Our strategic initiatives continue to gain traction! Plans for the inaugural Project 55 Fellows Retreat— one strategy for strengthening our existing leadership programs as described in our current Strategic Plan— are well underway.
Thanks to our generous donors, all expenses for our 57 Project 55 Fellows will be covered by AlumniCorps! The dates for the retreat are April 5 – 7, 2019 and the event will be held at the Chauncey Conference Center in Princeton. Staff members are working on surveying new Fellows to assess what they want to gain from a retreat, developing content, and working on finding speakers and facilitators. Get to know our Fellows by reading their bios and seeing their headshots in the On the Path directory.
AlumniCorps staff are also collaborating with our Emerging Leaders facilitators to strengthen that program by offering “Booster Shots”— full-day professional development opportunities offered to over 200 Emerging Leaders alumni. Read more about our current Emerging Leaders in the update here.
Yet another outgrowth of our strategic plan—our Bold Idea initiative—co-hosted a regional gathering in downtown Chicago on June 7, 2018, with Appleseed titled From Learning to Action: Working with Chicago’s Immigrant Communities. The event included a morning panel featuring speakers Seemi Choudry, the director of the Office of New Americans at the Chicago Mayor’s Office, and Meg Benson, the executive director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, as well as an afternoon session dedicated to brainstorming and networking among the participants. View more photos from the event, taken by 1871 photographer Gregory Rothstein during a brief portion of the afternoon brainstorming.
Also under the umbrella of the Bold Idea initiative, AlumniCorps hosted a Reunions panel discussion and Q & A session, In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities. Over 40 people listened to a panel of Princetonians who are working to build capacities and develop skills among immigrants and refugees. Read details in our Reunions 2018 Update.
Another strategic plan priority is addressing deferred maintenance and performing essential upgrades to our building at 12 Stockton Street in Princeton, NJ. We are pleased to announce that in June 2018 we were one of 25 organizations to receive a historic preservation grant from The 1772 Foundation in cooperation with the New Jersey Historic Trust to repair the exterior of the building. AlumniCorps was one of 12 organizations to receive the maximum grant amount of $15,000. Princeton Town Topics interviewed President and Executive Director Kef Kasdin ’85, highlighting the historical significance of the Charles Steadman-designed building.
We’re pleased to announce that Kimme Carlos has been promoted to Operations Manager as of July 1, 2018, formally recognizing the excellent contribution she has made since she joined our staff in August 2016 as Office Administrator. Prior to joining Princeton AlumniCorps, Kimme founded the New Jersey nonprofit Urban Mental Health Alliance, where she continues to contribute her time as the volunteer Executive Director. Since joining our team, Kimme has gone above and beyond to professionalize our operations. In addition to managing our human resources and facilities, she developed systems and procedures to streamline administration across the staff team.
In particular, Kimme leveraged her experience as an event coordinator to handle logistics for a myriad of AlumniCorps events, including our Board meetings, staff retreats, Emerging Leaders sessions, Project 55 Fellowship interviews, and annual Project 55 Fellowship Orientation. Kimme is responsible for overseeing maintenance and renovation work on 12 Stockton, which is one of the priorities outlined in our current strategic plan. She also manages an administrative team and coordinates their support of the AlumniCorps staff. As AlumniCorps expands our programs and impact, we will rely on Kimme to manage our operations at headquarters and support the events we host across the country.
Brielle Blackshear joined AlumniCorps as our Administrative Intern in 2017. Her work ethic and team spirit made her the perfect candidate for a long-term role at 12 Stockton; we are pleased to announce that as of June 1, 2018 Brielle was promoted to the role of full-time Project Assistant, supporting all of our strategic initiatives. Brielle is a recent graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in Labor Studies and Employment Relations and a minor in Public Health. She brings a passion for nonprofit work and advocacy to Princeton AlumniCorps and hope to one day start a nonprofit of her own.
AlumniCorps hosted three well-attended events at Princeton University’s Reunions on Friday, June 1, 2018. All our activities took place at Princeton’s Neuroscience Building, off Poe Field. Our morning workshop, In The Nation’s Service: Mapping Your Network for the Public Good, featured a panel of four Princeton alumni. About 20 attendees learned how Charlie Lucas ’71, Kristen Smith ’03, Brandon White ’09, and Ayana Woods ’98 have all leveraged AlumniCorps’ programs, as well as their own networks, for systemic change.
Charlie has volunteered with AlumniCorps’ ARC Innovators program, which provides nonprofits with pro bono assistance from experienced professionals in the AlumniCorps network. Learn more about Charlie’s work by reading about him on page eight of our 2016-17 Annual Report. Kristen is a Project 55 Fellowship alumna who volunteers on our Chicago Area Committee and recently joined AlumniCorps’ Board of Directors. She reflected on her continuing bond with Fellows from her cohort: “I continue to … reach back to those folks….” As Kristen’s career in housing and economic development has blossomed in Boston, New York, and now back in Chicago, “Princeton AlumniCorps [has provided] even more benefit” in understanding these various nonprofit landscapes. Brandon, who completed our Emerging Leaders program for young nonprofit professionals in Washington, D.C. in 2018, shared that in a new job role he was “…thrown into the deep end [and/but] Emerging Leaders was there to catch me… it was like having a cheat sheet going forward.” Ayana, also an alumna of Emerging Leaders, said, “People have personalities… Emerging Leaders is an opportunity to learn skills to manage people’s personalities, and our own.” After the panelists’ comments, attendees participated in an interactive exercise to discover how their connections, skills, and resources could be leveraged for systemic social change.
