WASHINGTON — The four winners of the Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) 2011 E Pluribus Unum Prizes for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives today were designated by the White House as “Champions of Change” and their innovative, life-changing work is being showcased this week by the White House.
The White House’s recently launched Champions of Change initiative shines the spotlight each week on “ordinary Americans [who] are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”
This week, the Champions of Change focus is on the critical importance of immigrant integration efforts to the country’s future. To illustrate this point, the White House is profiling on its website MPI’s four E Pluribus Unum Prize winners, including: a Hispanic economic development initiative in Kansas City; a San Diego refugee resettlement agency; a Philadelphia-based organization with affiliates across U.S. college campuses that match student volunteers with immigrant elders; and a San Francisco-based national program that helps foreign-trained professionals rejoin the health care field at their skill level.
The E Pluribus Unum Prize winners were invited to the White House on May 19, a day after the MPI prizes ceremony, to discuss their work and U.S. immigrant integration efforts with high-ranking administration officials, including White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) Director Melody Barnes, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Muñoz and DPC Senior Advisor on Immigration Felicia Escobar.
“We are delighted both that the Obama administration is so aggressively promoting the importance of immigrant integration efforts and that they are using winners from MPI’s national integration prize competition to help make their point,” said Margie McHugh, co-director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. “For too long immigrant integration needs have been crowded out of federal policymaking discussions. The White House’s efforts to embrace and address these issues vividly illustrate the breadth and quality of integration work happening across the country and how crucial this work is to ensuring that our immigration policies help us win the future by building a stronger, more vibrant economy and nation.”
The E Pluribus Unum Prizes, established by MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, seek to encourage the adoption of effective integration practices and inspire expanded efforts to integrate immigrants and their children into the mainstream of U.S. society. The winners, who were honored at the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 18 and attended the White House meeting on May 19, were:
Profiles, videos and more information about the honorees can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. For more on MPI, please visit: www.migrationpolicy.org.