Center to Support Immigrant Organizing (CSIO)

Lincoln Plaza
89 South St Ste 203
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617/742-5165
Fax: 617/227-5270
Web address:

Contact Person:

Mr. Kevin Whalen

Organization Description:

Formed in 1999, CSIO supports and helps develop the work of individuals, groups, organizations and communities dedicated to organizing immigrants around the issues that affect their lives. Our goal is to help immigrants in the forefront of community and workplace struggles to develop their power and leadership not only to succeed in their immediate context, but also to contribute to the broader effort to build a more just and democratic society.

Opportunities for Student Involvement:

ACADEMIC YEAR -- Academic year programs in which students can take leadership include:

The Grassroots Leadership Institute: CSIO provides a 5-session leadership curriculum for immigrant organizers, activists and directors that focuses on the "how to's" of developing immigrant leadership in social change efforts. Sessions include root cause analysis, facilitation, membership development, organizational planning & campaign development.

The Grassroots Leadership Network: CSIO facilitates quarterly network meetings for graduates of previous Institutes. Network activities offer the opportunity for grads to maintain relationships with others doing the work across communities, dig deeper to uncover the roots of social injustice, and develop strategies that link the work of the respective groups into a more unified movement.

Network of Immigrants and African Americans in Solidarity (NIAAS), which is a community-based project led by organizers and activists of color that builds solidarity among African Americans and immigrants of color. NIAAS facilitates dialogues, relationship-building and educational activities, and develops tools and processes that can be replicated in the field to break down mis-understandings and other barriers among these communities. Only students of color can work with this project.

Academic year placement tasks include: help do logistics for trainings and networking activities; take notes at planning meetings and convenings; help lead pieces of activities when capable; help develop and update web-site with current information on activities; do media and public relations work for initiatives and CSIO; participate in program planning meetings and CSIO staff meetings where possible; help do research around the initiatives, including pursuing potential funding sources.

SUMMER PLACEMENT -- Students can also apply for a Field Education placement during the summer, to coordinate the summer immigrant youth leadership program. This is CSIO’s central field education placement project. Student would coordinate a 6-week summer leadership and networking initiative among Latino, African, Asian and Caribbean high school youth. Work would include: planning and coordinating network and training activities for high school youth; supervising a group of five high school youth peer leaders, who will build their capacity to facilitate leadership trainings and relationship building activities and then lead them; train the peer leadership team in facilitation skills and root cause analysis of social injustice; support the members of the team to facilitate and take on other leadership roles in the activities; with the youth peer leaders, coordinate workshops involving Somali, Chinese and Latino youth on the roots of migration worldwide, drawing in the experiences of participating youth with an overview of economic (neo-liberal) and political factors; coordinate exchanges in Chinatown, Roxbury and East Boston, where youth from each neighborhood teach fellow participants about strategies to control development and fight gentrification, form worker cooperatives and fight Islamophobia; support the development of the youth team members as they grow their work and relationships; write end-of-summer newsletter that describes the program and captures the youth’s growth and understanding of social change processes.

Commute/Transportation Information:

CSIO is located a block from South Station, a stop on the MBTA red-line.

Arts of Ministry Competencies Offered:

  • Administration and Program Development
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development


Students will be supervised by Kevin Whalen of Center to Support Immigrant Organizing. CSIO will hold weekly supervision meetings with students. Students will reflect on the strategies and goals of immigrant leadership, capacity building and solidarity.

Additional Information:

  • Number of Students: 1
  • Total Compensation: $6000.00
  • Type of Compensation: Work Study
  • Additional Notes: Bi-cultural/bi-lingual students from Latino, Haitian, Brazilian or Chinese communities and students from African American communities are particularly desired, as most of our leadership development work is conducted with these communities. Students should call Field Education supervisor Kevin Whalen at CSIO at 617-742-5165 or send an e-mail to for more information and to schedule an interview. CSIO is located at 89 South Street, #700, Boston, MA 02111 (one block from South Station).

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