Press Release - June 27, 2017

SVCF awards $100,000 grants to organizations with innovative approaches to immigration services

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Two innovative immigration initiatives have been chosen to receive $100,000 each as part of Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s 10-year anniversary competitive grantmaking initiative.

The special initiative, announced last year, was designed to jump-start creative solutions in four areas that have long been strategically important to SVCF: building strong communities; economic security of low-income communities; education and – the area being recognized with SVCF’s third 10th year anniversary grant award – immigration.

The two winning programs that will receive grants in the immigration focus area will 1) provide training and a 24/7 hotline to community volunteer teams that assist individuals facing deportation or detention; and 2) help eliminate employment barriers for immigrants and refugees by developing a messaging toolkit and an employer engagement campaign for Silicon Valley companies.  

“The intent of this special grantmaking initiative is to support new and innovative ideas that complement our long-standing commitment to increasing access to legal services and adult English language acquisition,” says Valerie Cuevas, senior program officer at SVCF. “We are confident that these two grant recipients will create improved opportunities for immigrants to succeed in Silicon Valley.” 

The two programs that will receive $100,000 grants are:

Pangea Legal Services: As a founding member of the Immigrant Liberation Movement (ILM), Pangea Legal Services will collaborate with ILM members to continue developing and improving MigraWatch, a 24-hour hotline and technology platform to help immigrants faced with detention and deportation. ILM aims to mobilize community volunteers in real time to conduct legal observations of immigration raids to protect individuals’ constitutional rights and prevent deportation. The MigraWatch hotline will assist community-led deportation defense teams that are being created in four counties: San Mateo; Santa Clara; San Francisco and Alameda.

Upwardly Global: The organization, which works to eliminate employment barriers for immigrants and refugees so they can successfully join the U.S. workforce, will launch a project called “Immigrants – they get the job done for Silicon Valley.” Through development of a messaging toolkit and employer engagement campaign, Upwardly Global’s project will counter anti-immigrant bias and encourage Silicon Valley companies to hire immigrants. In addition, the project will provide information and leadership for 50 to 100 local community colleges, adult schools, nonprofits, local cities, offices of immigrant affairs, foundations and workforce development boards on the issue of hiring immigrants.

The latest grants represent an expansion of SVCF’s longstanding focus on providing immigrants the support needed to achieve economic mobility and security in their communities.  

Read more about the 10-year anniversary grantmaking initiative, and about the impact SVCF has had on the community in its first 10 years.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. As the largest community foundation in the world, we engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at