CCSM uses a service-to-organizing model to do our work. This means that we ensure our community has their basic survival needs met, and we fight together for longer-term change! We believe this powerful model aligns with the political landscape of our region. CCSM is the only immigrant-led base building and multilingual organization in multiple counties throughout our region.
Watch this video made by our Co-Founder and Co-Chair Gloria Martinez, about why she started the movement and what it means to her today.
We have 5 program areas:
1. Community Organizing
We fight for long-term change that goes to the root cause of the problems our community is facing, providing leadership development and training for community members to make their voices heard. In 2021, CCSM acted as the Capital Region coordinators for the Fund Excluded Workers Campaign, resulting in $2.1 billion in direct pandemic relief for undocumented New Yorkers. We also served as the regional coordinators in the historic 2019 Green Light Law victory. We are building up campaigns now around language justice and alternative economies.
2. Legal Support
CCSM is recognized by the Department of Justice to provide affirmative immigration legal support. We are about to launch our first in-house legal program, centered around applicants for DACA! We also hold legal clinics with partner organizations, provide court support for community members, have several bilingual public notaries, and make legal referrals.
3. Deportation Defense
We make sure our community is defended and knows their rights. We hold regular Know Your Rights workshops, help families develop their Family Preparedness Plan in case of detainment or deportation, have an emergency hotline for any ICE activity and an extensive rapid response network to respond to any ongoing ICE raids.
4. Accompaniment and Family Support
It can be challenging to navigate government systems to get the support needed. We have a Mano a Mano Mutual Aid Fund that provides direct support to immigrants in need and coordinate food distribution and groceries weekly. We have accompanied over 500 community members to their DMV appointments to apply for their driver's licenses. Our fabulous volunteers provide transportation to and from court appointments across the state, as well as translation and interpretation services. We also coordinate furniture, clothing, seeds, gift cards, and more when someone new arrives in our community and needs support.
5. Community Building
It's important in all this work to enjoy each others' company as well! We've held soccer tournaments, a women's circle, and community celebrations together. Building partnerships is important to us, and we also work closely with other local organizations like Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhoods, Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition, Hudson Muslim Youth, Jaago Hudson, Kite's Nest, because we are stronger together!