Make the Road New York

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For over 20 years, Make the Road New York (MRNY) has fought to ensure respect and dignity for immigrant, poor, and working class New Yorkers. From its early years working to combine legal services, education, and community organizing in Jackson Heights and Bushwick, MRNY had big dreams about what kind of city and state New York can be. And it had the audacity to believe we could build an organization with the sophistication and muscle to deliver on those dreams.

What They Care About[edit]

Make the Road promotes equal rights and economic and political opportunity for immigrant New Yorkers through:

  • Community and Electoral Organizing
  • Leadership Development
  • Adult Education
  • Youth Development
  • Legal and Support Services
  • Strategic Policy Advocacy

What They Do[edit]

As an indication of what they do, Make The Road clams the following accomplishments for 2016... [1]

  • Mobilized thousands of low-wage workers to help win at $15 minimum wage for workers in New York City, Westchester and Long Island, an historic victory for nearly 1.5 million working families.
  • Helped create ActionNYC, the first program of its kind in the United States, which provides much-needed immigration legal screenings, and IDNYC, enabling thousands of undocumented New Yorkers to obtain the identification they need to accomplish everyday tasks.
  • Supported the victims of LGBTQ hate crimes in our Brooklyn and Queens communities with public marches and rallies joined by hundreds of people.
  • Secured the construction of a new middle school on 111th St and Astoria Blvd. The school will add 600 seats to one of the city's most overcrowded school districts.
  • Organized with bank workers and our allies to end high-pressure sales tactics that jeopardize the financial health of workers and customers, leading Wells Fargo to announce it would eliminate sales goals for retail bankers.
  • With allies, knocked on more than 4,000 voters' doors in a critical April election on Long Island, and on more than 20,000 Long Islanders' doors in November.
  • Advocated against harsh discipline in schools, laying the groundwork for the City's ban on suspensions of students in kindergarten through 2nd grade.


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 City’s 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.[2]

Make the Road By Walking (MRBW)[edit]

MRBW was founded in 1997 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to help 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 organization’s existence, MRBW expanded its organizing and services programs substantially, and helped to win four more major City policy improvements.

Latin American Integration Center (LAIC)[edit]

In 1992, a group of Colombian immigrants who had recently escaped the political violence that ravaged their home country landed in Jackson Heights, Queens and founded (LAIC) to 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. LAIC’s 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.

Making The Road Opportunities[edit]

Make the Road New York carries out its mission through the work of its members, staff, interns and volunteers. They prioritize building a safe space to enable every employee and member to participate fully in our work. Here are links to their current postings:


For the latest job postings please visit their page.


Organizing Internships[edit]

Make the Road New York is always seeking interns to work on our organizing and advocacy campaigns. If interested, email Monica Robles, Volunteer Coordinator, or the more specific coordinators indicated below.

Legal Internships[edit]

The Legal Department at Make the Road works to facilitate and strengthen their organizing work through the provision of legal support services to its members and campaigns. Make the Road New York seeks creative, committed law students (1Ls, 2Ls, or 3Ls) for fall semester, spring semester, and/or summer internships. MRNY provides legal representation and education to individuals active in Make the Road's organizing work; and they conduct strategic litigation as a part of the organizing campaigns. The legal department currently focuses on the following substantive areas of the law:

  • Employment and Labor
  • Public Benefits and SSI (Disability)
  • LGBTQ Legal Services
  • Health Care and Health Insurance
  • Housing (Landlord-Tenant)
  • Immigration
  • Public Education and the rights of parents/students in the NYC Public School System
  • Policy and legislative work

MRNY asks that legal interns be willing to pitch in on a variety of cases as necessary, but they are committed to providing a compelling learning experience for each intern and will custom design an internship with a primary focus that meets your particular interests. MRNY legal interns do much more than research and writing. Those who apply must be law students or undergrads, who are (1) motivated to resist oppression and poverty, (2) willing to commit to work at least 8 hours per week to be a part of that fight, and (3) proficient in Spanish.

If interested, email a resume and cover letter that explains your area(s) of interest and demonstrates your commitment to public interest law.

Adult Literacy Internships & Volunteer Program[edit]

MRNY's robust adult literacy and training programs have many opportunities for teaching, tutoring in the areas of English literacy, Spanish literacy, computer skills, and GED preparation. If interested, please email Monica Robles, Volunteer Coordinator. Current openings include but are not limited to the following:

  • English Through Computers Lab Coach: Work along other volunteers and our inspiring Adult-Ed staff to support Spanish speaking immigrant communities with their English language development. Coaches will facilitate students' use of websites, software programs, and computer applications geared toward ESOL skill development.
  • Computer Basics Education Internship: Teach immigrant adults how to use technology using the MRNY 'Computer 101' curricular materials; help students bridge the digital divide and use technology to empower themselves and their families.

Development & Communications Internships[edit]

MRNY seeks a Development & Communications Intern to help coordinate aspects of fundraising, social media, digital organizing and data cleanup. If interested, email Sebastian Barreneche, Communications Associate.

Student Success Center (SSC) Internships[edit]

MRNY seeks interns to assist in the ongoing development of the SSC's college access program. Interns will assist in the supervision and training of SSC Youth Leaders in peer tutoring, peer mediation and conducting community, peer, and parent workshops on the college access process. SSC interns will assist with publicity for activities, events, and other programs connected to the SSC and the Bushwick Campus, and will provide support to the SSC Coordinator and School Partnerships Coordinator in many other aspects of the project's operations and planning. If interested please email Dana Brustmeyer.


Aliadxs is a decentralized network of allies committed to using their skills, privileges, and resources to support Make the Road’s members in the fight for an immigration system and an economy that recognize every single person’s full humanity. Aliadxs grew out of this new political moment. With the rise of Donald Trump more New Yorkers are seeking organizing opportunities where they can follow the strategies and campaigns of those most directly impacted. Among many roles, Aliadxs mobilizes for rallies; helps add strength to campaigns through strategic research, artistic support, and social media amplification; fundraises for MRNY; and builds a network of compassion and support across New York and the country. Email to get involved.

Office Locations[edit]

For more information please contact MRNY at one of the following sites. NOTE: MRNY requests that all donations and grant correspondence use the Bushwick address.

  • Jackson Heights, Queens, 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, New York 11372, t: (718) 565-8500, f: (718) 565-0646
  • Bushwick, Brooklyn, 301 Grove Street, Brooklyn, New York 11237, t: (718) 418-7690, f: (718) 418-9635
  • Port Richmond, Staten Island, 161 Port Richmond Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10302, t: (718) 727-1222, f: (718) 981-8077
  • Brentwood, Long Island, 1090 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717, t: (631) 231-2220, f: (631) 231-2229

Related Wiki Pages[edit]

External Links[edit]