The mission of the International Institute of New England is to invest in the future of our cities and towns by preparing refugees and immigrants for participation in the social, economic and political richness of American life through active citizenship.
Building on nearly 100 years of successful programs, the International Institute of New England's leadership effectively assists 2000 refugees and immigrants in becoming productive and engaged members of the greater Lowell, Boston, and Manchester, New Hampshire communities. The team is informed by wide-ranging expertise in education, social work and community advocacy, and is well-positioned to lead the Institute into the next century of service.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Rushna Tejani Heneghan
President and CEO
History of the International Institute of New England
The International Institute of New England has been welcoming refugees and immigrants to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for nearly a century.
Our movement began in 1910 when the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) created the Department of Immigration and Foreign Communities to oversee field projects called “International Institutes” to serve the nation’s growing foreign-born population. The Institutes offered multilingual social services for women and girls and became known as Red Feather Agencies.
The International Institute of Lowell was founded as part of the John Street YWCA in 1919, and in 1924, the International Institute of Boston was established at the YWCA then located at 12 Newbury Street. The Institutes separated from the YWCA in 1935, and over the ensuing decades hundreds of community groups, individuals, corporations, and foundations joined forces with the International Institute to help new Americans integrate into New England. The International Institute of New Hampshire was founded in 1994 as a reorganization, continuation, and expansion of existing services in place since 1987. In 2001 the three sites became one consolidated organization - The International Institute of New England.
Throughout our ten decades of service to New England, thousands of new Americans connected to the International Institute to learn English, meet other new Americans, learn about the culture of their new country, gain job skills, and receive assistance in finding employment. Historically and today, we work with local communities to help refugees and immigrants find places to settle and restart their lives.
Our history has paralleled the immigrant journey in America. In the first half of the 20th century, we welcomed and served many people from Europe. In the 1970s the rise of the Khmer Rouge and fall of Saigon brought thousands of people from Cambodia and Vietnam to Lowell and Boston, where they were welcomed by our staff. In the 1990s, Bosnian refugees, Kurds fleeing Iraq, and Kosovars fleeing Serbian aggression came to our doors, and in the 21st century we have welcomed and aided people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, other countries in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the nations of Central America.
In 2015, we offered humanitarian relief, English language learning, employment, skills training, and citizenship programs to more than 2,000 people from 66 different countries.
From its beginning to the present, the International Institute of New England has helped thousands of immigrants with specialized services, assisted each new wave of refugees from all over the world, and served as a center of hospitality for many ethnic groups. The Institute has also invested in the revitalization of local communities throughout New England by receiving, supporting, educating, training, and job placing an ambitious and diverse workforce. With continued partnership from community groups and philanthropists throughout New England, the Institute will continue this service for the next 100 years and beyond.
IINE Accountability and Transparency
Audited Financials and Form 990
The International Institute of New England (IINE) is committed to respecting the privacy of our donors.
- IINE does not sell, trade, rent, or share names, addresses, telephone numbers, or e-mail addresses of our donors to any third party.
- IINE will use contact information of donors for completing transactions, distributing receipts and thank-you letters, providing information about news and upcoming events, reporting to government agencies (when required by law), and for internal record-keeping purposes only.
- IINE will, upon request, delete a donor's name from IINE's solicitation and mailing lists.
- IINE gives all donors the option to be "anonymous" in any of its fundraising publicity pieces.