We Are New York Values



Mission: Adhikaar, meaning rights, is a New York-based nonprofit organizing the Nepali-speaking community to promote human rights and social justice for all. Since 2005, Adhikaar has been committed to improving the lives of the Nepali-speaking community and getting our voices heard in the social justice movement. We facilitate access to information and resources on immigration, health, workers’ rights, and other issues; we organize the community to collectively advocate against social injustices and human rights abuses; we conduct participatory action research and policy advocacy on issues affecting our community; and we build leadership of members, with the focus on marginalized groups within the Nepali-speaking community.

Website: http://www.adhikaar.org/volunteer/
Volunteer form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdiBbe3UmtG-eFDdWqLrlGR1TPrZ1CN740vsKhpGCY2DtujyA/viewform
Email: info@adhikaar.org
Phone: 718-937-1117

What volunteers do:

  • weekly English classes (at least 3 months' commitment)

  • outreach/community engagement

  • voter engagement (door knocking, phone banking)

  • research/writing

  • interpret/translate

  • administrative assistance

  • event assistance

  • publicity/media

  • fundraising

  • IT Support


  • Nepali, Tibetan, Hindi, a plus

Borough: Queens

Mission: African Services is a multiservice agency based in Harlem dedicated to assisting immigrants, refugees and asylees from across the African Diaspora. Our programs address the needs of newcomers affected by war, persecution, poverty, and global health inequalities. We provide health, housing, legal, educational, and social services to 12,500 people each year. Staff representing more than 20 countries and speaking over 25 languages provide culturally and linguistically relevant support to this diverse and growing community.

Website: http://africanservices.org/about-us/jobs-internships
Phone: 212-222-3882
Email: info@africanservices.org

What volunteers do:

  • TESOL (teaching English)

  • adult literacy

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of Latinx and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice. At MRNY, we believe that to organize effectively for justice, the people most impacted by injustice must lead. That is why we are a membership organization and why we are led by working class immigrants and people of color.  In the current crisis, MRNY will be educating thousands of local residents about their rights as immigrants; organizing to keep ICE out of our homes, and confronting enforcement officials if and when they come; advocating for local residents who have been unjustly detained; and serving as a model of solidarity and resistance for cities and states across the country. While we have always worked with aliadxs (allies) in coalitions, we have traditionally organized in our communities. But with the rise of Donald Trump’s racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, and classist politics, more New Yorkers are seeking organizing opportunities where they can follow the strategies and tactics of those most directly impacted. Aliadxs is a decentralized network of allies committed to using our skills, privileges, and resources to support Make the Road’s members in the fight for policies, an immigration system, and an economy that recognize every single person’s full humanity. We refuse to let racist ideology tear apart our city and pit working people against each other. As Aliadxs, we recognize that we often have privileges and access to resources that can be leveraged to support the work of our neighbors facing the worst attacks under this new administration.

Website: http://www.maketheroadny.org
Aliadx volunteer signup: bit.ly/joinaliadxs
Phone: 718-418-7690 x4703

What volunteers do:

  • support the MRNY resistance strategy

  • attend bi-monthly meetings to update each other on our work, develop organizing skills, and participate in political education workshops

  • help friends, family, and coworkers get involved in the Aliadxs network

  • join teams (core leadership; fundraising; holding electeds accountable; rapid response; research; art; social-media amplification; hubs) sample team roles include facilitator, contact person, notetakers

  • mobilize for rallies

  • add strength to MRNY campaigns

  • anticipate and respond to ICE raids to support impacted families

  • fundraise for MRNY

  • run political education workshops

  • build a network of compassion and support across New York


  • MRNY’s members will shape the priorities of Aliadxs, identify where support is most needed and provide strategic direction

  • Commitment is flexible, from weekly to monthly to sporadic

  • General meetings take place about every 2-3 months

  • Aliadxs commitments and more information can be found here http://bit.ly/2Fgf8CL

  • Aliadxs pledge is here bit.ly/joinaliadxs

Mission: Our mission is to support and empower the Arab immigrant and Arab-American community by providing services to help them adjust to their new home and become active members of society. Our aim is for families to achieve the ultimate goals of independence, productivity and stability. The Arab-American Association is also hosting The Accompany Project, which asks volunteers to get trained to accompany Muslims and other immigrants in NYC who are anxious about commuting alone, and to be ready to stand up to hate crimes at any time, anywhere in the city.

Website: http://www.arabamericanny.org/opportunities/
Phone: 718-745-3523
Email: Volunteer@ArabAmericanNY.org or Reem Ramadan reem@arabamericanny.org for The Accompany Project

What volunteers do:

  • ESOL

  • citizenship practice

  • women's advocacy

  • email support

  • security specialists

  • complete upstander training (The Accompany Project)

  • assist in upstander training by becoming trained to be a facilitator (The Accompany Project)

  • help set up/clean up/organize the training space (The Accompany Project)

  • work from home to find/coordinate space for trainings (The Accompany Project)



  • upstander training is in three sessions

Mission: The Arab-American Family Support Center empowers new immigrants with the tools they need to successfully acclimate to the world around them and become active participants in their communities. AAFSC is the first and largest Arabic-speaking, trauma-informed social service agency in New York City. Our programs are designed to empower and strengthen the Arab, Middle-Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) immigrant communities throughout the five boroughs, while creating an environment of tolerance and understanding for all nationalities and beliefs. We serve over 6,000 low-income people each year through six main programs: the Preventive Services Program, Adult Education and Literacy Program, Youth Program, Legal Services Program, Health Program and Anti-Violence Program.

Website: http://www.aafscny.org/getinvolved/volunteer
Phone: 718-643-8000 x38 or 718-937-800
Email: info@aafscny.org

What volunteers do:

  • photography

  • videography

  • tutor children

  • be an English conversation partner

  • assist with citizenship study

Borough: based in Brooklyn, serves all boroughs

Mission: ASAP prevents wrongful deportations by connecting refugee families to community support and emergency legal aid. We provide rapid representation at a distance, reaching families who could not otherwise access legal services in the United States. Our clients have traveled thousands of miles and braved dangerous terrain to bring their families to safety. We fight alongside them to keep their families in the United States and safe from harm. We are creative, collaborative, and nonpartisan. And we believe all refugee families deserve the support and assistance they need to win their cases, no matter where they are located in the United States.

Website: https://asylumadvocacy.org/volunteer/
Email: info@asylumadvocacy.org
Phone: N/A

What volunteers do:

  • provide emergency legal services to refugee families


  • current caseload is too heavy for ASAP to train new volunteers immediately

  • sign up to be notified of future opportunities

Mission: Atlas: DIY is a center for youth between 14-24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, empowering undocumented children to succeed through mentoring, capacity building, and support.

Website: http://www.atlasdiy.org/volunteer-at-atlas/
Phone: 347-599-1641
Email: getinvolved@atlasdiy.org

What volunteers do:

  • job search skills coach or job training/professional skills coach, one Sunday/month for six months

  • career, college, general mentors, once a month for a year

  • human resources

  • graphic design

  • marketing

Borough: Brooklyn

Mission: The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) believes that a thriving multiracial democracy requires racial, social and economic justice for all. African Americans and black immigrants are stronger together and we can win by becoming leaders in the fight against structural racism and systemic discrimination. BAJI was formed to bring Black voices together to advocate for equality and justice in our laws and our communities. BAJI educates and engages African American and black immigrant communities to organize and advocate for racial, social and economic justice.

Website: http://blackalliance.org/programs/baji-nyc/
Phone: 347-410-5312
Email: http://blackalliance.org/contact-us/

What volunteers do:

  • attend monthly meetings and plan campaigns and events to advance a collective vision for transformation (current campaigns include: Safety Beyond Policing; Freedom Film Series; Private Prison Divestment; ICE-free NYC)

Mission: BronxWorks helps individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being. From toddlers to seniors, we feed, shelter, teach, and support our neighbors to build a stronger community. In all aspects of our work, BronxWorks strives for the highest ethical and performance standards and is guided by the belief that people are to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their present situation or past experiences.
Website: http://www.bronxworks.org/volunteer-opportunities
Email: Xavier Williams at xwilliams@bronxworks.org or L. Andrew Lin llin@bronxworks.org
Phone: 646-393-4000

What volunteers do:

  • Community Health Advocates volunteers conduct street outreach; attend afternoon and evening community meetings; and assist in planning informational sessions geared towards individuals and small businesses

  • volunteer attorneys and JD candidates assist low-income individuals in the preparation of affirmative applications for immigration benefits

  • Positive Living volunteers serve lunch or dinner or help in food pantry for people living with HIV/AIDS

  • administrative work

  • teach ESOL (M-F, 9-5)

  • teach Civics (M-F, 9-5)


  • for CHA, high school diploma, strong writing and computer experience, and ability to do public speaking required

Borough: Bronx

Mission: Founded in 1988, the Eighth Avenue Community Chinese-American had a humble beginning, with only a handful of people providing limited social services on a voluntary basis, helping immigrants who had low English proficiency with issues related to government social programs. In the following years, this fledging organization grew into what is now known as the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association (BCA). BCA worked with the NYPD to eliminate Asian youth gangs in the area, allowing the Brooklyn Chinatown to proudly emerge as the first Asian community in New York City to eliminate the problem of gang violence. In late 1991, BCA implemented youth after school program. In 1992, BCA initiated the LPN and Nurse’s Aide Training Program. In 1993, BCA started providing adult literacy programs and established the 8th Avenue Senior Center. In 1994, BCA renovated an abandoned garment factory building on 5000 Eighth Avenue, converting the first floor into a day care center and established its Main Community Development Center on the second floor. In the years that followed, BCA has concentrated its efforts on providing much-needed services in six major areas: early childhood educational services, youth services, adult educational programs, social services, senior services, and community involvement and activism.

