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BIN Document Revised 3.4.11

BIN Document Revised 3.4.11

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Published by: blackimmigration on Nov 16, 2011
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On April 17 –20, 2009, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Which Way Forward Program of the Center for New Community and the Third World Coalition of the American Friends Services Committee convened theinaugural meeting of Black Immigration Network (BIN). Fifty participants from 30 cities and 17 states born in 16different countries were present at the gathering in Baltimore, Maryland.BIN is a national network of people and organizations serving black immigrant and African Americancommunities focused on supporting fair and just immigration, as well as economic and social policies that benefitthese communities and all communities of color and create a more just and equitable society.BIN was convened a second time at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, Mich. in June 2010. A gathering of 39 people affirmed BIN ‘s mission and purpose and provided specific input into BIN’s potential work.Those who gathered at the BIN meetings agreed:1)BIN should continue as a national network; a Continuations Committee (CC) should develop proposalsfor an organizational structure, membership criteria and recruitment, organizational principles, internaland external communications strategies and mechanisms, and areas of work;2)BIN should develop a framework statement, a set of principles and specific recommendations for humaneimmigration reform;3)BIN should have as a high priority to develop working relationships with faith-based groups andinstitutions serving African American and black immigrant communities, including, churches, mosques,seminaries and theological institutions.4)BIN should have a focus on relationship building and alliance building between and among AfricanAmerican communities and communities of African, Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean immigrants.5)BIN should consider work on Temporary Protected Status for Haitian undocumented immigrants, permanent status for Liberians, and the issue of FBI surveillance and harassment of Somali communities.6)BIN should facilitate ongoing trainings and meetings on topics of interest to BIN members;7)BIN should facilitate ongoing discussions on race and identity begun at the conference.At the end of the first BIN gathering, the conference participants created an ad hoc body, the ContinuationsCommittee (CC), and charged it with the task of developing proposals on the following topics: BIN principles,organizational structure, decision making, membership structure, resources and capacities, and advancing thework and campaigns raised at the conference.To accomplish this work, there were task forces formed to present recommendations. The task forces were: 1)The Structure Task Force to draft a proposal for BIN’s structure, decisions making, and membershiprequirements; 2) The Logistics and Capacity Task Force to make recommendation on methods of BIN outreach aswell as internal and external communications; and 3) the Policy Task Force to draft a BIN statement onimmigration reformThis document specifically contains a CC proposal for BIN’s purpose, structure, decision-making process,membership requirements and potential programs and activities.
Why a Black Immigration Network?
The mission of the Black Immigration Network (BIN) is to contribute to the social and economic well-being of U.S.-born Blacks and Black immigrants (immigrants throughout this document means immigrants and refugees) by organizing in these communities, developing the leadership of Black people, and advocating for policies that benefit Black communities. BIN is a national network of organizations and individuals in the United States thatworks at the intersection of race, immigration and globalization. BIN also seeks to build alliances with other organizations and networks in immigrant communities and communities of color for mutual benefit.Our shared African ancestry and similar experiences with racism and exploitation in the U.S. and globally givesus a common frame of reference for our struggles to achieve justice. The diversity amongst Africans of theDiaspora can generate divisions when misconceptions and misunderstandings about one another and competitionfor education, employment and scarce resources prevails. BIN is a vehicle for mutual education, appreciation andcollaboration. Our network furnishes an important space for gathering the African Diaspora for joint strategizing,information sharing and work for the benefit of all of our communities.We believe that the struggle for immigrant rights is one of the cutting edge issues in the fight for racial justice anddemocracy in the United States today. Racism and economic globalization has created displacement and povertyin all of our communities and countries. Black immigrants, other immigrants of color and people of color ingeneral are being exploited and scapegoated for many of the economic problems the U.S. has experienced.Increasingly, African Americans are being locked out of the formal economy and immigrants of color are beinglocked into an economic arrangement in which they are super-exploited as a way to undercut the wages, rightsand working conditions of the U.S. workforce as a whole, creating greater profits for U.S. corporations.We believe that bringing a range of groups and individuals together to address the issues of race, immigration,globalization and related issues can magnify the impact of all of our groups in changing immigration policy and promoting racial justice. We also believe that BIN can be instrumental in bringing the issues, perspectives andleadership of various Black immigrant communities and African Americans born in the United States to the broader immigrant rights, racial justice and economic justice movements. BIN will help to build the capacity of itsmembers to meet the global challenges that face all of us and to bring together a durable social movement thattranscends the lines of race, gender, religion, sexual identity and nationality.
BIN Goals
The Black Immigration Network (BIN) works to promote just migration policies and practices grounded in racialand gender equity domestically and internationally, serves to strengthen the relationship and build solidarity between all people of African descent regardless of place of birth, and intentionally seeks to end the negativeimpact of economic globalization that is the root cause of global migration.To this end, BIN engages in activities that provide opportunities to:
Address critical issues around the relations between African Americans born in the U.S. and immigrantsof African descent by promoting dialogue, relationship building, alliance building and solidarity betweenand among black communities;
Share strategies, opinions and information to address race, immigration and globalization issues and other key social and political issues facing African descendant communities and to intentionally seek to end thenegative impact of economic globalization that is the root cause of global migration;
Share resources and engage in collaborative efforts to foster racial and economic justice for people of 
Black Immigration Network/Page 2
African descent and people of color in general.BIN is a Black-led network which:1. Reflects the communities it serves by having a leadership body made up of people of African descent2. Plays an active role in fostering dialogue on policy formation and implementation and ensuring perspectives of African-American and Black immigrants are included.3. Fosters education and alliance building between communities of African descent.4. Assists communities in examining critical issues surrounding relations between U.S. born Blacks and Black immigrants & refugees.4. Creates, promotes, and initiates strategies to address immigration and refugee issues facing communities of African descent.5. Undertakes documentation and issue periodic reports that focus on the unique experiences of migrantcommunities of African descent and/or receiving African American communities.6. Fosters alliance building between communities of African descent and progressive organizations committed toracial equity, gender justice, economic justice and immigrant rights
BIN Initiatives and Activities
BIN members will be organized into committees and task forces to accomplish its work. These bodies wouldsubmit quarterly reports to the Steering Committee for dissemination to the entire BIN membership. Some of theareas of potential work are:
Strategizing and Information Sharing.
BIN will be a vehicle for briefings, strategizing and information sharingon critical issues (e.g., briefings on migration patterns of Black immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and LatinAmerica or strategizing about building alliances between African Americans born in the U.S. and black immigrantcommunities).
Joint Projects and Campaigns.
BIN members will collaborate on joint projects (e.g., speaking tours, forums,workshops or advocacy campaigns, like the recent campaigns against the deportation of Haitians and Liberians).It would not be necessary for all BIN members to participate in any given project. Members may choose which project they want to be a part of.
Technical Assistance and Training.
BIN members will share their expertise through technical assistance andtraining for other BIN members (e.g., trainings on alliance building or media outreach).
Policy Position Papers.
BIN committees will prepare policy position papers and submit them to BIN membersfor endorsement.
BIN will build a website and communications network to make itspositions, projects, campaigns and resources readily available to its members, potentialmembers and the general public. BIN will also develop the capacity to get its messagesout through the mainstream, ethnic and alternative media in the U.S. as well as theinternational media.
Black Immigration Network/Page 3

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