We believe at FIRM that it is essential to work towards systems change through advocacy and organizing to fix the root of problems alongside of helping people meet their needs within existing systems. FIRM has been a trusted advocate for the refugee community for decades and will continue to be an amplifier of voices often unheard. These are the advocacy programs we currently operate.
Building Healthy Communities (BHC)
FIRM is a partner in the 10-year initiative of The California Endowment to create a healthier community for all. From 2011 to 2014, we led the BHC work around land use and community planning. Next, we supported the Schools Action Team work around the Local Control Funding Formula and ensuring that English Language Learners are supported to succeed. From 2017 and beyond, we supported the Neighborhoods Action Team work to create more parks in South Fresno. We are also proud members of the Immigrant-Refugee Coalition led by Fresno BHC as a part of the COVID-19 Equity Project.
San Joaquin River Access Civic Engagement
This project focuses specifically on access to the River West property of the San Joaquin River. Affluent communities that overlook this property are attempting to make access to these lands much more difficult for communities such as the Southeast Asian community. This work is advocating for access that would allow for equitable access to all communities in Fresno.
Housing Advocacy Project
After the Summerset Apartment crisis of 2015, FIRM rededicated itself to housing advocacy in the refugee community of Fresno. In the fall of 2020, we launched a new project in partnership with Fresno State and Faith in the Valley called “Summerset Storycloth” to document and share the stories of our amazing neighbors. So often we see that refugee and immigrant families are treated differently by their landlords, and need extra support from organizations like FIRM to know their rights and responsibilities as tenants.
Please contact FIRM if you have any questions or want to help with this work!