Website: http://www.bca.net/eng/support.html
Email: bca@bca.net
Phone: 718-438-0008

What volunteers do:

  • work at BCA’s main office or one of its eighteen service sites across southern Brooklyn

  • email them directly for specific opportunities


  • Mandarin and other Chinese dialects helpful

Mission: The mission of Brooklyn Public Library is to ensure the preservation and transmission of society's knowledge, history and culture, and to provide the people of Brooklyn with free and open access to information for education, recreation and reference. Brooklyn Public Library will be a vital center of knowledge for all, accessible 24 hours a day, and will be a leader in traditional and innovative library services which reflect the diverse and dynamic spirit of the people of Brooklyn.

Website: http://www.bklynlibrary.org/support/volunteer
Volunteer application: https://bpl.bklynlibrary.org/volunteer/
Email: https://bpl.bklynlibrary.org/questionpoint/write_us.aspx
Phone: 718-230-2100

What volunteers do:

  • adult literacy tutors work with a small group of adults who read below a 5th-grade level on reading, writing, technology, and critical thinking (commitment of 2 2-hour sessions/week or 1 3-hour session/week for one year)

  • homework helpers assist children one on one and in small groups on homework and use of library materials (commitment 2-3 hours/week between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for six months)

  • Book Buddies are youth volunteers who work with younger children on reading, arts, crafts, and library activities; assist library staff (commitment 2-3 hours week for 3 months; in summer, 3-9 hours week for three weeks)

  • Citizenship exam coaches work with small groups on speaking, reading, writing, navigating the naturalization process (commitment 2-3 hours/week for 6 months)

  • computer coaches assist library patrons in use of computers both for library tasks and advanced software programs (commitment 2-3 hours/week for three months)

  • English conversation group leaders select material for discussion in small groups and lead conversations (commitment 2-3 hours/week for a minimum of 6 months)

  • First Five Years volunteers work with children birth to five and their parents and caregivers, assisting in selection of materials, reading aloud, supporting library programs and maintaining First Five Years space (commitment 2 hours/week for six months)

  • high school tutors help students with homework, standardized tests and college applications; shifts are between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. M-Th (commitment 2-3 hours/week for six months)

  • Reading Troubadours work alone or in teams of two at non-profit health care clinics reading to children, and their parents/ caregivers; distribute donated books; introduce parents and caregivers to libraries and services; submit monthly reports on activities; shifts between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. M-F and between (;00 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays (commitment of 2 hours/week for six months)

  • shelf organizers help BPL staff maintain materials in proper locations (commitment 2-3 hours/week for 3 months)

  • resume coaches assist library patrons/visitors with resumes, cover letters, job applicatiosn, thank you lettesr and other employment related letters, providing critique, editing, and suggestions for revision (commitment 2-3 hours/week for 3 months)

  • Central Library Welcome Ambassadors assist patrons in navigating the library and answering other Brooklyn-related questions (commitment 2-3 hours/week for 6 months)


  • most but not all positions require volunteers to be 18

  • application, interview, information session, initial 20-hour training and follow-up training required for adult literacy tutors; materials and curriculum provided

  • online application and background check required for tutoring children, First Five Years program, Reading Troubadors

  • training provided for citizenship exam coaches, English conversation group leaders, high-school tutors, Reading Troubadors, resume coaches

  • knowledge of a second language useful but not required (Spanish and Cantonese particularly helpful for Reading Troubadors)

Borough: Brooklyn

Mission: The Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) creates a pathway to self-sufficiency for immigrants, refugees, women, and others by providing small business loans, microloans, specialized training, technical assistance and personalized coaching.  BCNA is fulfilling the American Dream of inclusion by building wealth through business development & expansion, savings and homeownership for low to moderate income immigrant and female entrepreneurs.

Website: http://www.nybcna.org/bcna/about/Volunteer/
Email: lostrovsky@nybcna.org
Phone: Leonid Ostrovsky at 212-898-4130

What volunteers do:

  • business professionals mentor business clients and conduct workshops

  • undergraduate and graduate students conduct research, analyze data reports, and assist with marketing and publicity

Mission: CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities works to build grassroots community power across diverse poor and working class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City. We were founded in 1986 by Asian working-class women alarmed by the spike of hate violence on Asian communities and its root causes stemming from institutional racism in the United States. Through our organizing model of base-building, leadership development, campaigns, alliances, and organizational development, we organize Asian communities to fight for institutional change. CAAAV currently has three programs organizing low-income Asian immigrants in Chinatown and Queensbridge Public Housing for racial, gender, and economic justice. Our Chinatown Tenants Union (CTU) builds power of residents to protect affordable housing through: organizing tenants in buildings acquired by predatory landlords to challenge unjust evictions and harassment; activating tenants to become CTU members who lead campaigns to change City and State agencies and policies for greater tenant protections and affordable housing; engaging Chinatown in the Equitable Rezoning Campaign to build a community envisioned by the long-time residents that is sustainable for the long-term.

Website: http://caaav.org/take-action/volunteer
Phone: 212-473-6485
Email: justice@caaav.org

What volunteers do:

  • outreach to rent-stabilized and public-housing tenants

  • data entry

  • fundraising committee for special events

  • interpret/translate in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Bangla

Borough: Manhattan, Queens

Mission: The mission of Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC (CIS-NYC) is to provide essential services to immigrants in the spirit of Mother Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants and founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since its inception in 1999, CIS-NYC has worked with the immigrant community all over New York City and serves all persons residing in the metro area regardless of age, race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or immigration status.

Website: http://cis-nyc.org/volunteer-2/
Email: info@cis-nyc.org
Phone: 212-791-4590 x100
What volunteers do:

  • food pantry volunteers unload shipments, organize the pantry, distribute food (Mondays and Tuesdays)

  • Cantonese speakers help with Tuesday food distribution, phone calls, and document translation

  • social media

  • Photoshop

  • Microsoft Access

  • marketing and media (writing and graphic design)

  • course/workshop instructor in English, Spanish, civics, immigration law, knitting, cooking

  • paralegals and lawyers donate pro-bono time and expertise

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: CIANA serves new immigrants in New York City, providing culturally competent and language appropriate services to newcomers from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Newcomers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, to enjoy the freedoms and protections that the US offers, to take pride in their cultural heritage and to blend the best of their ethnic identity with that of their new country.

Website: http://www.cianainc.org/index.php
Phone: 718-545-4040
Email: info@cianainc.org

What volunteers do:

  • assist ESOL instructor and/or civics instructor (10-1, T, W, Th, adult education or ESOL experience required)

  • case manager

  • tutor elementary-school kids

  • social media, community outreach, write grants, fundraise, PR, web development, office assistance

  • pro-bono immigration attorneys lead one-hour Saturday Pathway to U.S. workshops at sites around Queens or 4 hours on-site per week (assist with changes of status, petitions for family members, DACA renewal, and N-400 applications)


  • Arabic, Spanish, Bengali very helpful

Borough: Queens

Mission: Chhaya CDC was founded in 2000 to advocate for the housing needs of New York City’s South Asian community. Our mission is to work with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. Chhaya carries out this work in several ways, including free direct services, education and outreach, community organizing, and research and policy, as well as both local and citywide coalition-building. Our work encompasses tenant rights, financial capacity building, sustainable homeownership, foreclosure prevention, energy efficiency, women’s financial empowerment, workforce development, civic engagement, and broader community building and research and advocacy around community needs. By focusing on core areas of housing and economic development—the basic necessities essential to one’s stability—Chhaya is able to impact a range of social outcomes, including education, employment, civic participation, community pride, and mental health and well-being. Through our work, Chhaya aims to develop a framework that will achieve long-term stability for New Yorkers of South Asian origin, giving them the tools and resources that will enable them to create positive, lasting change in their lives.

Website: http://chhayacdc.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Email: info@chhayacdc.org
Phone: 718-478-3848

What volunteers do:

  • assist with community organizing and workshops

  • conduct surveys

  • outreach (flyering, postering)

  • office assistance

  • office administration

  • translate/interpret

  • pro-bono legal consultation

  • fundraise

  • grant writing

  • cultivate donors

  • staff events

  • social media

  • film/photography

  • voter registration

  • assist with citizenship applications

Borough: Queens

Mission: Based in New York's Chinatown/Lower East Side, the Chinese Progressive Association works towards social and economic justice for our community. We build ties with other communities and support justice and equality for all. We provide educational, advocacy, service, and organizing programs that raise the community's living and working standards, involve residents in the decision making processes that affect our lives, bring together people from of diverse backgrounds and walks of life.

Website: https://www.cpanyc.info/volunteer.html
Volunteer application: https://www.cpanyc.info/volunteer.html#volunteer%20form
Teaching application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfTp8S9Cbyzxb05_F-uQp5OE1e5QBBfuSStXxG9SKUrTNH-9g/viewform
Email: cpanyc@cpanyc.org
Phone: 212-274-1891

What volunteers do:

  • voter registration and education (Chinese Political Empowerment Project)

  • teach English & citizenship classes

  • outreach and education, citizenship application clinic (Immigrant Rights Project)

  • facilitate Shared Stories Youth Program (plan and run social activism activities for youth ages 15-21)

  • work on Environmental Health and Justice Project

  • plan special events

  • translate and interpret


  • training provided for community outreach

  • Immigrant Rights Projects volunteers work Saturdays or Sundays

  • teaching commitment is 2 hours/week weekday mornings or evenings; preference given to volunteers able to commit to 2 semesters; teaching experience preferred; bilingual skills a plus

  • youth group sessions are Sundays, 10:30-1:00

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: Cidadão Global (CG)’s social justice vision is to raise the political visibility of Brazilian immigrants to ensure that the community has the tools and resources to collectively advocate for their human rights through systemic change.  CG’s programmatic purposes emanate from that vision and focus on increasing knowledge of rights, increasing economic opportunity, providing a platform to build leaders from within the community, and empowering the most underrepresented members of the Brazilian immigrant community, including women, domestic workers, and youth.  Through our programs and policy campaigns we give a voice to Brazilian immigrants in national and local policy debates centered on immigration, employment rights, and language access.  

