San Mateo’s County: Pacific Islander Know Your Rights Initiative (PIKYRI) Counseling/Advocacy:
Over 100 participants from the Pacific Islander community are shown at a community-wide immigration workshop in East Palo Alto in February 2019. Pacific Islanders make up almost 10% of the community and have immigration issues that are similar to those of many other immigrants in our local communities.
East Palo Alto has been home to the Pacific Islander community for many years. The diversity can be seen every day, on almost every block, at every community gathering and in classrooms throughout the city. Samoans, Tongans and Fijians are the largest groups and they make up nearly 10% of the community. The nonprofit organization One East Palo Alto recognized the need to provide support to these families and formed a team to address this issue. A Pacific Islander Know Your Rights Initiative (PIKYRI) was launched in 2017.
Major accomplishments of PIKYRI include the convening of two community-wide immigration workshops focused on “ Know Your Rights” and “ Visas and Citizenship Resources”. Over 400 Pacific Islanders (PI) attended these forums, and they were provided general information regarding current administration immigration policy. They also learn about their constitutional rights and the state and local protections that are currently in place. Speakers included Congresswoman Jackie Speier, California Assemblyman Marc Berman, and San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum as well as local representatives from police departments and schools.
Afternoon sessions offered culturally specific individual and small group meetings with attorneys from Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) and International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA). With funds from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Community Fund, a Pacific Islander Resource & Referral Center opened in East Palo Alto this February. The center is located at 903 Weeks Street – and operated by the Multicultural Counseling & Educational Services of the Bay Area (MCSBA). The center will serve as a hub for members of the Pacific Islander community and is designed to provide bilingual advocacy, immigration and case management services to immigrant constituents . Services will be provided Tuesday 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. and Thursday 1:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. The center is reachable by phone at 650-630-0692.
The Resource & Referral Center will coordinate an “Immigration Forum” in April. The forum will be held on Saturday, April 6 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Ravenswood Middle School, which is located at 2450 Ralmar Ave, in East Palo Alto.
This forum focused on citizenship and visa renewals and provides an opportunity for consultations with immigration attorneys. These consultation sessions are valuable in increasing an understanding of strategies that can be used by families to adjust their immigration status. This free event is open to any one, who is interested in learning more about how to permanently address their immigration issues.
‘Anamatangi Collaborates with:
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
- County of San Mateo
- Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto (CLESPA)
- International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)
- Multicultural Counseling & Educational Services of the Bay Area (MCESBA)
- One East Palo Alto (OEPA)
- Stanford Legal Aide Society
- Outreach to 3000+ clients
- Quarterly community forums
- Translation in Tongan, Samoan and Fijian
- Partnership in referrals/outreach
- Refer clients to partner agencies
- Empower and engage families through education