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About us

Mission and Vision Statement

The International Institute of St. Louis provides opportunities for immigrants and refugees to thrive in order to create a welcoming, prosperous, and healthy region for all.

We will ...

serve to the best of our ability.

advocate for a more welcoming region.

connect this community to resources that inspire growth.

diversify our income sources and invest in a sustainable financial model that ensures continued support for immigrants, their families, and the community at large.

build the capacity to lead our community forward by leveraging the talent and experiences of the immigrant population for our common growth.

Read our full 2022-2024 Strategic Plan.

Why We Are Needed

Today, we offer essential economic and cultural integration services, including English classes, employment, orientation, and citizenship preparation. We also host events and make presentations to build inclusive and mutually respectful relationships between foreign-born newcomers and all community members. Learn more from our 2022-2024 strategic plan and 2022 annual report.

2022 Revenues

  • Contributions
  • Foundations
  • Grants & Fees
  • Programs
  • Other Income

2022 Expenses

  • Salaries, Benefits, Taxes
  • Professional Consultants
  • Operations
  • Depreciation/Amortization
  • Other


During the period of 1900-1925, the National Board of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) founded nearly 50 “International Institute” branches of their local organizations. The International Institute of St. Louis (IISTL) was founded in 1919.

In 1923, IISTL separated from the YWCA. At that time, we joined the St. Louis Community Chest, today named the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Our early records can be located at the Immigration History Research Center, U. of Minnesota.

National Network

The International Institutes are still connected along with newer members of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), headquartered in Washington, DC. The USCRI network serves more than 1 million immigrants annually in dozens of states.