New Jersey has historically opened itself to newcomers. After
all, the Statue of Liberty stands on the New Jersey side of the harbor. With
almost 2 million foreign-born residents, the only states with more immigrants
per capita are California and New York.
Yet what makes New Jersey truly
different is the diversity of our immigrant population.
New Jersey’s immigration story doesn’t fit the stereotypes you’re probably familiar with: a large cohort of people crossing illegally into
border states and upending the status quo.
In this state, immigrants come from
everywhere. New Jersey is home
to more than 300,000 South Americans, 300,000 from the Caribbean, 250,000 South
Asians, 140,000 Eastern Europeans, 140,000 Central Americans, 125,000 Mexicans,
95,000 Africans, 90,000 Chinese — and that’s just for starters.
Immigration is arguably the hottest issue in the country right
now. Over the next year, NJ Spotlight will explore how New Jersey’s immigrants
are doing – what are measures of success and what are the outright barriers to
When you back this project:
We will look
at immigration issues from both inside and outside communities, through a unique partnership with the state’s ethnic press.
We’ll investigate the divisive political rhetoric that has
increased fear and suspicion among newcomers and natives alike. While some
cities are actively creating programs that will provide sanctuary to their
immigrant populations, other locals have been vocal regarding their fears that
immigrants bring with them security risks and possible drains on the safety
We’ll discover how New
Jersey’s foreign-born are coping with this changing climate. We will also take
a close look at the impact these communities are having on New Jersey — whether
it be education, jobs, housing, or the economy.
Most importantly, we’ll talk to these newcomers directly.
Through our partnership with the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair
State, we will reach into these communities via ethnic media.
publications — targeted at New Jersey’s Arab, Brazilian, Chinese, Filipino, and
Latino communities, among others – will give voice to their stories and
At bottom, we hope to provide the answers to two central
questions: What’s it like to be an immigrant living in the shadow of the Statue
of Liberty and is our state living up to her promise?
NJ Spotlight is dedicated to original, thoughtful investigative
reporting on complex issues. Working with the Center for Cooperative Media at
Montclair State, which represents 150 different media partners from around New
Jersey, we will tell the stories of these diverse immigrants and how they are
changing what it means to become an American.
EthnicNJ is also partnering with NJ Spotlight and the Center for Cooperative Media to tell the story of New Jersey’s diverse communities. EthnicNJ’s interactive NJ Demographic Maps are a unique data reporting tool for journalists telling stories about the ethnic geography of New Jersey. Funding from New Jersey Immigration Project will support EthnicNJ’s coverage of New Jersey’s demographics and ethnic communities.
We’re also partnering with Reporte Hispano. Reporte Hispano is the best and largest Spanish-language media company in NJ and the only locally-owned and Hispanic-owned media company in the state. Reporte Hispano is Latino and woman-owned, WBENC-certified. ReporteHispano.com provides the community with the best in Spanish-langauge reporting on issues that are important to NJ residents.
Your donations are tax-deductible. Every pledge will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to
Your support creates:
· a series of in-depth reports that will take a look at these
communities: their struggles, achievements, and the impact they are having in
critical areas such as education, healthcare, jobs, and housing;
· an investigation into the plight of the undocumented, including
legislation and municipal policies and practices that affect their ability to
live, work, and be educated in New Jersey;
· an examination of how and why some communities gain political
power while others still struggle;
· personal stories, captured on video through ethnic media, that
give the foreign-born a wide audience for their perspective as they wrestle
with everyday obstacles and increasingly hostile political rhetoric;
· in-depth data reporting that examines where different
communities have settled — and why;
· updated Ancestry, Hispanic and Asian Ancestry, and Place of Birth Maps with the most recent (December 2015) five-year Census data, courtesy of EthnicNJ;
· an assessment of how New Jersey’s bedroom communities are handling
the influx of immigrants of color;
· an engagement campaign that ignites a statewide conversation on
immigration in New Jersey.
Thank you for answering the call to support comprehensive reporting about immigration in New Jersey. We are thrilled that we have reached our fundraising goal, and then some!
Now that we have the funds, the journalism starts. We have lots of story ideas, but we want to hear from you. Have an idea worth sharing? A concern? This project would not be happening if it weren’t for you. So keep taking part! Send us an email at email@example.com.
We have four days to get to our goal, and we are 73 percent of the way there. Can you help us get to 100 percent? Do you know one other person who cares about these issues? Could you send an email or share on Facebook? Remember, this is an all-or-nothing campaign. Spread the word!
Hello to all our wonderful backers!
We can’t thank you enough for supporting our campaign to commit quality journalism on immigration issues in New Jersey. With just two weeks to go, we’re making progress. We hope that you’ll continue to help us by spreading word among your friends and family about this project.
We wanted to also mention that we’ve added a new reward! At the $200 level, you can now support our project while also honoring the immigration journey of someone you love. We’ll give them permanent, special recognition on our project website, including a photo and other details.
If you’ve already made a pledge below that level and are interested in this reward, you can go into your Beacon account and edit your pledge amount. And those of you who have already pledged at the $200 mark or above, we are happy to extend this reward to you. Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
One of our favorite parts of the Beacon site is the discussion section. We love hearing from all of you. What immigration-related issues do YOU think our project should cover?. Let us know by logging in and commenting today.
Thank you again,
The NJ Spotlight and the Center for Cooperative Media Team
Dear Backers —
Just a quick note to thank you for making the first few days of our #njimmigration crowdfunding campaign a success! With your help, we’re up to nearly 30 percent of our goal!
We’re already working on a couple of immigration-related stories, and meeting next week to strategize with our ethnic media partners. And in case you missed it, we wanted to make sure you saw NJ Spotlight’s list this week, showing the largest cohorts of the many ethnic groups residents that make up the Garden State, according to the 2014 American Community Survey.
We’re off to a good start, but we still have a ways to go. Thank you for donating, and for continuing to spread word of our campaign on social media and among your friends. It’s good to know that there are many people in this world willing to support quality journalism on subjects they care about.
The NJ Spotlight & Center for Cooperative Media Team
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Help NJ Spotlight bring them to BEACON. At $30,000, NJ Spotlight can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.This project is no longer accepting pledges