Website: http://www.cidadaoglobal.org/participate
Email: info@cidadaoglobal.org
Phone: 718-619-8529

What volunteers do:

  • lead or participate in short-term community development projects and strategic initiatives‎

  • organize crowdsourcing and other fundraising campaigns‎

  • help with events

  • plan, develop, and execute special projects

  • advocate on social media

  • write grants

  • research

  • photography

  • videography

  • design

  • data analysis

  • market research

  • education research

  • marketing strategy

  • teach

  • translate into/from Portuguese

Borough: Queens

Mission: CIVIC is a national immigration detention visitation network, working to end the U.S. immigration detention system by monitoring human-rights abuses, elevating stories, building community-based alternatives to detention, and advocating for system change.

Website: http://www.endisolation.org/get-involved/become-a-volunteer/
Phone: n/a
Email: info@endisolation.org

What volunteers do:

  • staff national hotline for people in immigration detention

  • become a pen pal with a detainee

  • visit detention centers in New Jersey

  • start a new visitation program

  • consult on fundraising

  • engage the public with stories about CIVIC

Mission: The Council of Peoples Organization’s (COPO) mission is to assist low income immigrant families, particularly South Asians and Muslims, to reach their full potential as residents of New York City. COPO empowers marginalized communities to advocate for their rights and understand their responsibilities as Americans. It helps to build community relations between Muslim and non-Muslim community groups. It continues to establish connections between the communities and various government agencies.

Website: http://copo.org/volunteer-2/
Email: info@copo.org
Phone: 718-434-3266

What volunteers do:

  • assist with citizenship applications

  • outreach for community-education seminars

  • administrative tasks for appointments with pro-bono immigrationattorneys


  • Russian, Uzbek, Urdu, Punjabi helpful

Borough: Brooklyn

Mission: CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population. Our centers offer free immigration services to all members of the community (both CUNY students and non-students) at CUNY campuses and city council offices.

Website: http://www1.cuny.edu/sites/citizenship-now/support/volunteer/register/
Email: cunycitizenshipnow@gmail.com
Phone: 646-344-7245

What volunteers do:

  • assist immigrants in overcoming barriers to naturalization and help them become U.S. citizens


  • seeking speakers of Arabic , Chinese , French, Hindi, Kreyol, Korean, Russian, Spanish

  • lawyers, law students, and non-lawyers welcome

  • immigration assistance events held two Saturdays per month

  • training available on weekday evenings; participation in training will expand possible volunteer roles

  • volunteer application on site

  • confidentiality agreement required

Borough: all

Mission: Damayan means “to help each other” in Filipino. Damayan is a nonprofit organization that empowers low-wage workers to fight for their labor, health, gender and immigrant rights. Established in 2002 by a group of Filipina domestic workers, we self-empower grassroots leaders to eliminate labor trafficking, fight labor fraud and wage theft, and to demand fair labor standards to achieve economic and social justice. We promote discussions on gender, race, class, globalization and forced migration to raise public awareness and support against the systemic causes of the exploitation of low wage workers, particularly migrant women domestic workers. Damayan also works to reunify families divided by migration.

Website: www.damayanmigrants.org
Phone: 212-564-6057
Email: contact@damayanmigrants.org

What volunteers do:

  • organize vulnerable communities by creating call lists of individuals to check on daily

  • help with community outreach

  • help with office tasks such as filing, data entry

  • provide legal help

  • IT support


Mission: Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

Website: https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/take-action/advocate
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A

What volunteers do:

  • meet with legislators

  • visit detention centers for oversight

  • write about local detention centers for media

Borough: National organization based in D.C. but activities can be done anywhere.

Mission: The English-Speaking Union arose from the conviction of its founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench, that given the opportunity to know one another personally, people who shared a common language would soon discover that they also shared similar values, whatever their differences in nationality or background. He imagined the ESU as an inclusive organization "founded in no narrow attitude of race pride, in no spirit of hostility to any people." Its educational mission would be carried out by a host of activities allowing for personal contact between peoples at every level. The Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) is a free program that helps recent low-income immigrants, including asylum seekers, to participate fully in American society.

Website: https://www.esuus.org/esu/about/jobs/
Email: eia@esuus.org
Phone: 212-818-1200

What volunteers do:

  • after orientation session (offered weekly) English in Action volunteers become conversation partners for non-native speakers for two hours/week, Tuesday evenings or Saturday mornings

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: First Friends of NJ and NY upholds the inherent dignity and humanity of detained immigrants and asylum seekers. We provide compassion and hope through volunteer visitation, resettlement assistance and advocacy.

Website: https://firstfriendsnjny.org/volunteer-2/
Email: Rosa at info@firstfriendsnjny.org
Phone: 908-965-0455

What volunteers do:

  • visit immigration detainees (at NJ detention centers)

  • pen pals write to detainees regularly (from anwywhere)

  • twice a year, collect writing materials for detainees– paper, envelopes, stamps, and phone cards

  • solicit donations for writing materials

  • help pack folders of writing materials

  • advocate for detainees via social media


  • visiting takes place at detention centers in New Jersey but other volunteer work can be done from home

  • training and access provided for visitors

  • Spanish speakers urgently needed

Borough: NJ-based visits take place at Elizabeth Detention Center, the Hudson County Correctional Center, the Bergen County Jail and at Essex County Correctional Center-Delaney Hall

Mission: Each year, thousands of survivors of torture and other human rights abuses flee persecution in their home countries, seeking asylum and other protections in the United States. As many as 1.3 million survivors of torture are currently living in communities across the U.S., often hidden in plain sight. Through its Human Rights Clinic (HRC), HealthRight International provides critical forensic evaluations and case management services to immigrants in the U.S. who are fleeing torture and other severe abuses. In recent years, our services have been essential in helping to stabilize the lives of vulnerable immigrant populations. Through its Access to Support and Services for Survivors of Torture (ASSIST) program, the HRC simultaneously works to ensure that survivors have access to critical follow-up medical, psychological and social services that they need to rebuild their lives in a new country.

Website: https://healthright.org/about/volunteers/
Volunteer application: http://healthright.org//wp-content/uploads/2014/05/HRC-Application-New.pdf
Email:  HRC.training@healthright.org
Phone: 212-992-6132

What volunteers do:

  • conduct evaluations to document physical and psychological signs of torture for survivors in immigration proceedings


  • application and training required

Mission: HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom. HIAS rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are. We protect the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom. We advocate for the protection of refugees and assure that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve. Guided by our Jewish values and history, we bring more than 130 years of expertise to our work with refugees.

Website: http://hias.org/volunteer
Phone: 212-967-4100
Email: n/a

What volunteers do:

  • write letters to detainees (once a month)

  • conversation partner (2/3 hours/week)

  • translate/interpret for legal cases

  • pro bono legal services (25-150 hours per case)

Borough: Manhattan office

Mission: Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the global struggle for human rights, so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms. We know it is not enough to expose and protest injustice, so we create the political environment and policy solutions necessary to ensure consistent respect for human rights. Whether we are protecting refugees, combating torture, or defending persecuted minorities, we focus not on making a point, but on making a difference. For more than 35 years, we’ve built bipartisan coalitions and teamed up with frontline activists and lawyers to tackle global challenges that demand American leadership.

Website: https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/stand-refugees-get-involved
Email: info@humanrightsfirst.org
Phone: 212-845-5200

What volunteers do:

  • lawyers provide pro-bono assistance to refugees and asylum seekers

  • interpret meetings with potential asylum clients and/or help translate documents

  • offer housing to immigrants affected by the travel ban

Mission: Since 1994, Immigration Equality has been proud to advocate for and represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-positive immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom. As the only LGBTQ organization with a staff of immigration attorneys, Immigration Equality impacts both the individuals we serve and the immigration system as a whole. For more than 20 years, we have been focused on providing free direct legal services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,queer, and HIV-positive immigrants, including: asylum seekers forced to flee to the U.S. to find safety; LGBTQ immigrant and binational couples and families separated by oceans; detainees trapped in immigration jail facilities; and undocumented LGBTQ people living in the shadows inside the U.S. Unlike in the U.S. criminal justice system, representation is not provided to individuals in immigration court. At Immigration Equality, we fundamentally believe in access to counsel.

Website: http://www.immigrationequality.org/volunteer
Signup form: http://imeq.force.com/volunteers/GW_Volunteers__VolunteersSignupFS
Phone: n/a
Email: info@immigrationequality.org
What volunteers do:

  • pro bono lawyers

  • translate documents for asylum applications, interpret in client interviews, interpret in court

  • make calls

  • photography

  • mailings

  • computer support

  • event support

  • bartend/waitstaff at events

  • graphic design

  • videography (shooting/editing)

Mission: The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. 

Website: https://www.rescue.org/announcement/how-volunteer-nyc
Application form: https://rescueglobal.secure.force.com/application/rc_volunteers__ApplicationForm_Designer?id=a3E31000000UEco#!mode=view&form=00P3100000aMKNsEAO&dev=true
Email: VolunteerNY@rescue.org
Phone: 212-377-4728

What volunteers do:

  • mentor refugee families and individuals

  • assist refugees to develop effective job seeking and interview results

  • ESL tutor training available


  • application/references, background check required ($25 fee)

Mission: Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement  is a community-based, non-profit organization providing comprehensive services and programs to youth, families, immigrants and seniors in the western Queens community. The mission of Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement is to build and strengthen underserved communities in Western Queens and to act as a catalyst for change.