We continued the conversation during “In the Nation’s Service Together: A Networking Lunch,” where like-minded Princetonians gathered and shared how they are mobilizing networks for the public good.
Board Chair Liz Duffy ’88 led an informal round of introductions so attendees could get to know each other. Bill Shafer ’55 brought us full circle by closing out our time with remarks about the founding of Princeton AlumniCorps as Project 55.
As a part of the Bold Idea initiative, AlumniCorps hosted a panel discussion and Q & A session, In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities. Over 40 people listened to a panel of Princetonians who are working to build capacities and develop skills among immigrants and refugees: Phillip Connor *10, Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center; Maribel Hernández Rivera, Esq. *10, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; José Quiñonez *98, Founder and CEO of Mission Asset Fund; and Maya Wahrman ’16, Former Project 55 Fellow and Program Assistant (Forced Migration) at Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life. Learn more about our panelists by reading their bios here.
Phillip laid the groundwork for understanding patterns of immigration and how they have changed in the United States by presenting data from the Pew Research Center. In particular, he noted that the number of refugees in the U.S. was reflective of the refugee population around the world until 2017, when the number of refugees in the U.S. plummeted disproportionately. Watch all of Phillip’s talk here.
The audience was riveted as Maribel, who was born in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. when she was 13 years old, shared how her father’s sudden and mysterious death acted as a catalyst for her career in immigrant rights. She explained why she went to law school at NYU after getting her Masters at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School: “Understanding the law was almost harder than learning English! But not understanding the law is disempowering for undocumented communities.” Maribel also shared her personal stake in the debate over immigration policy: Her husband, who is from Honduras, may have to leave the U.S. in January 2020 based on current regulations. She admitted, “My husband and I are in a very lucky position because we have a network. Not everyone is so lucky. We want to advocate and speak for them.” Watch all of Maribel’s talk here.
José, who has been awarded the MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship, the Ashoka Fellowship, and the AspenInstitute Fellowship for his work at the Mission Asset Fund (MAF), described how the MAF had to quickly pivot from being primarily a lending institution to launching the largest Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal campaign in the days after the Trump Administration ended DACA on September 5, 2017. In the fall of 2017, MAF provided over $2.5M to fund over 5,000 DACA renewal applications in 46 states. Read more about the details of the process in an article José wrote here, and watch all of José’s talk here.
Maya closed out the panel by describing how she has helped Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life (ORL) think out their theological approach to refugee work through their Interfaith Program in Refugees and Forced Migration. She humanized the challenges refugees are facing by speaking about Ashar, a refugee from Pakistan with whom she has forged a friendship. She described the international interdisciplinary conference of over 300 participants, Seeking Refuge: Faith-Based Approaches to Forced Migration, that she co-curated while a Project 55 Fellow with the ORL, stating “Religion is a way to respond to the issues in the world.” Watch all of Maya’s talk here.
The Princeton Neuroscience Institute is located near Poe Field– the end of the P-Rade route– a familiar site to us all! As seen on the map below, the building is right beside Scully Hall. You can use the embedded Google Map to navigate to the building from your location and see an image of the building below.
If arriving by car, we recommend parking in the University’s lot 20 or 21. For details and maps on parking at Reunions 2018, see the University’s page here.
Join us for a slate of activities on June 1, 2018— the Friday of Princeton Reunions. All of our Reunions activities will take place at Princeton’s Neuroscience Institute Building off Poe Field (see tips on how to get there here). Note specific room numbers below— also found in the Reunions 2018 Schedule of Open Events booklet.
When it comes to effecting social change, where do you fit in? Come and discover how your connections, skills, and resources can be used for the public good. You’ll hear how four Princeton alumni (pictured above)— Charlie Lucas ’71, Kristen Smith ’03, Brandon White ’09, and Ayana Woods ’98— leveraged AlumniCorps’ programs, as well as their own networks. Then you’ll participate in an interactive workshop to understand how to use your connections and create new connections—great and small— for systemic social change.
June 1, 12:00pm – 1:30pmIn the Nation’s Service Together: A Networking Lunch Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Study Hall & Patio A
Continue the conversation around mobilizing networks for the public good over lunch with like-minded Princetonians. Lunch is free of charge, but RSVP is requested by 5/25/18 attinyurl.com/AlumniCorpsLunch.
June 1, 2:00pm – 3:30pm In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities (Panel) Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Room A32.
