Our Approach

Within a systems-thinking perspective, even the smallest nudge administered with skill and care can have profound ripple effects that help to shift the dynamics of multiple systems.

Photo by Cat Coppenrath, The AjA Project – Collective Voices

Our resources may be limited relative to other funders, and seem like a drop in the bucket when considering the overwhelming work that needs to be done and the investments necessary to transform and overcome systems of injustice. However, the Foundation is determined to leverage any resources we can muster for the greatest impact.

Within a systems-thinking perspective, even the smallest nudge administered with skill and care can have profound ripple effects that help to shift the dynamics of multiple systems. It is therefore imperative that our work be grounded in identifying leverage points in our social systems—economic, political, cultural—that are causing mass displacement, intolerance, and inequity so that we can transform them. The Migration Justice Initiative’s current areas of focus—advocacy, narrative change, resiliency, and grassroots power-building—arose from these considerations.

The Migration Justice Initiative seeks to amplify organizations whose body of work demonstrate strong alignment towards our strategic goals—more humane national and international immigration and refugee policies; shifts towards more inclusive identity narratives in political and cultural discourse; greater capacity for communities to heal from and interrupt cycles of trauma and victimization; a robust pipeline of community organizers and political leaders arising from marginalized communities. We also look to lift up new organizations that are innovative in their policy, communications, and organizing capacities in advancing movements towards a world where Freedom of Movement is enshrined as a fundamental human right alongside the Four Freedoms: Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom to Worship.

The Migration Justice Initiative will focus support for organizations that embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their leadership, governance and operational structures. We will also strive to ensure that the work we fund is driven by people from affected communities and that it centers their lived experiences.

At this time, the Migration Justice Initiative considers applications by invitation only.

Strategies We Support
Photo by Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans


Policy change: Efforts to educate and implore local, national, and international governments and law enforcement to develop or implement policies that recognize and protect the rights of refugees and forced migrants.
Impact litigation: Strategic lawsuits that have the potential to affect systemic change, and that hold individual leaders, law enforcement, government and their agents accountable to humane standards of treatment for migrants and refugees.
Universal legal representation: Efforts to expand and ensure equitable access to due process and fair hearing for individuals seeking protection from harm or persecution through the immigration justice system.
Photo by Brooke Anderson Photography

Power Building

Grassroots movement building: Activities that engage, educate, and organize refugee, immigrant, and displaced communities in civil society, building political awareness and solidarity within and among marginalized groups.
Voter and civic engagement: Nonpartisan efforts that mobilize eligible voters from immigrant, refugee, and displaced communities and that engage them in the policymaking process at various levels of government.
Leadership development: Efforts to deepen the bench of talented organizational and movement leaders from within displaced and marginalized communities through activities such as training, peer support, mentorship, and intersectional convening.
Photo by Joseph Haquang, The AjA Project – Little Saigon Stories

Narrative Shift

Inclusive culture creation: Programs that empower immigrants, refugees and marginalized people to participate fully in the creation of visual and narrative culture through training and professional development in the media arts.
Impact art and media: Projects that promote positive representation of minorities, immigrants, and refugees in media through humanistic storytelling and that expand our understanding of ethnic and national identity narratives.
Strategic communications: Research that produces effective messaging and the dissemination of best-practice narratives which leads to greater public support for immigrants, refugees, displaced peoples, and ethnic minorities.
Photo by Asylum Access


Sustainable livelihood: Programs that enable refugees in protracted conflict situations and people living in persecuted or marginalized ethnic minority communities to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Violence prevention and peacebuilding: Implementation of proven ethnic conflict and violence prevention strategies in at-risk communities; truth and reconciliation or restorative justice programs that address ethnically or racially motivated crimes.
Trauma/psychosocial support: Efforts to break the cycle of violence, victimization, and marginalization through the provision and expansion of behavioral health resources in communities traumatized by displacement & ethnic violence.

Populations We Serve

Formally resettled or non-resettled refugees
Internally displaced persons
Forced migrants
Asylum seekers
Indigenous peoples
Marginalized minorities/BIPOC communities