Website: http://www.riissettlement.org/volunteer-your-time/sign-up-to-volunteer/
Email: info@riissettlement.org
Phone: 718-784-7447 x133

What volunteers do:

  • conversation partners and tutors for adult English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) learners in the Immigrant Services program

  • tutoring, homework help, and group project supervision in Riis Academy (after-school and summer youth development program)

  • tutor for K-12 students between 3-9 weekdays, minimum one hour/week, six-month commitment

  • mentor older students 6:30-9 weekdays, minimum one/hour/week one-year commitment

  • collect donations, plan events

  • translate for non-English speakers at senior center

  • one-time opportunities include service days, art projects, holiday meals and celebrations, painting at community center, revitalizing community garden

Borough: Queens

Mission: The Center strives to strengthen the lives of low-income immigrants in Sunset Park and its surrounding communities by providing low and no-cost direct immigration legal services. The Center seeks to alleviate the many hardships faced by recent immigrants due to status. The Centers services include but are not limited to: Adjustment of Status, Naturalization, Asylum/ Refugee, Family Reunification and Family-Based Petitions, Self-Petitions under the Violence Against Women Act, Defending Immigrants in Immigration and Removal Proceedings, Crime Victims Visas, and Work Authorization. The Center also provides or promotes Citizenship & Naturalization classes, ESL classes, Tax preparation advice, counseling & referrals on collateral issues, and translation services.

Website: http://jncenter.org/support_us.html
Phone: 929-283-3001
Email: Sam Dye juanneumanncenter@gmail.com

What volunteers do:

  • day-to-day administrative work

  • special events

  • clinic outreach

  • technical support

Borough: Brooklyn

Mission: KCS envisions a world where immigrant communities remain grounded in their heritage and work together with the broader community to build a better society at large. KCS’s mission is to be a bridge for Korean immigrants and the wider Asian community to fully integrate into society and overcome any economic, health and linguistic barriers so that they become independent and thriving members of the community. We accomplish this mission by providing culturally competent programs in the areas of aging, education, immigration, workforce development, and public health.

Website: http://www.kcsny.org/en/volunteer
Email: Teresa Balk, tbalk@kcsny.org
Phone: 718-939-6137

What volunteers do:

  • communications/newsletter

  • teach adult literacy

  • translate/interpret Korean/English

  • social media

  • photography

  • tech support

  • administrative duties

  • nursing

  • web design

  • Google analytics

  • fundraise

  • register voters

  • assist in senior centers

  • assist at health fairs

  • assist in after-school and Saturday school

  • support job-training/workforce development programs for low-income and limited-English proficient seniors


  • Korean, Cantonese, or Mandarin a plus

Borough: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens

Mission: Our mission is to protect and strengthen democratic institutions, resist abuse of power and corruption, and defend the rights of those who suffer in the absence of good government.

Website: https://www.lawyersforgoodgovernment.org/take-action/
Lawyer/interpreter signup form for immigration work: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/we-stand-with-immigrants-their-families-sign-up-to-volunteer Non-lawyer signup form for immigration work: https://l4gg.typeform.com/to/d0f9Gf
Email: support@l4gg.org
Phone: N/A

What volunteers do:

  • provide telephonic interpretation for Dilley, Texas pro bono project

  • provide telephonic interpretation for immigrants seeking release on bond

  • provide representation for immigrants seeking release on bond

  • prepare parole requests for asylum seekers

  • conduct country conditions research for pro se asylum seekers

  • coordinate volunteers

  • provide administrative support

  • media relations/PR

  • develop social-media content

  • fundraising

  • research/writing/blogging


  • organization is based in Texas, but much work can be done remotely

  • some asylum seekers in need of representation are in New Jersey

  • opportunities available for lawyers and non-lawyers

Mission: Make the Road New York (MRNY) is a 20,000-strong member organization that builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. MRNY members work through issue committees: civil rights and immigrant rights; workers’ rights; housing and environmental justice; LGBTQ justice; education justice and the rights of parents and students in the public schools. We also run an extremely active youth program and a nonpartisan voter engagement program. Our organizing campaigns and innovative service programs have tangibly improved the lives of millions of working people and have served as models for others across the nation. We’re now facing the biggest challenge in Make the Road New York’s history. We are ramping up to work harder and more bravely than ever before. We’ve jumped into action to respond to the surge need for services to provide legal support and connecting community members to mental health providers. We’re opening our community centers as safe spaces for healing, story sharing and peer support. Newly formed Neighborhood Defense Teams will protect all types of families – biological families, chosen families, LGBTQ families and more – from being torn apart by our unjust immigration system. (See Aliadxs above to help with Neighborhood Defense.)

Website: http://www.maketheroadny.org/participate.php
Phone: 718-565-8500 x4463 or 631-255-7626
Emailvolunteer@maketheroadny.org or Monica Robles,  monica.robles@maketheroadny.org or Cassandra Cochran, Cassandra.cochran@maketheroadny.org

What volunteers do:

  • (urgent) offer pro bono legal help for immediate legal assistance; times flexible

  • (urgent) provide mental health counseling to adults and children in the immigrant community (Spanish speakers especially needed)

  • join Aliadxs (see listing above)

  • teach, tutor in the areas of English literacy, Spanish literacy, computer skills, and GED preparation; flexible hours, M-F, 9-6

  • coach in English-through-computer-lab alongside adult-ed staff to support Spanish-speaking immigrants with English-language development, facilitate students' use of websites, software programs, and computer applications (geared toward ESOL skill development); flexible hours; M-Sat, 9-5

  • assist in food bank

  • office support (mailings, update contacts in database, archive photos, assist with fundraising); flexible hours, M-F, 9-5

  • administrative (filing, class set-up and clean up, phone calls, organization); flexible hours, M-F, 8-6

  • outreach; flexible hours, M-Sat, 9-5

  • social media; flexible hours, M-F, 9-5


  • orientation and training required for ESOL; experience with adult ESOL preferred but not required

  • computer lab assistants must have basic computer skills

  • bilingual in Spanish preferred for administrative and legal help

Borough: Brooklyn office; satellite centers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island

Mission: The Educational Alliance’s historic East Broadway headquarters has been transformed into the Manny Cantor Center: a settlement house of yesterday and a community center for today, and tomorrow. Offering exciting events, award-winning programs, and critical services for people ages 0 to 100+, the Manny Cantor Center is a hub of diversity and inclusivity, of health and fitness, of education and of excellence. We hope the Manny Cantor Center will provide a space for growth, achievement, enjoyment and connection for all Lower East Siders today.

Website: http://mannycantor.org/volunteer/
Email: info@MannyCantor.org
Phone: 646-395-4280

What volunteers do:

  • serve lunch to older adults (set tables, take tickets, serve, clean) M-F, 11-1

  • serve dinner to seniors (assist with kitchen prep/cleanup, greet and interact with seniors) 4:30-6:15, M-F, demand highest Mon and Tues

  • sort and organize donated materials for use in children’s educational programs

  • pick up donations

  • assist teachers in school and family workshops using donated materials

  • discuss careers with teens

  • work in English conversation group with Chinese speakers, Thursdays, 1:00-2:00

  • work at theater ticket desk for seniors, once/week, 12:00-2:30

  • translate school materials into Cantonese or Mandarin, 8-10 hours/month

  • assist in ESOL classes for low-income parents of young students, commit weekly to either 9:30-11:30am or 11:45-1:15pm shift

  • tutor core high-school subject areas (English, Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Trignometry, Earth Science & Living Environment, Global & US history, Regents/Test Prep) either one-on-one or in small group (commit one day/week, M-Th, either 4-5pm or 5-6pm)


  • application required for all volunteering (needs change; current needs always posted on site)

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: Masa partners with Mexican and Latino children, youth, and families in the South Bronx to develop strong learners and leaders who fully participate in and contribute to the larger community. We envision a community that is civically engaged, empowered, and educated. Masa offers a broad range of direct services and referrals; supports children from 18 months through college and beyond, through each stage of their development; and promotes civic engagement and community organizing while delivering services.

Website: http://masany.org/volunteers/
Phone: 646-481-5890
Email: volunteeropportunities@masany.org

What volunteers do:

  • tutor and provide homework help to elementary and middle-school students Mon-Thurs, 6-8 (training provided)

  • pre-K playgroup, Mondays, 6-8

  • literacy program

  • support teen students from a high school for new immigrants, Mondays, 3-5

Borough: Manhattan, Bronx

Mission: In the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Center empowers women and their families in the South Bronx to liberate themselves from economic poverty. We promote their right to an improved quality of life by addressing the needs of the whole person, developing skills for healthy family living and economic advancement, and building a community of respect, hospitality, and non-violence.

Website: www.mercycenterbronx.org
Email:  Judit Criado Fiuza, jfc@mercycenterbronx.org or info@MercyCenterBronx.org
Phone: 718-993-2789

What volunteers do:

  • ESOL instructor/ESOL conversation partner; morning, afternoon and evening classes, Monday-Saturday; instructors needed Mon-Fri 9 a.m -2 p.m. and 6 p.m-9 p.m. (commitment: 2 days/week, 2-3 hours/day)

  • computer instructor (English and Spanish-speaking) for basic computer skills and concepts as well as Microsoft Office (English Monday & Wednesday afternoons and evenings, Saturday afternoons; Spanish Tuesday & Thursday afternoons and evenings; Saturday afternoons; commitment: 1-2 days/week)

  • assist with tutoring/homework, computer tutorials, field trips (museums, cultural sites) and other enrichment activities for children grades K-8, Monday-Thursday, 3:15 p.m.-6:00 p.m. (commitment: 1-4 days/week)

  • one-on-one or small group reading instruction for children, grades K – 5, who are reading below grade level (Saturday morning sessions; prior teaching experience a plus)

  • babysit ESOL participants’ children while they attend class (Tuesday-Friday, morning and late afternoon sessions; childhood education experience a plus)

  • screen potential naturalization applicants, assist with naturalization application completion, help naturalization candidates prepare for citizenship interviews. Spanish required. (Monday-Friday; commitment: 1-3 days/week, 4hrs+/day)

  • facilitate small-group conversations for parenting classes (experience facilitating small groups or working with parents preferred, especially in multicultural environments) Wednesdays, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

  • administration (computer, general office work)

  • legal assistance (flexible hours, Spanish a plus)


  • for ESOL instructors, teaching experience required

Borough: Bronx

Mission: The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty is the voice of the Jewish poor and the first line of defense for our community’s needy. We fight poverty through comprehensive social services and treat every individual with dignity and respect. Our network of grassroots Jewish Community Councils strengthens families and neighborhoods throughout New York City. In the fight against poverty, we serve immigrants, seniors living on fixed incomes, the un- and underemployed and anyone else in need. As an organization founded on Jewish values, we serve everyone with dignity and empathy, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.

