During the lunch break, workshop attendees participated in a World Café event, which is a technique designed to encourage large group dialogue.1 Each organization hosted brief discussions of their organization’s work. Attendees moved among six tables, each hosted by a representative of a local organization involved in immigration issues. Brief descriptions of the organizations follow.
ALAMEDA HEALTH CONSORTIUM
The Alameda Health Consortium (AHC) is a regional association of eight federally qualified health centers in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.
AHC advocates for high-quality health care for the underserved. Each center believes in a universal right to accessible, affordable, and quality health care that empowers individuals to participate in maintaining their health and well-being. The 8 independently operated health centers in the consortium operate at more than 95 locations across the East Bay. Together, the health centers provide primary medical, behavioral, and dental care, as well as supportive services to more than 250,000 patients in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties, nearly half of which are from immigrant families. AHC collaborates with lawmakers, government officials, and health care and immigrant advocacy organizations to inform, shape,
1 This was not the typical World Café process, as noted by one reviewer.
and implement positive policy changes that benefit the patients and communities it serves.
ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER LEGAL OUTREACH
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach is a community-based, social justice organization serving the Asian and Pacific Islander communities of the Greater Bay Area. It provides culturally competent and linguistically appropriate legal representation, social services, and advocacy for the most marginalized segments of the community, including low-income women, seniors, recent immigrants, and youth. Particular areas of focus include violence against women and family law, immigration and immigrant rights, senior law and elder abuse prevention, the rights of people with disabilities, anti-human trafficking, youth violence prevention, affordable housing preservation and tenants’ rights, and other social justice issues. The organization takes a holistic approach by offering legal, social, and educational services in more than a dozen languages. Its offices in Oakland and San Francisco provide free legal services through one-on-one representation, legal intake and referrals, community-based clinics, educational workshops, building community partnerships and collaborations, and raising funds for legal services that benefit the most vulnerable sectors of society.
CENTER FOR EMPOWERING REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
The Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants is a nonprofit organization with the mission of improving the social, psychological, and economic health of refugees affected by war, torture, genocide, or other forms of extreme trauma. The center works with underprivileged and traumatized refugees and immigrants from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Iran to address their complex and differing needs, offering them direct services as well as linking them to appropriate outside agencies. The majority of the organization’s 200 clients are Cambodian refugees who escaped guerilla warfare between 1978 and 1993 and currently live in Oakland, California. Founded by a small group of bilingual and bicultural mental health professionals in 2005, the organization provides both traditional services, such as clinical mental health counseling and medication management, and culturally and spiritually tailored intervention strategies, such as a meditation group co-facilitated by a Buddhist monk.
CENTRO LEGAL DE LA RAZA
Centro Legal de la Raza seeks to ensure access to justice for low-income and immigrant communities. Founded in 1969, the agency offers com-
prehensive legal services to protect and advance the rights of immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy. It combines rights education, quality legal services, and youth development to empower, lead, and defend vulnerable populations. Specific legal services and policy advocacy focus on immigrant, tenant, and workers’ rights. In the past year, the agency has provided legal services to more than 7,000 underserved and underprivileged people throughout Northern and Central California. In addition, the agency makes the 3-year Youth Law Academy available to Oakland high school students, enabling them to build confidence, understand the path to college, and increase diversity in legal professions.
CULTURALLY RESPONSIBLE CARE, REGIONAL HEALTH EDUCATION, THE PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP
Diversity and inclusion are the foundation of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care model. The Permanente Medical Groups, along with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, work to deliver culturally responsive care by providing care in multiple languages, educating doctors and other care team members about racial and gender biases, addressing the social determinants of health, closing care gaps for underserved populations, staffing call centers with employees fluent in more than 140 languages, and translating member communications into different languages. Several Kaiser Permanente medical facilities have separate Culturally Competent Care clinics that specifically serve African American, Armenian, Chinese, Latino, Vietnamese, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente Southern California received the Multicultural Health Care Distinction award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its exemplary health care service to minority populations.
FILIPINO ADVOCATES FOR JUSTICE
Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) was founded in 1973 by students and community leaders in response to the discrimination and alienation faced by the influx of immigrants from the Philippines to the United States. For more than 40 years, FAJ has sought to build a strong and empowered Filipino community by organizing constituents, developing leaders, providing services, and advocating for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity. Its programs are rooted in Bayanihan principles, a Filipino demonstration of social justice values where a community comes together to help those in need. FAJ works particularly with middle school and high school students at risk, low-wage workers vulnerable to exploitation, newly arrived immigrants, and the undocumented. Its programs
include youth leadership development, immigrant services, worker support and empowerment, and community organizing. Two current goals are to increase community knowledge of tenant rights and Filipino voter registration and turnout. FAJ currently serves more than 130,000 Filipinos in the East Bay Area through its Oakland and Union City offices.