For 17 years, Make the Road New York has
fought to ensure respect and dignity for immigrant, poor,
and working class New Yorkers. From our early years working to combine legal services, education, and community organizing in Jackson Heights and Bushwick, we had big dreams about what kind of city and state New York can be. And we had the audacity to believe we could build an organization with the sophistication and muscle to deliver on those dreams.
Thanks to the tenacity and vision of our 15,000+
members, and those who have helped us along the way, MRNY
has grown into a robust, multiservice powerhouse that
works with tens of thousands of New York City and Long
Island residents each year.
We've woven together the different strategies necessary
to eradicate poverty. We take those tools deep into the
neighborhoods where immigrants and low-income New
Yorkers live and work. And we deploy those strategies
at City Hall, in Albany, and on the national scene to win
organizing victories and policy campaigns that improve
the lives of hundreds of thousands.
An Historic Merger
Make the Road New York was
created in the fall of 2007 through the
merger of Make the Road by Walking and
the Latin American Integration Center,
two of New York Cityís most innovative
and effective grassroots organizations.
The merger was a natural partnership
that built on proven successes and
created a new state-level organization that
combines democratic accountability to
low-income people and an innovative
mix of strategies to confront inequity
and economic injustice, while fostering
deep and active community roots.
Make the Road By Walking (MRBW)
MRBW was founded in 1997 in Bushwick, Brooklyn,
immigrant welfare recipients who
suffered illegal disruptions in their public
benefits in the wake of welfare reform. Vilified in the national welfare debate, MRBW helped community members organize to make their voices heard, ultimately changing the conversation and improving policy in New York City to ensure equal access to public services. MRBW integrated multiple approaches to fighting poverty and injustice, including education, high quality legal and support services, community organizing and leadership development. Over the decade of the organizationís
existence, MRBW expanded its organizing and services programs substantially,
and helped to win four more major City policy improvements.
Latin American Integration Center (LAIC)
In 1992, a group of Colombian immigrants
who had recently escaped the political
violence that ravaged their home country landed
in Jackson Heights, Queens
promote and protect human and civil rights
of Latino immigrants and encourage their
civic participation in New York City. Over the years, LAIC developed into a dynamic grassroots organization, combining education, support services, and grassroots advocacy in areas of school reform, access to health care, and immigration reform. LAICís pioneering community-led citizenship campaigns were some of the largest
such drives New York City had ever seen.
By the year 2000, LAIC had helped over
10,000 New Yorkers become U.S. citizens.