Website: http://www.metcouncil.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Get_Involved_Volunteer_Individual
Email: volunteer@metcouncil.org
Phone: 212-453-9508

What volunteers do:

  • serve Sunday brunch to seniors

  • package food for home delivery

  • accompany seniors to medical appointments

  • lead workshops for immigrant clients (e.g., tax preparation, budgeting and financial planning, dressing for an interview and negotiating salary, nutrition, cooking, exercise)

Boroughs: all

Mission: Inspired by the Franciscan tradition of ministering to people who are alienated, displaced, or persecuted, the “pilgrims and strangers” in our midst, The Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi welcomes immigrants/migrants of various ethnic backgrounds regardless of political or religious affiliation. We assist immigrants/migrants with their legal needs and to navigate the social service system through referral and on-site services such as ESL Classes, free health screenings, etc. We participate in solidarity, advocacy and network building aimed at protecting and promoting the rights and welfare of immigrants (e.g., campaign against wage theft and other oppressive employment issues, visits to the Immigration Detention Center) in collaboration with other immigrant/migrant organizations and institutions. We raise public awareness and provide opportunities for involvement in initiatives that promote and protect the rights of immigrants/migrants in collaboration with other organizations and institutions. The Dignity and Development project will seek to provide migrants and refugees, especially women, children and adolescents, and LGBT,  with the personalized support, vocational training, and social activities that will help to restore dignity and promote personal and professional development during the migration experience and the long and often drawn-out asylum application processes.

Website: http://www.stfrancisnyc.org/migrantcenter/
Phone: 212-736-8500 x377
Email: migrantcenter@stfrancisnyc.org

What volunteers do:

  • immigration lawyers or lawyers of any field of practice or paralegals or legal representatives provide pro-bono legal services, especially for difficult cases or provide free legal consultation on site

  • intake coordinator (weekly commitment)

  • translate from your native tongue to English

  • be a sign-language interpreter

  • be a social-services assistant

  • help immigrant/migrants access the social-service system

  • participate in advocacy campaigns

  • visit detainees

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: Since our founding, we have made a profound presence in the Korean American community through various grassroots organizing, education, and advocacy initiatives that address important community issues, including immigration policies at the national, state and city levels, voter rights, and cultural awareness. The MinKwon Center places a special emphasis on meeting the needs of our marginalized community members who have less access to resources, including the youth, the elderly, recent immigrants, low-income residents, and limited English proficient residents.

Website: http://minkwon.org/jobs/volunteer-opportunities
Phone: 718-460-5600
Email: Jason.koh@minkwon.org

What volunteers do:

  • lawyers and law students assist legal services and social services working group (DACA renewal, naturalization)

  • help advocacy and civic engagement working group with immigrant-rights workshops (registration, logistics, photography)


  • Korean or Mandarin very helpful

Borough: Queens

Mission: The election of Trump has led to heightened fear in our communities, but we are determined to build the resistance that will dramatically shift the public opinion around immigration in this country and win permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the entire immigrant community. We are exposing the repression that our community faces and creating spaces of protection and resistance to defend ourselves and our communities. We are creating spaces of sanctuary and building community teams that can respond quickly to the raids, detentions, and deportation crises. We demand that the Democrats pardon the 11 million undocumented people in this country and make their offices and homes sanctuaries for the most vulnerable amongst us. Cosecha believes that if the American public is honest that this country relies on immigrant labor and immigrant consumption, it will completely shift the discourse around immigration in this country. To that end, we are also building toward a massive #MigrantBoycott to begin to show the public how much the economy of this country depends on immigrants.

Website: http://www.lahuelga.com/volunteer/
Phone: n/a
Email: veraeparra@gmail.com

What volunteers do:

  • arts

  • legal skills

  • digital organizing

  • fundraising

  • coordinate actions

  • press outreach

  • translate

  • finance/accounting


  • initial call or training required

Mission: MPower Change is a grassroots movement rooted in diverse Muslim communities throughout the U.S., who are working together to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people. Combining cutting edge digital tools with years of field experience, organizing know-how, and an extensive network of supporters, MPower Change is redefining the ways that our communities build, maintain, and exercise power.

Website: http://www.mpowerchangemakers.org/apply
Phone: n/a
Email: volunteer@mpowerchange.org

What volunteers do:

  • stay informed of issues impacting Muslim communities to find relevant social-media content for MPower Change members

  • suggest and curate content for Facebook and Twitter

  • generate creative headlines for social media post

  • respond to members’ comments and questions

  • address member inquiries

  • staff member services phone hotline

  • create and organize template responses for common questions

  • update and develop MPower Change website, action pages, and microsites

  • design and code microsites or Javascript graphics

  • collaborate with graphic designers to create designs for MPower Change initiatives

  • generate graphics for digital projects including websites, emails, and social media

  • edit video footage to produce content across platforms

  • design print literature including flyers, postcards, stickers, and t-shirts

  • develop consistent branding and update style guide

  • monitor current and proposed legislation and policies that could impact Muslim communities

  • provide concise and digestible analyses and advice to MPower staff and members

  • consult on responses to policies that have adverse impacts on Muslim communities


  • specific requirements for each type of task listed on site

Mission: The YMCA of Greater New York is committed to serving the immigrant population of the city, and, in response to their needs, has opened New Americans Welcome Centers to help immigrants achieve literacy, cultural competence, and self-sufficiency. The goal of the YMCA is to be recognized by every New American as a “safe haven” that provides multilingual information, resources and referrals and a wide range of services (instructional, vocational, recreational, and family support) that will help them attain their goals.The New Americans Welcome Centers serve as multilingual information resource and referral centers, and provide immigrant families with a wide array of instructional, vocational, recreational, family support, and social services. Classes offered include English as a Second Language, GED preparation, citizenship preparation, computer literacy and job readiness.

Website: http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/international/harlem-new-americans-welcome-center
Email: Robin Winters, at rwinters@ymcanyc.org
Phone: 212-912-2163

What volunteers do:

  • administrative/case management volunteers assist the program counselor with clients/students in issues related to immigration, employment, health care, education referrals, registration and assessments, and basic counseling

  • assist teaching staff in ESOL classes for adults whose proficiency levels range from beginning literacy to high intermediate


  • commitment 3 hours/week for 12 weeks

  • center open weekdays only

  • for case managers, proficiency in Spanish, French, or Arabic required

  • for teaching assistants, proficiency in Spanish, French, or Arabic preferred but not required

  • for teaching assistants, training, materials, and resources provided

  • for teaching assistants, highest demand for daytime shifts (10am-1pm), but some opportunities in the afternoons (2pm- 5pm) and evenings (6pm-9pm); case management in all time slots

  • background check and drug screening required (may take 2-4 weeks to process)

  • send cover letter and resume

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: The YMCA of Greater New York is committed to serving the immigrant population of the City, and, in response to their needs, has opened New Americans Welcome Centers to help immigrants achieve literacy, cultural competence, and self-sufficiency. The goal of the YMCA is to be recognized by every New American as a “safe haven” that provides multilingual information, resources and referrals and a wide range of services (instructional, vocational, recreational, and family support) that will help them attain their goals. New Americans Welcome Centers serve as multilingual information resource and referral centers, and provide immigrant families with a wide array of instructional, vocational, recreational, family support, and social services. With funding from Governor Cuomo's Office for New Americans (ONA), we are proud to be Staten Island's designated ONA Neighborhood Opportunity Center. We offer free legal advice for immigration issues such as: determining eligibilty for citizenship, green card renewals, citizenship applications, fee waivers, and DACA (Deferred Action).

Website: http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/international/staten-island-new-americans-welcome-center
Email: Justina Gibbs, jgibbs@ymcanyc.org or Regina Marks rmarks@ymcanyc.org
Phone: 718-981-4382, x13

What volunteers do:

  • administrative work (computer, customer service) M-F, hours flexible

  • legal work assisting with citizenship paperwork and processes, M-F, hours flexible

Borough: Staten Island

Mission: Our mission is to teach English and American culture to immigrants and other newcomers through a well-trained volunteer corps to help ease their transition from newcomer to New Yorker. We offer English language training and programs in American culture to immigrants, refugees, students, and other newcomers to the United States.  Each year, we serve hundreds of newcomers – our members – and manage a volunteer corps of more than 500.  Our members represent a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds from approximately 80 countries.  Many were trained professionals in their home countries, others come seeking an education and a better life for their children.

