Race Forward Awards Major Grants To Advance Pro-Immigrant Narratives

June 8, 2022

Contact: Jeff Chang or Kana Hammon, [email protected]


Today, Race Forward announced the awardees of its Chrysalis Lab grants for innovative immigrant narratives at scale. The Chrysalis Lab is a project of the Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy, which builds power for pro-immigrant narratives that recognize and honor the humanity of immigrants and advance freedom and justice for all. 

The awardees are: 

  • Karim Ahmad, for narrative worldbuilding to transform monolithic perceptions of Muslim immigrants;
  • Intelligent Mischief, for a Black Migrant Futures Design Lab and immersive multi-platform experience;
  • Omar Offendum, for Little Syria, a musical theater experience; and 
  • Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, for deep canvassing to increase support for refugee resettlement in key communities.

Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines, said “We are honored to support these organizations in their narrative work at such a pivotal moment in the immigrant  justice movement” He added, “We are excited the Chrysalis Lab projects will speak to a variety of people to advance immigrant justice in transformative ways.”

Taryn Higashi, Executive Director of Unbound Philanthropy said, “The Chrysalis Lab grantees’ projects are creative, innovative, and strategic. We are excited to see these projects unfold, and to share their learnings with the broader immigrant justice movement and all movements working for an inclusive, multi-racial democracy. With nearly 100 applications for these four grant awards, we see great interest and an urgent opportunity for more support for narrative strategy and innovation.” 

Each of the grantees will receive extensive additional support from the Butterfly Lab staff in the form of narrative training, coaching, expert consultation, technical assistance, and research. They will also participate in broader discussions about long-term narrative strategy within and outside of Butterfly Lab programming.  

In its first two years, the Butterfly Lab has already made a powerful impact on the way immigrant narrative leaders think and work. On March 15, 2022, the Lab released an influential report and toolkit containing widely discussed findings and recommendations for the pro-immigrant movement. The report and toolkit has been downloaded thousands of times, and is being used by our Butterfly Lab partners, including the Center for Cultural Power, National Partnership for New Americans, 350.org, National Immigration Law Center, and Families Belong Together/National Domestic Worker’s Alliance. 

In 2022, the Butterfly Lab is also offering narrative strategy training and movement-wide research to the public. 

The Butterfly Lab and the Chrysalis Lab are funded by Unbound Philanthropy, the Luminate Group, the Open Society Foundations, and Oak Foundation.