April 9, 2020
Irish Intl. Immigrant Center Is Now Rian Immigrant Center

February 27, 2020 — The Irish International Immigrant Center, a Boston nonprofit that assists newcomers to successfully transition to new lives in Greater Boston and the United States, yesterday announced that it changed its name to the Rian Immigrant Center.

Rian (pronounced Ree-Ann) is an Irish word that means "path" and is meant to underscore the mission of the organization to help immigrants along the path to safety and opportunity.

“Our work has never been in higher demand,” said Ronnie Millar, executive director of the Rian Immigrant Center. “In recent years that path has grown more difficult. Legal obstacles, bureaucratic thickets, even physical barriers obstruct the path to legal status and citizenship. Together with our public and private partners, we are undaunted in navigating those challenges, and we remain steadfast in creating pathways to new beginnings.”

The move to change the name was prompted by feedback that the Center received from more than 400 partners, supporters and clients, who had reported finding the original name confusing, with 79% unable to correctly recall the original name

"We carefully assessed the pros, cons, and options over a three-year period, and came up with the Irish word for path (Rian), which our Irish constituents will recognize, will be easy to pronounce, and does not project the image that we only help Irish immigrants," said Millar.

He added, "Rian is the path that needs to be cut through, or trail-blazed—when it looks like there is no way forward, and someone needs to make the way—even though the path forward is full of danger and risks, the person cutting through becomes the way for others."

Millar said the Center has doubled in size over the past three years, and nearly tripled over the past five years, helping helps immigrants and refugee families from 126 countries, including Ireland.

The Center’s new logo was inspired by the Giant's Causeway on the north coast of Ireland, natural hexagonal stones formed 60 million years ago by cooling lava. The symbol represents how the Rian Immigrant Center provides the support to chart a pathway forward.

Founded in 1989 by immigrants, the Center, building on Irish roots of welcoming others and social justice, today supports 3,500 immigrants and refugees by providing legal, wellness, and education services, advocating for systemic change; and facilitating cross-cultural community building.

The Center works with the following partners: Boston Medical Center, Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, Downtown Initiative for Adult Literacy, Equal Justice Works, Greater Boston Coalition on Suicide Prevention, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Massachusetts Immigration Coalition, Rosie’s Place, TechGoesHome, The NOW Group, Toward Independent Living, and Learning Ulster University.

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