Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI)

Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI)

The Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley, advances research on all aspects of migration and supports students, scholars, and community organizations. Bringing together research, training, and public engagement, BIMI aspires to inform, educate, and transform knowledge to improve the well-being of immigrants and the communities they

Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI)

The Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley, advances research on all aspects of migration and supports students, scholars, and community organizations. Bringing together research, training, and public engagement, BIMI aspires to inform, educate, and transform knowledge to improve the well-being of immigrants and the communities they live in. Our students learn research and leadership skills, work on teams, and gain confidence in their ability to contribute to knowledge and society. We aim to nurture all students, including those from backgrounds under-represented in higher education and families where immigrant parents never had a chance to attend college.

About the Organization:

The Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley, advances research on all aspects of migration and supports students, scholars, and community organizations. Bringing together research, training, and public engagement, BIMI aspires to inform, educate, and transform knowledge to improve the well-being of immigrants and the communities they live in. Our students learn research and leadership skills, work on teams, and gain confidence in their ability to contribute to knowledge and society. We aim to nurture all students, including those from backgrounds under-represented in higher education and families where immigrant parents never had a chance to attend college.

organizational budget

5 MILLION - 8 MILLION

existence for

31+ YEARS

The Issue:

The AAPI is one of the fastest growing racial demographic groups in the country, but this is not reflected in civic and political inclusion, engagement, and participation. AAPI residents constitute 6.1% of the population but only .9% of all elected representatives, 0.24% of prosecutors and 0.07% of sheriffs. They are also more likely to be skeptical about participating in census data collection out of fear that information ‘would be used against them’.
Why lower representation and engagement? Many in the AAPI community are immigrants, they face language barriers, must confront racist vitriol and 'model minority' myths, and have -- historically through to the present -- experienced adverse federal and state laws targeting their communities, as well as erasing the diversity that forms it.
To remedy low levels of participation and representation, BIMI will provide AAPI youth with training, direct on-the-ground experience, and the background knowledge to build future leaders and advance empowerment.

The Solution:

BIMI will build on and extend the 'Cal in Sacramento' program at UC-Berkeley to train, educate and provide community-based internships to AAPI students. A cohort of 10 AAPI students (including first-generation college students, those in legally precarious status, or from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the AAPI community) will attend a year-long training program. The program includes Spring course instruction in California policy, research and politics; training that will prepare them for their two-month paid summer public service internship in Sacramento, working with elected representatives and government officials; monthly workshops with BIMI faculty on topics such as immigration law, AAPI history and social media data scraping (e.g., to identify hate speech); and a capstone presentation of their year-long experience in a public symposium to include other students, UCB faculty and staff, community organizations, policy professionals and public officials.
This will lead to transformational change through political and civic engagement.

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