Website: http://www.newintlcenter.org/index.php/volunteer
Volunteer application: http://www.newintlcenter.org/index.php/ways-to-volunteer/apply-here
Email: elaine.roberts@archny.org for instructor positions or anna.petelka@archny.org for all other volunteering
Phone: 646-794-3750 for instructor positions or 646-794-3751 for all other volunteering

What volunteers do:

  • one-to-one conversation partner at the center

  • small-group conversation partner at community-based organizations and public schools throughout NYC

  • lead discussion classes covering English skills including pronunciation, grammar, idioms, and vocabulary

  • lead classes on topical subjects (e.g., U.S. history and politics, American culture, music, literature of food and cooking)

  • lead 1-3 session workshops on career skills (resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and networking); computer skills, internet training, math art, education

  • lead “How to Survive in New York” workshops on getting a driver's license, banking and budgeting, applying for college, and healthcare

  • volunteer registrars help introduce new members to the Center, give tours and help with the registration process

  • help with administrative tasks (answer phones, answer questions about programming, general office tasks)

  • outreach and recruitment (distribute flyers in the community, research new outreach contacts, help organize recruitment data, and help design outreach materials)


  • application and two references required

  • conversation partners must be native speakers of English

  • conversation partners paired with members based on their availability; conversation can take place any time during IC operating hours (Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. -8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. -7 p.m.)

  • outreach programs take place twice a year for 10-18 weeks; conversation partners usually meet for an hour to ninety minutes with the learners in their group

Borough: Center is in Manhattan; outreach is citywide

Mission: The New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City is an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and individuals, standing publicly in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation in order to stay together. We recognize that unjust global and systemic economic relationships and racism form the basis of the injustices that affect immigrants. We seek reform of United States immigration laws to promote fairness, social and economic justice. ICE began a new wave of raids in January 2016, especially targeting new-arrivals since January 1, 2014. Many of those targeted are the Central American women and families who have sought asylum here from terror and violence. We are calling on congregations to open their doors to individuals and families who have a final deportation order and may be a target of these ICE raids. We call on faith communities to provide what they can, including Safe Haven, Physical Sanctuary, or support for another faith community providing either of these to families facing deportation. They can offer centers for respite and updated information, spaces of refuge, and if need be, overnight shelter, until there is word that the raids have passed. This could be a night, a week, or a few weeks. Physical Sanctuary can last until migrants facing deportation can win their case and leave the religious sanctuary premises safely.

Website: http://www.newsanctuarynyc.org/faith-justice/sanctuary-communities
Phone: 646-395-2925
Email: info@newsanctuarynyc.org

What volunteers do:

  • U.S. citizens act as buddies for immigrants at risk of deportation (may act as rapid-response contact person in case ICE appears at immigrant’s home or workplace; have power of attorney for financial matters; accompany buddy to hearings; help arrange child care; hold medical documents to help buddy obtain medical care)

  • assist immigrants with paperwork

  • accompany immigrants to ICE and other supervised appearances

  • record ICE actions on cellphones

  • provide legal assistance

  • write informational literature

  • neighborhood outreach to publicize the campaign and inform immigrants of their rights


  • Spanish extremely helpful

  • training provided for buddies, accompaniment

Borough: Manhattan office

Mission: New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) is a community-based organization dedicated to building the power and advancing the rights of immigrant workers in New York. Current campaigns focus on curtailing wage theft through contractor licensing reform, protecting job seekers through employment agency reform, garnering municipal support for worker centers, and fighting for comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform. NICE operates a Community Job Center where workers collaboratively agree on rules and fair wages and connect with potential employers. The center serves as a safer alternative for workers who solicit employment at street corners and at employment agencies. At the center, NICE offers leadership and skills trainings, health and safety certification courses, Know-Your-Rights workshops, English classes, assistance to recover unpaid wages, and referrals to critical services.

Website: http://www.nynice.org/volunteer
Phone: 718-205-8796
Email: info@nynice.org

What volunteers do:

  • host an event

  • fundraise

  • write for the blog

  • social media

Borough: Queens

Mission: New Women New Yorkers is dedicated to empowering young women immigrants in New York City. Through our programs we provide them with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to recognize and develop their potential, pursue better educational and professional opportunities, and become role-models and agents of change in and for their communities. Our focus is on serving recent women immigrants, first-generation high school and college students, refugees and asylum seekers, and immigrant mothers with young children, regardless of legal status. The 16-35 age range is a key period in the life of any woman, a time of significant identity development and decision-making, both in the personal and family realms, as well as with regard to educational and professional advancement. We work with young women immigrants coming from all national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Cross-community projects and activities help reduce inter-group prejudice and promote community relations. Also, because the young women immigrants who participate in our programs do not share the same native language, this stimulates the use of English to communicate, while making it less intimidating. Although New Women New Yorkers does not offer ESL classes, it incorporates the English language component in all projects and activities in an innovative and effective way.

Website: http://www.nywomenimmigrants.org/volunteer/
Email: abbey@nywomenimmigrants.org

What volunteers do:

  • attend one team meeting/month

  • edit

  • blog


  • fluency in another language a plus

Mission: Our mission is to defend and promote the fundamental principles and values embodied in the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and the New York Constitution, including freedom of speech and religion, and the right to privacy, equality and due process of law for all New Yorkers. We believe that all New Yorkers have inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government or by majority vote. They are: 1) Freedom of speech, press, petition and assembly. Even unpopular expression is protected from government suppression and censorship. 2) Freedom of religion. Each of us has the right to exercise his or her own religion, or no religion, free from any government influence or compulsion. 3) Privacy. We have the right to be free from unwarranted and unwanted government intrusion into our personal and private affairs, papers and possessions. 4) Due process of law. We have right to be treated fairly by the government whenever the loss of liberty or property is at stake. 5) Equality before the law. We have the right to be treated equally regardless of nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, disability or socio-economic status. The NYCLU fights for civil liberties and civil rights through a multi-layered program of litigation, advocacy, public education and community organizing. Our clients are men and women, rich and poor, gay and straight, black, white and brown, young and old, religious and atheist, able-bodied and living with a disability, citizens and immigrants. When we vindicate their rights, all New Yorkers benefit.

Website: http://nyclu.org/content/our-advocacy-program
Volunteer sign-up form: https://action.aclu.org/secure/volunteer-nyclu
Phone: 212-607-3300
Email: n/a

What volunteers do:

  • online activism

  • grassroots lobbying

  • community organizing

  • lobby with NYCLU in Albany (next day of action March 13, 2017)

  • monitor protests

  • writing/journalism

  • research

  • help fundraise

  • graphic design

  • multimedia support

  • translate (Arabic , Chinese , French, Hindi, Korean, Kreyol, Polish, Spanish, Russian, Urdu)

  • photography/videography

  • education

Mission: The New York Asian Women’s Center helps women and their children overcome domestic violence and other forms of abuse by empowering them to govern their own lives.  The Center provides a safe haven through multi-lingual support programs and shelter services.  In addition, the Center works to raise public awareness about violence against women, advocates for the rights of survivors, and acts as an agent of social change.

Website: http://www.nyawc.org/involved/volunteer.html
Email: Vineeta Kapahi at vkapahi@nyawc.org
Phone: 212-732-0054 x127

What volunteers do:

  • new volunteer training (8 hours)

  • staff multilingual hotline (volunteer training plus 6 hours hotline training, commit to 3 hours/week for 3 months)

  • newsletter writer (commit to 6 months, at least one article per quarter)

  • client advocates support clients in overcoming systemic and language barriers they face when accessing services, receive email or call to accompany clients to legal, medical, and other appointments, and help liaise, provide advocacy and interpretation (on-call basis)


  • male volunteers welcome

  • application, screening, and adherence to policies required

  • fluency in an Asian language (Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu) helpful but not required

Borough: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens

Mission: The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all.  The NYIC promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

Website: http://www.thenyic.org/about-us/volunteer or http://www.thenyic.org/Navigators
Phone: 212-627-2227
Email:  tkajander@nyic.org (for lawyers and BIA-certified volunteers only) or navigators@nyic.org for navigator training

What volunteers do:

  • pro bono lawyers conduct legal screenings and advise clients on their rights under immigration law

  • immigrant navigators support immigrant communities with Know Your Rights trainings and guidance on navigating the immigration system

  • distribute information about services in immigrant communities via flyering

  • interpret and translate

  • event logistics

  • office support (data entry, prepare materials)

  • art and graphic design


  • lawyers and BIA-certified volunteers needed

  • day-long training required to become immigrant navigator

  • immigrant navigators must sign and adhere to statement of principles

  • after training, immigrant navigators can lead trainings in conjunction with NYIC or one of its member or partner organizations

Borough: Manhattan office, outreach work in all boroughs

Mission: Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group provides high quality, free civil legal services to low-income New Yorkers who cannot afford attorneys.  Our comprehensive range of services includes direct representation, case consultation, advocacy, community education, training, financial counseling, and impact litigation. NYLAG assists victims of domestic violence, immigrants seeking citizenship, elderly New Yorkers in need of public benefits and homecare, children with special needs, tenants at risk of foreclosure and eviction. NYLAG is unique for its ability to serve not only the abject poor, but also individuals and families who earn slightly above the government-designated poverty threshold. We’re able to serve this population because we neither apply for, nor do we receive, Federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funding. NYLAG has 125 community offices located in courts, hospitals, and community based organizations in all five boroughs of New York City as well as Westchester, Rockland and Long Island.  We also partner with over 600 health and human services agencies across the City to provide cross-referrals and ensure holistic care for New Yorkers in need.

Website: http://nylag.org/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities
Phone: 212-613-5000
Email: volunteer@NYLAG.org

What volunteers do:

  • retired attorneys, attorneys in transition, law students and law graduates interact directly with clients and provide legal and factual research, litigation preparation, client advocacy, discovery, motion practice under supervision of NYLAG attorneys (commit to working minimum of 2 days or 15 hours per week either at NYLAG’s Manhattan headquarters or at community offices across the five boroughs)

  • translate and interpret

  • administration

  • development

  • finance

  • general operations

Mission: The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR), is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982 to educate, defend and protect the rights of immigrants. Recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals, NMCIR is committed to expanding access to legal immigration services, participating in policy making and community organizing. The Coalition educates, organizes and defends the immigrant community. Most of the individuals who walk through the doors of the Coalition are low-income, non-citizen immigrants from the Caribbean, Latin America, and increasingly, Africa and the Middle East. Some have lived in the U.S. for decades, others are recent immigrants. The Coalition is often their first entrée into accessing legal aid or basic social services.

