A few months ago, we attended the Grantmakers for Education Annual Conference in Washington DC. Under the theme, Equity in Education: Empowering Community Voice, the conference included a number of sessions that presented unique learning opportunities for funders working at the intersection of immigration status, language, culture, and education for children and youth and their families.

Below, we've put forward recommendations for education funders—not only for those that explicitly support immigrant families, immigrant children, or children of immigrants but for all education funders:

  • Prepare your foundation to support immigrant children and children of immigrants
    • Understand the diversity within the immigrant community you serve.
    • Train and inform your staff.-Think about what training might be needed at your foundation to ensure that everyone has a basic understanding of and common language for immigrant rights.
    • Partner with other foundations doing this work.
  • In the short term, support education institutions as they respond to the current challenges facing immigrant families.
    • Fund training for teachers and school administrators.
    • Facilitate partnerships and collaboration with immigrant and refugee rights organizations in your community.
    • Create a rapid response fund and be ready to deploy resources.
  • In the long term, continue to advance the wellness and education outcomes of children of immigrants and immigrant children.
    • Support 2-generation models. These incorporate the voices and active participation of immigrant parents in advancing opportunity for their children.
    • Support grantees that treat bilingualism as an asset.
    • Identify tolerance and anti-bullying programs.

Read the full article about funding for immigrant students and families by Efrain Gutierrez and Aryah Somers Landsberger at FSG.