ISPU Conducts Survey, “American Muslims in the 2016 Election and Beyond: Principles and Strategies for Greater Political Engagement”

May 4th, 2016

ISPUThe Institute for Social Policy and Understanding recently conducted a survey entitled, “American Muslims in the 2016 Election and Beyond: Principles and Strategies for Greater Political Engagement.”  This is the most comprehensive survey of American Muslim political behaviors, and the recently released findings will go a long way in informing political and civic engagement in the American Muslim community. Read more on the survey and results here.

The ISPN 2016 Legislative Session Report to the Community

April 26th, 2016

12509157_1065777360152827_717462115800349459_nMay 19th, 2016

St. Francis Community Services, South Side Center
4200 Delor St.
St. Louis, MO  63116
Reception:  5-5:20pm, Program: 5:25-6:30pm

The ISPN will be hosting the 2016 Legislative Session Report to the Community on May 19th, 5-6:30pm.  This engaging forum will report back on collective actions taken by the community, state Missouri legislation affecting immigrant and refugee communities, and discuss policy priorities for the upcoming year.  Panelists will feature state legislators, DACA student activists, and service providers to give insight on how Missouri policies affect our foreign-born population at every level.  A reception will be held from 5-5:20pm, with programming to follow.

MIRA + Zee Bee Market May Giving Days

April 19th, 2016

2MIRA is partnering with Zee Bee Market to celebrate Mother’s Day!  From May 3-6, 15% of the proceeds from all sales will go to support MIRA.  Zee Bee Market is a member of the Fair Trade Organization, and sells socially- and environmentally-conscious, handcrafted gifts from around the world. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it is the perfect place to purchase a unique and meaningful gift.

To celebrate this week of giving, MIRA will be hosting a Wine & Chocolate kick-off event on May 3rd from 5:30-8pm, and we hope to see you there!  Zee Bee Market is located at 211 South Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63118.  You can also shop from their online store at


Give STL Day

April 19th, 2016


May 3rd marks Give STL Day, a 24-hour, city-wide fundraising initiative presented by the St. Louis Community Foundation.  Give STL Day is a great opportunity to support local non-profits, and MIRA is excited to be among this year’s participants. You can make a donation from anywhere, and donors will be entered into contests to win prizes.  Visit our Give STL Day site here to learn more about the event.  Don’t forget to make your contribution on May 3rd!

Cost of Brain Drain

April 19th, 2016


Keeping DREAMers Out of College


Fiscal Policy Institute’s full report here

Job Announcement: Join MIRA’s Team!

April 15th, 2016

MIRA is seeking a full-time executive director to lead the coalition and guide day-to-day operations of the statewide advocacy organization.  The Executive Director will work with staff, coalition members, and the Board of Directors to develop and support programming that advances MIRA’s mission and builds the sustainability of the organization.  The ideal candidate will be an experienced organizer, advocate and fundraiser who is committed to immigrant rights, racial equality, and social justice.

For full details and directions for making application, click here.  Submissions are due by May 15, 2016.


Statement of Anti-Student Discrimination in State Budget

April 8th, 2016

Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates deeply disappointed by the Senate passage of HB 2003, the appropriations bill for the Department of Higher Education, which contains title language directing colleges to discriminate against certain immigrant students in tuition and scholarship policies. This language, while non-binding, has been implemented by colleges and universities around the state since its inclusion in the 2015 budget.   This mean-spirited attack on immigrant students and their families devalues both education and students, and takes a short-sighted view of Missouri’s economic future.

The policy targets DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients, who were brought to the US as children and who are lawfully present, work-authorized taxpayers. It is shameful that in the face of hearing from hundreds of impacted students and community supporters, and a bipartisan call to remove the anti-immigrant language, legislators have passed a budget bill that enshrines discrimination in its title.

As a result of the skyrocketing tuition rates this policy has foisted on immigrant students, many have dropped out or transferred out of state. Missouri will continue to lose these students to Kansas, Illinois and others states that value the contributions of immigrant students and their families. Far from saving the state or colleges money, HB 2003 will cost schools tuition-paying students. It is a disgrace when Missouri’s leaders refuse to invest in qualified students and instead attack their dreams of opportunity.

The General Assembly should be working to make Missouri a welcoming place for all families, and encouraging more Missourians to go to college, not driving capable, motivated students out of our state. MIRA and our partners will continue to build power in our communities, and to work for equity for immigrant students.

Stop Discrimination Against College Students

March 24th, 2016

The Missouri Senate is in the process of crafting the state’s budget for this year. Again this year, immigrant college students are in the being put at risk by the inclusion of a provision in the appropriations bill for higher education that would require students with DACA and certain other immigrant statuses to pay up to three times the rate of tuition as their classmates AND prohibit those same students from receiving institutional scholarships.

This policy hurts students and families, and is bad for our economy. Join MIRA in urging senators to remove the anti-student language from HB 2003 by having your organization listed on this petition.

Community Table at Bailey’s Range March 28th

March 22nd, 2016


Please join Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates at Bailey’s Range Restaurant for their Community Table night. Bailey’s Range restaurant will generously donate 25% of all profits from March 28th 5-8 pm to MIRA!

MIRA has been an incredible advocates for the rights of immigrants and refugees in Missouri. With your support we can continue the fight. Bailey's

Three ways you can help make this night a success:

  • Attend the fundraiser!
  • Bring at least two friends with you.
  • Spread the word about the fundraiser by sharing this Facebook Event Page

David Bacon’s Photo Essay Feat. St. Louis Airport Taxi Drivers

February 22nd, 2016



Read David Bacon’s latest photo essay featuring taxi drivers at St. Louis Airport. The essay includes personal stories of local drivers and highlights the impact a welcoming community can provide for new immigrants.  Read in full here: Taxi Drivers of the back 40

Photo Credit: David Bacon.