Vision and Mission
Vision: People from a variety of faith traditions and cultural backgrounds will work together to create a new kind of multicultural and ecumenical community based on mutual respect and service.
Mission: To strengthen Brazilian immigrant families and their connection with their communities.
We work toward this goal through the following programs:
- Português Plus classes for children ages 4-14
- English Plus (ESOL) classes for adults
- Immigrant rights education and advocacy
- Opportunities for facilitated cross-cultural experience
Who We Are
Metrowest Boston is uniquely placed to draw cultures together, and the work is urgent. In Framingham, inter-ethnic tension merited investigation by the Justice Department, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Similar tensions in Marlborough also raised deep concerns.
The founders of ProGente Connections learned from our Brazilian partners that the first barrier for an immigrant to overcome is the inability to communicate with others. Our English programs provide a chance for better jobs and access to engagement with the wider community. In addition, we provide Portuguese language and culture classes for children in the Brazilian community, so that their language ability in a heritage language can be maintained.
We also provide workshops for immigrants for interfacing with school systems, health-care providers, the mental health system, and everyday legal matters.
But we aren't just a school, and we aren't just one more charity. We are not a charity at all. For English-speakers, we provide is a facilitated experience of cross-cultural community. Many of our American participants, most of whom come from a Christian perspective, believe that partnering with us allows them to take seriously their baptismal call to step outside their church doors to collaborate with others unlike themselves, to make the mission of God come alive for our time.
Above all, we seek to enable people, from every faith perspective or from none at all, to reach across boundaries and through increasing cultural polarization. We seek to learn each other’s ways, experience, and values, because we believe that through mutual respect and service, we can create a new world for all of us.
We are a mission hub - an ecumenical partnership that received seed money from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Our mission hub partners include:
- All Right Ministry, a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
- A Special Grace, ministry with people on the Autism Spectrum, ECUSA
- Bethel Presbyterian Church in Marlborough
- Christ Episcopal Church in Medway
- Epiphany Episcopal Church in Walpole
- St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Framingham
- St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hudson
We believe that process matters on the road to building a better world for all. Our board is intentionally multicultural and interfaith. In order to build a more unified community, board members commit to learning Portuguese or English if they do not already speak both.
We are committed to paying our Português Plus teachers, who are experienced, highly educated professionals, a wage that reflects this. Unlike many other nonprofits, Português Plus teachers at ProGente Connections earn:
- A wage of $25-32/hour
- Paid prep time
- Paid sick leave
- Pedagogical support