Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

PA is Ready!

 PICC is proud to coordinate PA is Ready!, an innovative, community-led, capacity building initiative and grants program. PA is Ready! encourages collaboration between community-based organizations and service providers to build the capacity of local community organizations to provide Pennsylvania immigrant communities with the information, services, and legal assistance they need. PA is Ready! shifts the traditional power dynamics in philanthropy by empowering a Grantmaking Committee comprised of representatives of community-based organizations and service providers to identify funding priorities and evaluate grant proposals.

After an internal reflection and evaluation process with current and past grantees, PA is Ready! has created a funding framework for 2018 that reflects the changing needs of immigrant and refugee communities in Pennsylvania.

1) Enforcement Resistance Capacity Building Initiative (targeted 60% of funds):

The goal of this initiative is to build the statewide capacity of community-led organizations to engage in community-based responses to protect and defend immigrant and refugee communities from increased immigration enforcement. There are two type of grants under this initiative:

1a. Enforcement Resistance Grants:

  • Community groups that intend to implement a coordinated, community-based response to increased immigration enforcement in their communities and conduct public case-based campaigns can apply for a $25,000 grant to be a full partner in the initiative. The number of grants available will depend on overall funding available.

1b. Strategic Legal Partners Grants:

  • Legal Service Providers that are interested in providing legal support for public case-based campaigns can apply to be a Strategic Legal Partner. Once pre-approved by the Grantmaking Committee, legal service providers will then be eligible to receive between $7,500 and $15,000 per case with a limit of $30,000 per organization to support public case-based campaigns in partnership with a participating community-based organization. The total amount of funding available for Strategic Legal Partners will depend on the overall PA is Ready! funding available.

2) Project-Based Grants (targeted 40% of funds):

PA is Ready! will continue to provide project-based grants to collaborative projects. There are two types of grants under this category:

2a. Community-Based Immigration Services:

  • Using a community-led, collaborative model to increase access to needed services in immigrant communities.

2b. Organization Mentorship:

  • Building organizational capacity and community leadership through collaborative partnerships in specific areas that achieve PA is Ready! goals.

All projects are expected to fulfill the established goals of PA is Ready!, which are to:

  • Build statewide capacity to provide immigration services and legal assistance.
  • Screen and enroll as many eligible immigrants as possible in all available forms of immigration relief.
  • Prevent the exploitation of immigrants through immigration (or “notario”) fraud.
  • Build immigrant leadership and organizing capacity to engage in local, state, and federal immigrant rights campaigns.
  • Reach the diverse immigrant communities in Pennsylvania.

Enforcement Resistance Capacity Building Trainings:

In order to ensure all grantees will be able to effectively participate in the Enforcement Resistance Capacity Building Initiative, PICC will be hosting a series of trainings for all grantee community-based organizations and legal partners.

Community-based grantees are required to participate in a training on how to implement a coordinated, community-based response to increased immigration enforcement modeled after the “Community Resistance Zones,” and conduct strategic case-based campaigns. These trainings will take place in June 2018 in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia. Juntos will facilitate each regional training. The dates are as follows:

  • June 2-3 in Pittsburgh,
  • June 23-24 in Harrisburg,
  • July 7-8 in Philadelphia

Strategic legal partners are required to attend a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) training for non-profit and private attorneys on how to conduct public, case-based campaigns and learn best practices for collaborating with community groups. The Free Migration Project will conduct this training in Philadelphia.

NOTE: Any PICC member organization or PA is Ready! grantee can send staff, volunteers, and community leaders to the trainings without applying for the Enforcement Resistance Grants. They will be eligible for travel assistance from PICC following established practices.

Application Deadline:

Final applications are due at 5:00 pm on May 16, 2018. Please submit final applications via email with the subject line “PA is Ready! Application” to Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez at: All application materials can be found in our 2018 PA is Ready! Application Forms toolkit.

2018 Cycle Timeline:

  • April 4: Grant Application Process Webinar. Registration is required!
  • April 5: Community Resistance Zones Webinar. Registration is required!
  • April 18: Draft proposals due by 5pm
  • May 16: Full applications due by 5 pm
  • May 24: Grantmaking Committee Meeting 1
  • May 29: Enforcement Resistance Provisional awards and requests for revisions made
  • June 7: Grantmaking Committee Meeting 2
  • June: Regional trainings held across the state
  • June 15: Grantees notified of awards
  • July 2: Checks distributed

In addition to its grant program, PA is Ready! will continue to develop community education materials and coordinate regional and statewide trainings to help build the capacity of community-led grassroots organizations.

PA is Ready! Grantee Portal: This portal contains training resources, educational materials, and other materials for current grantees.

For more information, please contact Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez, Statewide Capacity Building Coordinator.

October 2017: PA is Ready! grantees meet with donors from the Philadelphia area at a gathering hosted by The Philadephia Foundation.

PA is Ready! Background

In September 2014, PICC began convening member and partner organizations in anticipation of then President Obama enacting an Executive Order creating new forms of administrative relief for undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. which was expected to protect almost 5 million undocumented immigrants. These organizations came together and created PA is Ready! as a vehicle for providing quality, high-volume services across Pennsylvania. Members developed a service model that would ensure that Pennsylvania immigrant community members had access to the information and assistance they needed to apply for both existing and anticipated forms of relief, and began raising funds to support collaborative projects utilizing the service model. Despite the Supreme Court’s tie vote in June 2016 that halted the implementation of new forms of administrative relief, the PA is Ready! coalition pressed forward in recognition of the many already unmet needs of immigrant communities across the Commonwealth.