Executive Director ~ Mufalo Chitam
MIRC board of directors
President: Zoe Sahloul, New England Arab American Organization
Vice President: Deqa Dhalac, Somali Community Center of Maine
Treasurer: Luc-Armand Ningumirize, Light Mission Church
Secretary: John Ochira, South Sudanese Community
Our mission is to improve the legal, social and economic conditions experienced by Maine’s immigrants – enhancing their lives while strengthening Maine – through advocacy, information sharing and collaboration both through and among our member organizations.
Founded by Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in 2005 and led by Maine People’s Resource Center (MPRC) since 2012, the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, also known as MIRC, grew in size and power, particularly in the last five years, from 20 members in 2012 to 51 members located throughout the state.
The Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) is a unique collaboration of leaders - a majority of whom are people of color - representing diverse ethnic communities across our state. Each are engaged in developing autonomous new leadership capacity to facilitate systemic change in Maine to benefit our immigrant and refugee communities. We represent 51 member organizations including immigrant constituency groups, advocacy groups, direct service organizations and grassroots community organizations. What began as a small, informal yet vibrant coalition 12 years ago transitioned into today’s full-fledged, independent, immigrant-led non-profit organization. At our annual membership meeting in June this year, MIRC members elected an inaugural Board of Directors, approved by-laws and authorized the establishment of MIRC as an independent 501c3 organization. The Board of Directors went to work immediately. One of their first orders of business was to select an individual to help manage the transition for our start-up, stand-alone entity. I was honored to begin my work as Executive Director in September of this year.
FIRST YEAR GOALS
Our primary goal in our first year is to create baseline stability, so that we can effectively advance our mission while at the same time meet the daily demands of educating and communicating with the public about challenges and opportunities facing Maine’s immigrants and refugees. Our objectives and activities for our first year include:
• Energizing and engaging members through meaningful participation of all ethnic and community-based organizations.
• Strengthening internal communications and nonprofit management to ensure that organizational decision-making is
• Developing social media policies, traditional media procedures and external communications activities to facilitate a strong
public voice for the organization.
• Developing a fundraising plan to ensure the financial viability of MIRC in our first year and beyond.
At MIRC, we are proud to be the most racially and ethnically diverse coalition in Maine, and I feel deeply humbled to help lead an organization whose mission is so near and dear to my heart. Our leadership and membership reflect our vision of a truly multicultural society where people of color lead. We are passionate about ensuring that immigrants and refugees are at the table, participating in coalitions and conversations about our state’s economic future and the laws and policies that shape our lives. There is much work to do, and I look forward to accomplishing our goals together.
Thank you for your support!