Whether it be navigating language barriers, getting students enrolled in schools, providing legal counsel, career opportunities, or the like, there are numerous nonprofits that are locally-based who work to make the transition as smooth as possible for immigrant families who've made Memphis their new home:
World Relief Memphis
What started as English classes taught in a two-bedroom apartment in Bartlett has transformed into one of Memphis’ welcome centers to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. World Relief Memphis has been serving people from all over the world since 2012, offering refugee resettlement, employment, legal, and language learning services. With 100+ students from over 28 countries, ranging from Venezuela to Kenya, W.R.M. seeks to understand, respect, and empower those individuals to build upon their new-found freedoms.
Volunteers and partners are crucial to the fulfillment of World Relief’s vision for transformation in the lives of the people it serves.
Learn more about how you can support their efforts here.
World Relief Memphis is supporting Immigrant Heritage Month this month by taking you on an international food tour provided by the families that they serve! Passport901 not only presents an opportunity for you to immerse yourself in a new culture, but you’ll get the chance to beef up your cooking skills AND win prizes while you do. Keep an eye out for the contest launch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo.
That’s not all! They also invite you to go behind the scenes with them for World Refugee Day on June 22nd to learn more about how you can be apart of their work
Community Legal Center
Most of us have seen depictions of what it’s like at the border, or heard the frustrations from our foreign friends who’ve gone through the process to renew their DACA. The Community Legal Center’s Immigration Justice Program was founded in 2006 “to ensure access to qualified legal assistance for those trying to navigate our country’s complex immigration system.”
From civil matters, such as divorce, adoption, and tenant disputes, to legal services like Adjustment Of Status, T-Visa obtainment, and more, the Community Legal Center works to represent immigrants who live within the jurisdiction of the Memphis Immigration Court.
If you’re an attorney, a law student, an undergrad student interested in pursuing a law degree, or a proficient Spanish speaker, they could use your help!
Learn more about how you can lend yourself to helping others access justice here.
As the oldest and largest refugee/immigrant ministry in Memphis, it’s no surprise that immigrants from all over the world come to Multinational Memphis in hopes of finding community and support for their transition in life. By providing safe spaces for folks to freely be themselves, and utilizing programming like English For Moms and Wednesday T.A.R.G.E.T kids, families are able to feel that their cultures are valued and accepted—and will only add to what Memphis has to offer.
Interested in volunteering with Multinational Memphis? Because of the large number of people that MM serves, they need all the help they can get.
Submit an application today to hear about their opportunities.
I’m sure we can imagine what it takes for an adult to assimilate into American culture, but what about children who don’t yet have the emotional development to truly grasp their new experiences? Las Americas provides our city’s only Youth Development Center that focuses on helping Latino youth immerse themselves into their new communities.
Their presence in 13 Shelby County Schools, providing ESL tutoring, coupled with weekly outreach events, character building programs, and more helps move their mission—”to provide a safe place for Latino youth and families to develop healthy minds, bodies and spirits for long-term success in America”—forward.
Su Casa Family Ministries
Su Casa Memphis has been bridging the gap between first generation Hispanic immigrants and resident Memphians since its birth in 2005 when it was developed in response to the problem of language barriers. With their two main programs, Adult English Classes and a faith-based, bilingual pre-school program for 1-4 year olds, they aid the Latino immigrant community by offering hands-on instruction to help them better connect with the greater Memphis community.
Learn more about their Pre-school Program here.
If you’re interested in being a part of the good work they are doing, learn more about volunteer opportunities with SU Casa here.
Hundreds of migrant families seeking asylum pass through, and settle down, in Memphis each year—and Mariposas Collective, a grassroots group driven by loving our neighbors, provides relief in the form of meals, clothing, toys for the children, toiletries, translators, and more.
Since its beginning in 1995, Latino Memphis has grown to be largest Latino-serving nonprofit in West Tennessee—offering services through four key programs, El Centro, Abrienda Puertas, Derechos, and Tu Voz, to assist with matters concerning health, education, community engagement, immigration services, and more.
Not only has their staff dedicated themselves to being service providers for this community, but they have opportunities for others to lend a hand, whether Spanish-speaking or not.
Memphis Refugee Empowerment Program
Ruth Lomo came to America in 1993 after fleeing the war in the Sudan, with her children in tow. Having personally experienced all the trials and tribulations that come with resettlement, she knew that there were gaps in our country’s educational welfare and support of refugees that needed to be addressed. Fast forward to 2002, the Refugee Empowerment Program was born as a volunteer-led initiative—and since then has become its own standalone nonprofit that seeks to walk alongside these new Memphians as they integrate into American culture, and work to achieve their dreams.
From supporting youth through mentorship and after-school enrichment programs to providing citizenship preparedness support for adults, and cultural integration services for those who want to learn how to serve their neighbors better, R.E.P is educating, encouraging, and equipping our citizens with the resources to maintain our melting pot.
Volunteers helped them get started, and volunteers help keep them going!
Your support is needed. Click here to see how you can serve with R.E.P.
Mid-South Immigration Advocates
Have you thought about what all it entails to be accepted into this country? Between going through the process as an asylum seeker, trying to keep families together, and fighting deportation, there’s so much that goes into helping people obtain economic security, maintain family unity, and escape violence. Mid-South Immigration Advocates is the first nonprofit law firm in the region whose sole focus is to provide free and affordable immigration representation to low-income clients.
Their four programs, the Asylum Initiative, Children’s Project, Family Unity Project, and Survivor’s Project are “designed to protect the most vulnerable, promote family stability, and ensure that our community has access to accurate information about our complex immigration system.”
While M.I.A does not provide volunteer opportunities for the general public, there are needs for social workers, counselors, professional interpreters and translators.
Learn more about how you can get involved here.
As immigrants and refugees acclimate themselves in America, there are a number of challenges they go up against—such as figuring out transportation matters, understanding our mailing system, developing hobbies, acquiring computer skills, and more. Asha’s Refuge, named after a young refugee that inspired their work and practice, was founded by Jamie Jones after she spent time serving as an ESL volunteer with Catholic Charities of West Tennessee.
The objective of their work is to educate, help, and love on our new locals via specially curated, skill-based programming that bridges communities. From Arts, Cooking, and Crafts to Career Coaching and Counseling, their work not only allows space for our community to embrace more diversity, but provides an outlet for foreigners to further their adaption.
They are numerous opportunities for community involvement with Asha’s Refuge. Learn more here.