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New Americans Democracy Project

ICIRR launched the New Americans Democracy Project in 2004 in order to promote civic participation in the immigrant communities of Chicago and suburbs. For over the past 12 years, it has become a national model for immigrant empowerment through civic engagement and was the first truly integrated campaign, simultaneously increasing citizenship, voting, and civic participation among people of various ethnicities, languages, and immigration statuses.

NADP has consistently focused on leadership development through the participation of community members, member organizations, and particularly young leaders. At the heart of the program lies the NADP fellows that lead the efforts with the aid of volunteers, to mobilize their neighborhoods. Fellows are usually recent college graduates that are interested in serving their communities. 

NADP runs for approximately four to six months, with the intention of registering, educating, engaging and mobilizing immigrant communities in the state of Illinois. The program works In the pursuit of turning infrequent immigrant voters into civically engaged communities as well as to empower youth in Chicago and the surrounding areas to create necessary change within their communities. Trainings focus on immigrant civic engagement, community organizing skills, volunteerism and community building, and personal leadership development.

NADP fellows work with host organizations, our member organizations, to develop a local volunteer recruitment strategy and carry out intensive voter registration campaigns, focusing on new citizens in immigrant communities. Fellows also work with volunteers to conduct Get Out The Vote activities that lead straight until Election Day of that year.  All work is non-partisan (not supporting a particular candidate or party) but always with the focus on immigrant communities.


  • Register New Americans and youth voters from immigrant communities 

  • Activate youth leaders from immigrant communities in Illinois

  • Mobilize immigrant communities to Get Out The Vote 

  • Engage both community and candidates in conversations around Immigration Reform & other important topics

  • Develop advocates for the immigrant community from the immigrant community


  • Mobilized 625,751 voters to the polls 

  • Registered close to 200,000 New American immigrant voters in Illinois

  • Hired and extensively trained 96 youth immigrant leaders as fellows

  • Activated over 14,552 volunteers throughout NADP

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