Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)


Mission: We fight to advance the full economic, social and civic inclusion of refugees in the San Diego region, throughout California and across the country. 


  • Authentic Demand. Our communities own the decision making power to dictate the direction of our work and exercise their collective power.
  • Inclusion. We create and hold trusted space that honors the community’s investment and supports community ownership. We are anti-racist.
  • Compassionate Leadership. We embrace differences & limitations and build meaningful opportunities for everyone to exercise leadership.

Vision: We envision a world where refugees are connected global leaders building trans-continental movement work to advance meaningful freedom for all.

Who We Are

PANA works at the intersection of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian immigrant and refugee communities impacted by racial and ethnic profiling; religious discrimination and Islamophobia; increased government surveillance and law enforcement harassment; and barriers to healthy housing and family-sustaining jobs. Over the past decade, PANA built a civic engagement program that organizes and engages thousands of the San Diego region’s BAMEMSA refugees and immigrants through voter registration, voter education, get-out-the-vote campaigns, and turnout and testimony for local policy campaigns.. 

Where We Work

East of the 163

PANA amplifies BAMEMSA refugee and immigrant voices to increase their visibility and impact in San Diego County, throughout California, and across the Country.


PANA serves and builds power with its refugee, immigrant, and asylum seeking families who come from Black, African, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) communities.  


  • Affordable Housing and Equitable Development
  • Privacy Rights
  • Immigrant Rights and legal defense 
  • Youth-led Education Equity Campaign


  • Convened and provided backbone infrastructure and capacity building support for a 15-member Refugee and Immigrant Census Hub (RICH), including training and technical assistance, phone-banking infrastructure, education materials and Census swag in seven languages, and support for in-language workshops and Census kiosks. 
  • Successfully advocated for an expansion of San Diego County’s language access policy to include the provision of county services in Somali and Persian languages, for the county to hire dedicated language access staff, and secured the application of that policy to the county’s elections office.
  • Convened and led a local grassroots redistricting coalition that engaged BAMEMSA refugee and immigrant communities in the collaborative mapping of their communities of interest and successfully advocated for county, state legislative, and congressional districts that united those communities in districts that should increase their political voice and power over the next decade. (See the full Redistricting Report, which describes the work in detail.)

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