or marked" individual
  3. Build relationships between and among AFIRE leaders and volunteers
  4. Organize and clarify goals surrounding AFIRE's structure and programming
Staff and volunteers from the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment pose for a picture

Project Description

The Center for Civic Reflection partnered with the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment to put on a five-month dialogue and reflection program called, "Knowing Who We Are in America: A New American Tale." The program was designed to help the leaders and volunteers of AFIRE think and talk about the meaning of their work  -- from the public forums they conducted to the cultural shows they performed to the marches they joined within the context of comprehensive immigration reform. The volunteers and leaders of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment met once a month from December 2007 to May 2008 and explored various topics from the meaning of inclusion and exclusion in immigrant communities to the difficulties attached to fair and just decision-making on an individual and organizational level. Since its pilot year, AFIRE has continued to employ civic reflection as a method for community-building and organizational development.

Impact

  1. Helped AFIRE to develop a more sound organizational structure and mission
  2. Deepened leaders' and volunteers' commitment to AFIRE's programming and goals
  3. Expanded AFIRE's membership, incorporating more young Filipino Americans into AFIRE's programming and activities
  4. Decreased burn-out among AFIRE leaders and volunteers
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