from Jane Graupman, Executive Director
2017: We couldn’t have done it without you.
The United States has not only attracted and welcomed New Americans for hundreds of years, but it has prospered greatly from their unleashed desires and ambitions. It is no different today than it has ever been; in fact, immigrants probably integrate more quickly now than they ever have.
We are grateful to live in a community where people understand this and where they generously welcome newcomers to our state. During this past year, Our governor, many legislators, and our community, have steadfastly protected our long-standing tradition of being a welcoming country.
There have been heartwarming and heartbreaking moments this year. Nasra (pictured above with her daughters) learned that her husband and two sons, who had been missing for 10 years, are alive. However, because of the increased vetting and delays in processing for Somali refugees, we are not certain that they will be reunited. Stories like this and the increased numbers of refugees in the world with no place to turn have made 2017 one of the hardest years we’ve faced as an organization. But still, we have hope.
Some people have asked whether we’re concerned about the future of immigration in our country and our work in the community. We answer with a resounding “no.”
The contributions of New Americans, and the overwhelming support we’ve felt from you, our supporters, give us confidence that our work will continue.
The International Institute of Minnesota has been serving New Americans since 1919. In those 98 years, we have witnessed many waves of anti-immigrant sentiment. And then, without fail, we’ve watched each wave of New Minnesotans become an integral part of our state.
Though it has been a difficult year, we are confident that Minnesota will remain a welcoming home to refugees and immigrants. We continue to grow our programs and serve more people each day, who then give back to the community. This year, because of the Institute, 348 refugees resettled to a new home, 281 New Americans found jobs, and 92 students are enrolled in college. Most of them will be dedicated healthcare workers in our community.
We are proud of the work we do, we are humbled by the New Americans we serve, and we are grateful for your unwavering support.
With winter coats and potluck lunches, letters of welcome and generous donations, your message is stronger than ever: Minnesota welcomes New Americans. It is this message that encourages us to continue advocating for our clients and providing life-changing services each day.
We could tell 4319 stories.
Every New American who walks through our doors has a powerful story. We wish we could introduce you to everyone. Since we can't tell 4319 client stories, here are six that perfectly represent our mission.