Brand-New: ASISTA & Ujima Release Practice Advisory on Anti-Blackness & Immigrant GBV Survivors (Feb. 2023)



Kirsten Rambo, 

Cristina Velez, 

ASISTA Releases Practice Advisory on

 Anti-Blackness and Immigrant Survivors of Gender-Based Violence 

in Collaboration with Ujima, Inc. 

The racism that pervades the US immigration system creates particular hardships for Black survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). ASISTA and Ujima, Inc. (the National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community) have released a brand-new practice advisory addressing the impact of anti-Blackness on immigrant survivors of GBV. This resource explores how the specific intersection of sexism, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, and criminalization presents unique obstacles to relief for Black immigrant survivors. Importantly, the advisory also contains practical information on how practitioners and advocates can provide anti-racist and culturally responsive services to Black immigrant survivors of GBV. 

As ASISTA Staff Attorney Kelly Head comments, “ASISTA is honored to collaborate with our partners at Ujima, Inc. on this important resource for immigration practitioners and advocates. The very real effects of these intersecting oppressions–while ever-present in the lives of Black immigrant survivors–are rarely addressed. With this resource, ASISTA and Ujima, Inc. hope to start filling this critical gap and to stimulate conversations in both the immigration and gender-based violence fields about these important issues.”

Ayana Wallace Vieux, Ujima’s Training and Technical Assistance Manager, observes, “As change-makers, we must address the complex realities of Black immigrant survivors and the multi-layered systemic and structural forms of violence they face when trying to get help. Xenophobia and deeply rooted anti-Blackness render Black immigrant survivors invisible in a system in which they are overrepresented. Ujima Inc. is proud to be a part of a collective movement with ASISTA to give voice to Black immigrant survivors and improve access to safety and justice, however the survivor defines them.” 

ASISTA’s Executive Director Kirsten Rambo concludes, “The exciting collaboration between ASISTA and Ujima has resulted in an advisory that represents a critical contribution to several fields. This resource is only able to exist because of the solid foundation built by Black feminist scholars and activists over many decades. Our sincere, shared hope is that this document will be put to use widely and quickly to advance justice for Black immigrant survivors of gender-based violence.”  

​​To read the practice advisory, click here. 

Established in 2008, ASISTA is a national leader in the movement for safety and justice for immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. ASISTA’s founders helped write the immigration provisions of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act (TVPA), affording legal status to hundreds of thousands of survivors and their children since 1994. With over 2,500 members nationwide, ASISTA’s work is focused on 1) providing expert case consultation, training, and resources to attorneys and advocates navigating the complex immigration system on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence, including intervening in specific cases as needed; 2) pushing for federal, state and local policies that ensure safety and justice for immigrant survivors; and 3) coordinating lawsuits to prevent the government from unfairly deporting survivors of violence. To learn more about ASISTA’s work, click here.

Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community was founded in 2015 in response to the need for an active approach to ending violence against women in the Black community – domestic, sexual, and community violence. The name “Ujima” is from the third principle of Kwanzaa, which means Collective Work and Responsibility. This principle is critical to addressing violence against Black women in the United States. Ujima, through education and outreach, training and technical assistance, resource development, research, and public policy efforts, mobilizes the Black community and allies to strengthen our families, recognizing the safety and viability of our families is connected to the health and well-being of our individual neighborhoods and communities at large. We define the Black community as the African Diaspora in its broadest sense, e.g., Black Americans (descendants of the enslaved in the U.S.) and African, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Latinx immigrants, refugees, and asylees. Ujima, Inc. provides a resource hub for survivors of violence and their family and friends; enhances the capacity of coalitions, local, state, and federal government agencies, community based programs, researchers, and policymakers; advocates for social change; engages in meaningful and impactful research that addresses the intersections of race, class, and gender to improve services and responses to Black survivors; and (5) develops evidence-based tools to reduce domestic violence homicides in our community.