Immigrants given tools to lead communities

May 31, 2013

First- and second-generation immigrants in the Phoenix area will learn about civic leadership this weekend. The New American Leaders Project (NALP) and Promise Arizona are sponsoring the two-day training session for the second year in a row.

“The training is very specifically designed to be targeted at immigrant leaders who we believe have certain assets that they bring to the political experience,” said Sayu Bhojwani, founding director of NALP.

Just one year later, the sessions have yielded positive outcomes, including three participants who now hold political leadership positions in their communities. Two of them are now school board members in Arizona and the other serves as a precinct committee representative.

“We had a high degree of success in terms of people who ran as well as people who won, and we’re really looking forward to being back there this year,” Bhojwani said.

The founding director said the project targets immigrant groups because they are typically uninvolved in the political process.

“What we would like to see is a greater representation of community leaders from immigrant communities who understand the needs of their communities and who are willing to champion those needs both as candidates and then as elected officials,” Bhowjani said.

The New American Leader Project is a non-partisan group. Promise Arizona is a Phoenix-based, grassroots organization that works to empower the Latino community.

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