California Immigrant Inclusion Initiative

About CIII

The California Immigrant Inclusion Initiative (CIII) is a community of grantmakers that seek to advance the vision of a just and inclusive California where all immigrants and refugees can live with dignity and respect. Since its inception in 2007, CIII members have deployed tens of millions of dollars to address the needs of immigrants and refugees in a state where one in three residents is born outside of the United States. CIII facilitates funder mobilization and creates opportunities for funders to leverage the collective impact of their grantmaking to fortify the immigration funding field in California. The network has become a model for peer learning and collaboration for funders across the country.


We do this work in the face of significant challenges but also tangible opportunities to advance justice for immigrants, refugees, BIack, Indigenous, People of Color, and low-income communities at the state and local levels. Rising white nationalism, ongoing attacks on democratic institutions, lack of action on immigration at the federal level, criminalization of immigrants, and hateful narratives that scapegoat newcomers pose serious threats to migrant communities and the organizations that serve them. To address these realities, CIII advocates for deep investment in long-term power building in the immigrant justice movement.

Core Principles

  1. Immigrant justice is interconnected with racial justice, and we encourage philanthropy to center Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and Southeast Asian (BAMEMSA) and Indigenous communities who are most marginalized and racialized within the immigrant and refugee experience.
  2. Immigration is a cross-cutting issue. We view immigrants as whole people who deserve to access quality jobs, education, health care, and housing.
  3. Centering language justice is essential to creating the conditions for immigrants and refugees to belong and to self-determine.
  4. Global forces that push migrants from their homes–such as climate change, economic insecurity, and war–have ramifications not just at the national level, but at the state and regional levels.
  5. The leadership, knowledge, and expertise of those closest to the issues informs our work as funders.

Strategic Approaches

Guided by GCIR’s State and Local Framework and our Theory of Change, we work to de-silo philanthropic practices and strategies while leveraging our collective leadership to shift the narrative on immigration. In order to do this we:
  • Educate philanthropy on immigration issues and share strategies emerging from the immigrant justice movement.
  • Connect funders to each other and to grantees, creating opportunities to build relationships, identify funding strategies, and coordinate responsive action.
  • Partner with nonprofits, government officials, and non-traditional immigration funders to address pressing issues.
  • Mobilize resources to advance immigrant justice at the local, state, and national levels.


The CIII network is made up of foundation staff, consultants, and donors working across the philanthropic ecosystem in California. CIII’s members help shape the network’s activities and identify areas for collective learning and collaboration.

How We Connect

  • Quarterly in-person and virtual meetings support relationship building, deeper dives on major issues, and opportunities for peer learning and coordination.
  • Working groups offer participants opportunities to deepen their expertise, leadership, and partnerships on specific issues such as immigration legal services.
  • Special briefings and site visits support members in connecting to a specific geographic region or issue area in greater depth.
  • A listserv provides members with regular updates and information about issues and events related to immigrants in California and beyond.


The Steering Committee oversees the strategic implementation of the CIII Framework, as guided by GCIR’s Theory of Change.

Rosie Arroyo
Senior Program Officer
california community Foundation
Senior Program Officer
Grove Foundation
carolline kim
Program manager
levi strauss Foundation
anthony ng
Program Officer
weingart Foundation
elica vafaie
Program director
the evelyn and walter haas, jr. Foundation



cairo mendes

Senior Director of  state AND LOCAL programs
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees



Membership is open to professionals affiliated with a grantmaking organization and philanthropic advisors. For more information, contact Caleb Beaudoin.