As a part of Princeton AlumniCorps’ Bold Idea initiative, we are hosting a panel discussion and Q & A session featuring speakers who have experience working to build capacities and develop skills among immigrants and refugees.
Featuring (pictured above) Phillip Connor *10, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center; Maribel Hernández Rivera, Esq. *10, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; José Quiñonez *98, Founder and CEO, Mission Asset Fund; Maya Wahrman ’16, Former Project 55 Fellow and Program Assistant (Forced Migration), Princeton University Office of Religious Life. Learn more about our panelists by reading their bios, here.
Sunday, June 3, 2018, 9:30am – 3:00pm Board of Directors Meeting
Location: International School Services, 15 Roszel Road, Princeton NJ.
AlumniCorps board meetings are open to the public.
Please RSVP to Kimme Carlos at email@example.com or (609) 921-8808 ext. 1 by Friday, May 18, 2018.
June 1, 2:00pm – 3:30pm In the Service of Humanity: Empowering Immigrant Communities (Panel) Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Room A32.
Phillip Connor *10 is a senior researcher at Pew Research Center. He is an expert on international migration, immigrant integration and immigrant religion in the United States, Canada and Europe. Connor prepares reports on immigration and religion, consults with demographic and public opinion researchers at the Center on migration aspects of their work, and analyses data. Before joining Pew Research Center, Connor received his doctorate in sociology at Princeton University. He was the lead author of the Center’s reports Faith on the Move and Still in Limbo: About a Million Asylum Seekers Await Word on Whether They Can Call Europe Home. He is also the author of the book Immigrant Faith and has published several academic articles in leading migration and religion journals. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Time and the Economist.
Maribel Hernández Rivera, Esq. *10 is a long time immigrant rights advocate and an accomplished public interest lawyer. She has experience in direct services, project management, and policymaking. As head of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’ Legal Initiatives, Maribel is responsible for managing and promoting innovative access to justice programs for immigrants including ActionNYC and NYCitizenship. Maribel previously served as Supervising Attorney at Immigrant Justice Corps where she directly supervised Department of Justice Accredited Representatives as they helped low-income New Yorkers apply for immigration benefits. Maribel is also a former Fried Frank/ MALDEF fellow. As a fellow, she represented individuals in immigration detention, submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of the U.S. government in the Arizona v. United States case, and participated in a group advocating for the representation of people in immigration detention. Maribel received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, her Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and her A.B. from Harvard University. Upon law school graduation, Maribel served as law clerk to the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
José Quiñonez *98is Mission Asset Fund’s (MAF) founding CEO.
Under his leadership, he quickly built MAF into an award-winning nonprofit with innovative nationwide models for integrating financially excluded, low-income communities into the financial mainstream. For his work, he was awarded the MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship, the Ashoka Fellowship, and the Aspen Institute Fellowship. He also received the James Irvine Leadership Award and Princeton University’s WWS Distinguished Alumni Award, among others.
José is a visionary leader, highly regarded in the consumer finance field. Currently, he serves in Consumer Advisory Boards for the Federal Reserve Bank of SF, US Bank, Experian, and Capital One. In 2012, he was appointed by the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as the inaugural Chair of the Consumer Advisory Board. Governor Brown enacted legislation recognizing MAF’s Lending Circles program, making California the first state to lift up credit building as a force for good.
José is a passionate advocate for social justice. He is a former Congressional legislative assistant, and a nonprofit lobbyist in Washington, D.C. where he advocated for federal policy change regarding immigration, hunger and welfare reform.
José graduated from the University of California at Davis, and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.
Maya Wahrman ’16 is the Program Assistant in Forced Migration at the Office of Religious Life (ORL) at Princeton University, where she co-designs and administrates the ORL’s Interfaith Program in Refugees and Forced Migration. Last year she served as the Communications Coordinator at ORL through a Princeton Project 55 Fellowship.
Through her fellowship, Maya co-curated the international interdisciplinary conference of over 300 participants, Seeking Refuge: Faith-Based Approaches to Forced Migration. She has now assisted the office in acquiring two grants to sustain their innovative interfaith refugee program. This year she organized a high-profile policy forum about the role of religion in domestic refugee integration, internships for Princeton undergraduates with refugee service and policy organizations, and a service-learning project with local Central American unaccompanied minors and Princeton history students. Maya has invested in local and national expertise in refugees and forced migration through her work, her Arabic and Spanish skills, and her personal commitments, serving as a volunteer to detained asylum-seekers in the Elizabeth Detention Center, a member of Interfaith-RISE (a resettlement network in Highland Park), and a volunteer with the Neighborhood Sanctuary Alliance. Maya also served this past year as a peer tutor to Syrian refugees participating in a Princeton online history course from a refugee camp in Northern Jordan, tutoring online with two on-site visits to the camp and undergoing intensive training around Higher Education in Emergencies.
Maya graduated in 2016 from the History Department at Princeton University, with certificates in Near Eastern Studies and Creative Writing. She has published several opinion pieces using history to advocate for just solutions to the refugee crisis and for asylum seekers in the US.