ICIRR Leader Joshua Hoyt moves on to national leadership post

Letters to Editors

(From the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)

It is with both sadness and joy that we announce that after 12 years in the leadership of ICIRR, in which he served ten years as Executive Director followed by two years as Chief Strategy Executive, Joshua Hoyt is moving on to become the Executive Director of the National Partnership for New Americans (the Partnership), effective January 1, 2014.

During the 10 years that Josh was the Executive Director of ICIRR our organization grew six-fold. Josh’s skills as an organizer are legendary, and under his leadership ICIRR led the nation with our aggressive community organizing, New Americans Initiative naturalization program, and our voter registration and mobilization. Anti-immigrant voices in our state have been hushed or thrown out of office.

The result is that Illinois is the most immigrant friendly state in the nation. We created an award winning partnership with the State of Illinois, resulting in immigrant children getting healthcare, pre-school, and attending Illinois universities, whether documented or not. Immigrant parents work in schools across the state helping children to learn. Over 82,000 Illinois immigrants from all corners of the world have been assisted to naturalize, and hundreds of thousands more with family support programs. Illinois has fought back against the mass deportations of the past six years, leading the nation with landmark victories at the State, County, and City of Chicago level. ICIRR has been outspoken against anti-Muslim backlash and persecution. In the past two years Josh has been playing much more of a national leadership role in the immigrant rights movement, and his new job is an outgrowth of this.

Of his years with ICIRR Josh says:

“The ten years I led ICIRR we had a great Board, staff, and membership, from every corner of the world. The work was deeply rewarding. We built power, for justice. We brought immigrants in Illinois from a marginal group easy to demagogue against to a powerful force respected and even feared by the political leadership of both political parties. We have trained thousands of leaders and hundreds of young organizers, and this has meant that immigrants in Illinois lead lives of greater dignity. Democracy is not a spectator sport!”

The National Partnership for New Americans was created with the leadership of Josh and ICIRR, and works to advance the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. The Partnership is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that works on issues like naturalization, health and safety for immigrant workers, education for immigrant children, creating welcoming communities, and entrepreneurship, through twenty of the largest immigrant advocacy organizations in the country. The Partnership sponsors the annual National Immigrant Integration Conference, the largest convening for immigrant integration in the nation.

Josh will continue to live in and work from Chicago. Josh can be contacted at Jhoyt@ partnershipfornewamericans.org , and his cell phone will remain the same.

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