Programs

The Migration Justice Initiative was established to confront urgent challenges facing those affected by displacement and injustice.

Photo by Alliance San Diego

The Migration Justice Initiative (MJI) is the primary public-facing focus of Dr. Bronner’s Family Foundation, founded to serve displaced peoples and support human solidarity movements. We strategically fund organizations, efforts, and people working to address the root causes of suffering, intolerance, and injustice faced by migrants and refugees around the world in order to advance systemic change.

While the program is aimed towards diverse origins and journeys, the foundation’s focus on migrant justice has been a personal and familial one. Emanuel Bronner (Dr. Bronner) and his family’s history as German Jews affected by the Holocaust represents just one story at the intersection of many different social dynamics that MJI seeks to address, including the persecution of ethnic minorities, racism, nationalist exclusionism, and displacement. Kris Lin-Bronner, who spearheaded this project, is herself an immigrant to the United States who grew up in a family affected by colonialism, civil war, displacement, and discrimination. Through MJI, we hope to hold human experiences like these in the light, so that we can navigate toward a better future for all.

Emanuel, along with sisters Louise and Lotte, managed to emigrate out of Germany before the holocaust. Their parents remained behind and were later murdered by the Nazis.

The vision for the Initiative is inspired by the work of countless courageous activists, both celebrated and unrecognized, who have fought and continue to fight for the rights and dignities of the oppressed. Many of us would not have the opportunity and the privilege to serve as change agents in our communities without the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other leaders of civil rights, racial justice, and human rights movements the world over.

We work in honor of all the nameless changemakers who are upholding human dignity in their own way every day. Refugees and migrants demonstrate courage, humanity, and creativity in the midst of extreme suffering, and marginalized communities whose struggles are rooted in displacement continue to strive for justice and equal rights with spirit and determination. Their stories are seldom told, yet they are as heroic as the leaders we know of and look up to.

Although forced displacement and migration are not new problems, in the past few decades we have seen an increase in the severity and scale of the refugee crises across the globe, compounded by the failure of leaders and institutions across all continents to adequately respond to the challenges. Climate change has exacerbated the underlying conditions of displacement, increasing occurrences of droughts, natural disasters, and political instability, and the inequities in our existing social systems and legacies of colonialism, slavery, and genocide are asserting themselves ever more. Instead of welcoming and compassionate treatment of displaced people, we are witnessing the rise of xenophobia, autocratic leadership, and the use of state power to exclude, isolate, and exploit the most vulnerable.

The Migration Justice Initiative exists to confront these urgent human rights challenges and bring about material improvements in the lives of those affected by displacement and injustice.

Current & Past Grantees

African Communities Together
Alliance San Diego
Alma Migrante
American Friends Services Committee – U.S./Mexico Border Program
American Jewish World Service – Rohingya Program
Asian Solidarity Collective
Asylum Access
California Immigrant Resilience Fund
Casa Cornelia
Catalyst of San Diego – Count Me 2020 Fund
Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) – America’s Family
Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance (MoGo)
Detention Watch Network
El Refugio
Espacio Migrante
Freedom for Immigrants
Home Storytellers
Immigrant Defense Advocates
Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice
International Refugee Assistance Project
Jesuit Refugee Services – Pathfinders
Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
Pillars of the Community
Portland Institute of Contemporary Art – We Didn’t Arrive Here Alone
Refugee Congress
San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition
Students Without Limits
Tahirih Justice Center – Atlanta Appellate Project
The AjA Project
United We Dream
Via International – Via Migrante Program