Website: http://nmcir.org/volunteer/
Phone: 212-781-0355
Email: http://nmcir.org/contact/

What volunteers do:

  • help with citizenship drives

  • help with special events

  • assist with English and civics classes

  • day-to-day running of the organization

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people are among the most persecuted individuals in the world today. Seventy-eight nations criminalize same-sex relations. Seven of these apply the death penalty for consensual same-sex conduct. In many more countries, sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) regularly face harassment, arrest, interrogation, torture and beatings. These human rights violations propel thousands to flee their countries. Yet without focused attention and assistance from the international humanitarian community, these refugees continue to be deprived of basic safety or protection. The lucky few who manage to escape often find that conditions in their countries of transit are not much better than those they fled. SGM refugees, as forced migrants and sexual minorities, are “doubly marginalized.” Moreover, the scant survival mechanisms normally available to other refugees are often closed off to them. While most refugees seek safety and comfort with their own countrypersons, SGM refugees are often targeted by their compatriots or families.  Very few manage to survive these obstacles and reach safety. ORAM works resolutely to break down systemic barriers to their safety and shelter. ORAM lays the groundwork for global changes by researching and documenting the extreme abuses these refugees face, and then translates its highly regarded expertise into essential advocacy and education.

Website: http://oramrefugee.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Email: volunteer@oraminternational.org
Phone: 415-230-0601 (but they ask that you email with volunteer inquiries)

What volunteers do:

  • native or fluent speakers of French, Arabic, German and Spanish assist with translating materials pertinent to research and advocacy efforts on behalf of LGBTI refugees

  • graphic and visual designers help create and finalize vibrant publications and materials to raise visibility

  • help develop outreach and fundraising strategies targeting individual donors, and raise awareness through events

  • help maintain a lively flow of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn updates; respond to posts and new visitors; and investigate and respond to relevant activities elsewhere


  • send resume and a statement explaining your location, availability, language abilities, and interest

  • full -time and part-time volunteer positions available

  • ORAM is an international organization; volunteers usually work remotely

Mission: The Asylum Network at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) offers pro bono forensic evaluations to document evidence of torture and other human rights abuses for immigrants fleeing persecution in their home countries. Each year, tens of thousands of people from around the world seek safety through the complex and restrictive United States immigration process so that they can re-build their lives in the US. This vulnerable group includes survivors of torture, domestic abuse, trafficking, and other forms of persecution. Asylum seekers often have nothing more than their own words to substantiate their suffering, but some of the most compelling evidence they can offer — physical and psychological signs of trauma — can be documented by a health professional and can make the difference between safety in the U.S. and forcible return to countries of persecution.

Website: http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/asylum/for-health-professionals.html
Application form: https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_forms/asylum-network-application.pdf
Email: asylum@phrusa.org
Phone: 646-564-3720

What volunteers do:

  • conduct forensic evaluations to document evidence of torture and other human-rights abuses


  • seeking physicians, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers

  • application required

  • training required (usually available 2x/year)

  • written evaluation guide provided (overview of asylum law and procedure, how to conduct an evaluation, components of effective medical-legal affidavits and testimony)

  • sample evaluations and affidavits available

  • mentoring/support provided

Mission: The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project assists folks coming out of immigration detention in securing structural, health/wellness, educational, legal, and emotional support and services. We work to organize around the structural barriers and state violence that LGBTQI detainee/undocumented folks face related to their immigration status, race, sexuality, and gender expression/ identity. We are committed to assisting folks in building lives outside of detention, to breaking down the barriers that prevent folks from building fulfilling and strong lives, and to keeping queer families together by demanding an end to deportations/ detention/ policing. We believe in creating a narrative of thriving, not just surviving.

Website: http://www.qdep.org/volunteer/
Phone: 347-645-9339
Email: jorge@qdep.org

What volunteers do:

  • visit prisons

  • drive

  • member advocate

  • hotline intake

  • be a prisoner penpal

  • facilitate group activities based on specialized skills/training (yoga, creative writing, job skills)

  • training sessions provided

Borough: Manhattan office

Mission: Refugee & Immigrant Fund (RIF) was was established in 2006 to fill a void: the lack of support and guidance for asylum seekers when they first arrive. Since 2006, RIF has served as an entry point for those who have been displaced and traumatized by injustice. In an effort to boost the process of rebuilding their lives, we offer legal orientation, a roadmap to the asylum process and psychosocial support in a human context. Through our special partnerships with green-technology innovators, we give asylum seekers the opportunity to both fully immerse and to contribute to their new communities. (In partnership with Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, RIF offers a paid fellowship for asylum seekers in urban agriculture.) For the last decade, we've guided asylum seekers through the challenging process of taking root in NYC by making resources easily accessible to them. Since 2006, we have served over one thousand asylum seekers. 90% of our clients have been granted asylum and have been reunited with their families.

Website: http://www.rifnyc.org/volunteer
Email: info@rifnyc.org or ellie@rifnyc.org

What volunteers do:

  • donate to food drives

  • organize food drives at schools and workplaces for drop-off and distribution by RIF

  • solicit donations of food or new clothing from local businesses

  • offer asylum seekers skill-building internships at their workplaces

  • translate from/to French or Arabic

  • social media

  • community-based fundraising

  • attend RIF meetings to get to know asylum seekers personally


  • RIF has no storage capacity, so food and clothing must be delivered on distribution days (see events calendar on their site)

  • as a small grassroots organization, RIF has limited capacity to manage volunteer inquiries, so the more autonomous and concrete you can be in your offers of help, the greater the impact you can have on their work.

  • RIF is open to volunteer offers other than the ones listed above; however, offers should be concretely focused on asylum seekers’ immediate needs: housing, food, legal support, and employment.

  • asylum seekers are in survival mode upon arriving to the U.S and it often requires additional time and effort to communicate with them

  • RIF asks you to remain flexible and know that the most effective support may come in a form other than what you originally had in mind

Mission: Safe Passage Project addresses the unmet needs of immigrant children living in New York by providing legal representation to empower each child to pursue a safe, stable future. We recruit, train, and mentor volunteer attorneys for unaccompanied minors in immigration court. Our volunteer lawyers ensure fair and compassionate treatment of children facing deportation and assist each child toward educational engagement and achievement. Without us, many of these children would be unrepresented and unaware of paths to citizenship. Safe Passage also conducts “Know Your Rights” presentations and hosts Citizenship Clinics for students who may not adequately understand their rights.

Website: http://www.safepassageproject.org/volunteer-support/
Phone: 212-324-6558
Email: help@safepassageproject.org
Lawyer volunteer form: https://formstack.io/854F4
Law student volunteer form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfD3T1Adre7xn73-cturj1NEec-emUPcTJcASrEQp4nELPnTw/viewform
Non-lawyer volunteer form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfuKmlqBgk83KeqXCF86E8jd1bvwuLBUVc3td4xNfM10xWnCQ/viewform

What volunteers do:

  • lawyers and law students accompany minors to immigration court

  • interpret

  • general organizational support

Borough: Manhattan office; work in Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan

Mission: Sapna NYC is an emerging non-profit serving the South Asian immigrant community from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in New York City. Our organization reflects a unique academic-community partnership. In 2007, Dr. Alison Karasz, a faculty member at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a clinical psychologist, received a grant from the National Institutes of Helath to conduct a needs assessment and design a culturally competent intervention for depression in South Asian women immigrants. Over the two year project, we heard the same message over and over again from participants, waiting list members, and families—“We need services! We need support! We need a space for women to gather!” Our organization provides services, fosters economic empowerment, and serves as a laboratory for the development of culturally appropriate health interventions.

Website: http://sapnanyc.org/contact/
Email: info@sapnanyc.org
Phone: 718-828-9772

What volunteers do:

  • teach ESOL (Tues & Thurs, 2-4, 10-week commitment, fluency in Bengali helpful)

  • offer computer training 4-8 hours week (weekday mornings), spoken fluency in Bengali required

  • translate

  • assist in office

  • community outreach

  • plan events

Borough: Bronx

Mission: SAYA aims to foster a strong sense of belonging in youth and provide them with tools to thrive academically, professionally and personally. SAYA youth come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. Our youth who identify as South Asian or belong to the region’s diasporas trace their ancestries to countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Guyana, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Website: http://www.saya.org/volunteer/
Email: fatima.malik@saya.org
Phone: 718-651-3484

What volunteers do:

  • teach dance (e.g., Bollywood, Hip Hop or classical Bharatnatyam)

  • tutor/mentor youth

  • archive and document materials

  • assist with events

  • help with marketing

  • provide media training to youth and staff

Borough: Queens, Brooklyn

Mission: S.A.F.E. seeks to empower immigrants and vulnerable populations who have been marginalized due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors to reach their fullest potential by providing humanitarian assistance, while fostering understanding and cooperation among diverse communities. SAFE identifies and then collaborates with recent immigrants who would like to further their personals goals (e.g., achieving legal immigration status, finding a job, accessing healthcare, etc.) while giving back to the community.  SAFE views each individual holistically and as an agent in their own empowerment rather than as a “case.” SAFE has teamed up with RUSA LGBT to offer monthly legal clinics that provide monthly one-on-one consultations on immigration and other issues.

Website: https://www.safeasylum.org/volunteer/
Email: info@safeasylum.com
Phone: N/A

What volunteers do:

  • lawyers assist at monthly walk-in clinic, answer questions regarding immigration status and options, including court and application preparation

Mission: South Bronx United uses soccer to engage community youth and support the South Bronx community. We serve more than 900 boys and girls aged 4-19 combining recreational and competitive youth soccer with academic enrichment, college prep, mentoring, health and wellness promotion, leadership development, immigrant legal services, and other social services. The South Bronx is one of the poorest districts in the entire nation. It also has the hunger rates and the obesity rates among the highest the country. Together, the school districts perform the lowest in the state. At the same time, the borough, and the South Bronx in particular, have the fastest growing immigrant population in the city. South Bronx United aims to make a difference in this community by engaging at-risk and immigrant youth through their passion for soccer.

