at TCF Center (formerly Cobo Center), 1 Washington Blvd.
The National Immigrant Integration Conference is the nation’s largest gathering of the entire sector working on behalf of America’s immigrants and refugees and is the annual gathering of the National Partnership for New Americans. Since its inception in 2008, it has grown to become a broad, diverse, highly collegial and collaborative space that consistently draws over 1,200 leaders from more than 450 organizations across the United States, as well as a growing cohort of international partners from Canada, Europe and Mexico. To ensure that NIIC is accessible to the broadest audience possible, each year the conference is held in a different region of the country and is anchored by local co-hosts.
NIIC 2019 will be held in Detroit, MI, from October 20-22 and is co-hosted locally by Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC), and Michigan United (MU). Detroit and Michigan are a deeply fitting site for NIIC 2019. Located in the heart of the Midwest, Detroit embodies much of America’s important racial justice, economic, industrial, migration, and cultural history. NIIC 2019 will shine a spotlight on the shifting political and demographic realities of our country and and uplift the stories of states like Michigan, a classic “Purple” swing state, with tensions about the nation’s changing economy and our growing diversity.
Now in its 12th year, NIIC is the largest conference on immigration in the U.S. and plays a central role in the powerful, diverse and broad immigrant and refugee rights and integration field. A core project of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and its member organizations—37 of the largest regional immigrant rights organizations in 31 states—NIIC convenes policymakers, academics, corporate and community leaders, researchers and practitioners, faith and labor leaders and funders from across the country. At the NIIC, the many different spokes of this field gather to develop relationships, build campaigns, amplify shared values, be inspired, build relationships, and share ideas, strategies, lessons learned and new information and innovations. It is an important space for leaders and organizations, and strengthens collaborations and partnerships that power work at the local, regional and national level. NIIC also encapsulates NPNA’s commitment to an inclusive democracy that welcomes, integrates and uplifts all refugees and immigrants, recognizing the vital contributions and impact they have on our nation.
Metro Detroit is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the country as well as one of the nation’s largest refugee communities and hosting NIIC in the region will help shine a much needed, affirming spotlight on these communities which are so much in the cross-hairs of national political vitriol and hate mongering. Hosting NIIC in Michigan and Detroit, specifically, which borders Canada, is also timely given the intense national conflict about our borders. As we enter the 2020 electoral season, Michigan’s impact on the face of the future is also significant: the state has made history in electing one of the first two Muslim American women to Congress.