Cambodian Community Association of Maine and the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition

Cambodian Community Association of Maine and the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition

The Cambodian Community Association of Maine (CCAM) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic well-being of Cambodian people in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement. Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) is the convener of a unique, statewide

Cambodian Community Association of Maine and the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition

The Cambodian Community Association of Maine (CCAM) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic well-being of Cambodian people in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement. Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) is the convener of a unique, statewide network of 77 organizations, a majority of which are led by people of color – representing diverse ethnic communities across our state. MIRC represents member organizations that include immigrant constituency groups, advocacy groups, direct service organizations and grassroots community organizations.

About the Organization:

The Cambodian Community Association of Maine (CCAM) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic well-being of Cambodian people in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement. Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) is the convener of a unique, statewide network of 77 organizations, a majority of which are led by people of color – representing diverse ethnic communities across our state. MIRC represents member organizations that include immigrant constituency groups, advocacy groups, direct service organizations and grassroots community organizations.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

16-20 YEARS

The Issue:

The APIDA population in Maine, the whitest state in the country according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, lack the necessary funding and infrastructure needed to build a cohesive and united community that can advocate and raise awareness at the state, local, and federal level. Despite the existence of some ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs), most ECBOs have limited resources that are largely devoted to small cultural events. In addition, there is little to no infrastructure in place to build cohesion and trust among the disparate APIDA ECBOs and organizations often feel the need to compete for funding. The recent wave of anti-Asian racism and the corresponding #StopAsianHate movement highlighted the deep divisions in the APIDA community in Maine, but also showed opportunities where the APIDA community could come together and form a united front had the necessary trust, cohesion, and infrastructure been in place.

The Solution:

The APIDA community must claim and stake out its own space in all areas of civic, community, and cultural life in Maine. In the midst of a global pandemic, this requires a hybrid approach that includes both physical and virtual space. Our solution is multi pronged: first, we aim to locate and establish a physical space by exploring coworking and shared space options from which to center and launch our efforts; secondly, we will expand into the virtual, online space to engage and elevate APIDA voices, especially our youth, through multicultural storytelling, multimedia, online APIDA business directory, events calendar, and resources; finally, we aim to channel these efforts to help build community, trust, and political power between APIDA ethnic groups and advocate on issues such as public health, economic opportunity, and racial justice and equity.

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