Website: https://www.southbronxunited.org/getinvolved/volunteer
Email: info@southbronxunited.org
Phone: 718-404-9281

What volunteers do:

  • tutor youth in math and ELA (2 hours/week, group of 2-3 students ages 10-15, M-F 4-6, M & W 6-8)

  • college prep mentor (2 hours, one evening a week for the school year, work with 2-3 seniors on college applications, SATs, Regents, M or W 6-8)

  • college prep tutor (2 hours, one evening a week, for the school year, tutor math and/or ELA, M or W 6-8)

  • ESOL tutor (2 hours/week for the school year, work with 2-3 ELL students ages 11-18, Tues, Thurs 4-6, Mon, Wed 6-8)

  • travel coach

  • recreational coach

  • after-school coach

  • photography

  • videography

  • web support

  • pro bono legal assistance on immigration issues

  • event planning

  • waitstaff and bartenders at annual fundraiser


  • orientation and training provided for tutors and mentors

Borough: Bronx

Mission: UnLocal, Inc. seeks to re-imagine the way legal services are delivered to immigrants in New York City. We are committed to serving the unmet legal needs of New York City’s immigrant communities by: providing and expanding access to legal representation for indigent, especially undocumented immigrants, that is affordable, trustworthy, comprehensive, and multilingual; educating immigrant communities about their rights under immigration laws, how to best prepare for future immigration proceedings and how to protect themselves against fraud, coercion, and opportunism among private immigration attorneys and unauthorized practitioners of law; employing holistic advocacy through referral-based case management in collaboration with other service providers, community-based organizations and city agencies; and developing special projects to address immigration issues based on community needs and assessments. UnLocal’s multifaceted approach targets all dimensions of integration and addresses longer-term needs: social and political rights, cultural and religious diversity, and citizenship and participation.  Ultimately, this approach will lead to increased economic stability in New York City immigrant communities, allowing individuals to realize their full potential.

Website: http://www.unlocal.org/jobs/
Volunteer signup form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OWfgjTTUrb-cDkLE0QqDMw1N01C3TaAhi-ypumsnus8/viewform?edit_requested=true
Email: info@unlocal.org or http://www.unlocal.org/contact-us/
Phone: 646-216-8210

What volunteers do:

  • translate legal documents between Spanish and English

  • translate non-legal documents between Spanish and English

  • pro-bono immigration attorney

  • BIA-accredited representative

  • paralegal

  • administrative help

  • graphic design

  • staff events

  • development

  • provide mental-health services

  • massage therapy for clients

Mission: Immigrants want to rebuild their careers. Employers are looking for experienced global talent. Upwardly Global brings them together. Today there are more than 1.8 million immigrants in the U.S. who are college-educated but are unemployed or significantly underemployed. In their home countries they were engineers, doctors, scientists, accountants, and nonprofit professionals. In the U.S. they become cashiers, nannies, and cab drivers, if employed at all. To solve this problem Upwardly Global creates employer partnerships that benefit from access to this talent pool. We also provide customized training and support for these new Americans to give them an equal opportunity to find and secure skill appropriate opportunities and achieve their full economic potential in the U.S. We aim to eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees and integrate this population into the professional U.S. workforce. We envision a United States where skilled immigrants are seamlessly integrated into the professional workforce and the fabric of American life, and are recognized for the value they add to both.

Website: https://www.upwardlyglobal.org/professional-volunteer-opportunities
Volunteer form: https://www.upwardlyglobal.org/professional-volunteer-opportunities/volunteer-opportunities/volunteer-chicago-nyc-sf
Email: volunteers_ny@upwardlyglobal.org or Alecia McMahon aleciam@upwardlyglobal.org
Phone: 212-219-8828

What volunteers do:

  • mentor job seekers one-on-one to help them prepare for the job market (practice interview skills, clarify professional objectives and focus, gain confidence in presentation and networking, edit cover letters and business communications, introduce mentees to industry contacts); commitment of monthly meetings with additional phone and email contact

  • mock interviewers take part in 3-hour workshop; after brief training, conduct practice interviews for two job seekers

  • take part in 2-hour workshop that simulates a typical networking environment

  • share industry/profession-specific expertise and experience

  • resume reviewers review 1-2 client resumes per month and provide industry-specific feedback

  • Industry experts provide resources for staff

  • lead or coordinate networking roundtable in your industry

  • conduct interviews, over the phone or in-person, and help job seekers understand the intricacies of pursuing a career within a given industry sector or company in the U.S.

  • set up small events for potential supporters to hear about Upwardly Global’s work and meet job seekers and alumni

  • plan special events


  • 3 years of professional experience required

  • excellent English communications and writing skills required

  • templates, specific strategies, cultural tips and a structured but fun approach provided

  • Upwardly Global staff and experienced volunteers available to provide assistance

  • mentors receive 45-minute orientation session

  • mock interview sessions take place monthly on a Saturday morning or weekday night

Borough: Manhattan

Mission: CDP supports grassroots and community-based groups in New York City in the areas of capacity building, consumer justice, housing justice, immigrant rights, neighborhood change, participatory research and policy, and workers’ rights. We model our internal structure on anti-oppressive and democratic principles in order to create an environment that mirrors the progressive change we pursue through our work. CDP provides legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression. Our partners take the lead in determining the priorities and goals for our work, and advance our understanding of justice. This upends the traditional power dynamics between communities and service providers. We believe in a theory of change where short-term and individual successes help build the capacity and power of our partners, who in turn can have longer-term impact on policies, laws and systems that affect their communities. Our work has greater impact because it is done in connection with organizing, building power and leadership development.

Website: https://cdp.urbanjustice.org/cdp-volunteer
Email: hepstein@urbanjustice.org
Phone: 646-459-3017

What volunteers do:

  • research (especially community-focused) and statistical analysis

  • graphic design/marketing

  • web design/editing

  • translate/interpret in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Korean and South Asian languages

Mission: The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid and systemic policy advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.

Website: https://refugeerights.org/hope-help/volunteersinterns/
Phone: n/a
Email: info@refugeerights.org

What volunteers do:

  • pro-bono legal work (lawyers and law students)

  • intake (speakers of Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, Somali, and Kurdish needed)

  • general support work

Mission: Our mission is to empower low-income immigrant women who are struggling to find their place in a new culture. The experience can be overwhelming. Many of these women are in disadvantaged situations including domestic violence, financial or emotional abuse, as well as those recent immigrants who are seeking friendship and bonding suwishwaspport. Wishwas was created to guide these women by offering them vocational skills training and job mentoring to help them find employment. Courses such as conversational English, nutrition, health and hygiene are part of our holistic approach to empowering women today for a brighter future. Wishwas’ vision is to create a socio-economic integration model for immigrant women’s economic mobility. As such, Wishwas uses an innovative workforce development model that mixes vocational literacy with skill building micro-credit projects. It builds on the skills many immigrant women bring to this country, connects them to resources, and helps them adjust to the life in their new country. It also serves as a support system for those with domestic violence issues or in other financially and emotionally abusive situations.

Website: http://wishwas.org/contactus/get-involed/
Email: team@wishwas.org
Phone: n/a

What volunteers do:

  • marketing

  • community outreach (Bengali speakers)

  • coordinate programs

  • organize events

  • clerical work

Borough: Queens

Mission: Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is a grassroots, civil society organization; our mission is dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York, particularly their rights to develop their individual potential, to self-determination, and to be represented in all areas of life: political, social, cultural and economic. We advocate for women's rights and challenge the norms that underpin gender-based violence wherever opportunities arise to influence attitudes and bring about change.

Website: http://www.womenforafghanwomen.org/volunteer
Email: yalda@womenforafghanwomen.org
Phone: 718-591-2434

What volunteers do:

  • homework help/tutor children in 1st-8th grades, weekly commitment encouraged (Tues, Wed or Thurs, 4-6)

  • instructor in empowerment classes for women (ESOL, computer basics, learner’s permit prep, citizenship interview prep) weekly commitment for 4-5 weeks (female volunteers only)

  • marketing, accounting, publicity/PR, management


  • all volunteering with Afghan women and children through NY Cares (link on WAW website)

Mission: The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights advocates for the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children. Guided by the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal child protection laws, the Young Center has developed the only program in the nation that provides guardians ad litem (Child Advocates) for trafficking victims and unaccompanied immigrant children. Through our work as Child Advocates (guardians ad litem), we promote change by advocating for the best interests of individual immigrant children, thereby educating stakeholders about the importance of considering the ‘Respondent’ as a child. Child Advocates are bilingual and often bicultural volunteers who are trained and supervised by attorneys with experience in children’s rights and immigration law. In every case assigned a Child Advocate, the Young Center provides the child’s attorney (if they are represented) and the decision-maker with a report about the best interests of that individual child.

Website: http://theyoungcenter.org/act/volunteer/
Phone: 646-838-0229
Email: Rubi Rodriguez: rrodriguez@theyoungcenter.org

What volunteers do:

  • visit with the child each week

  • help the child think through options and decisions

  • accompany the child to court hearings and other important meetings and interviews

  • conduct research on the child’s situation in his or her home country

  • develop best interest recommendations with Young Center staff

  • maintain communication with the Young Center staff

  • advocate for the best interest of the child alongside Young Center staff


  • Spanish, Mandarin, Indian languages (Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati), Bengali extremely valuable

  • two-day training required; ongoing training, support, and supervision provided

  • weekly commitment

  • to enter detention centers, volunteers must have FBI background check, child abuse and neglect background check, and TB screening