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About us

Mission

To build a more connected and productive society to benefit immigrants, their families, and the wider community.

Vision

A diverse, inclusive and thriving community.

Core Values

Innovation

Remain agile and flexible – quickly adding or modifying services, products, and plans.

Collaboration

Work with partners and clients to create inclusive services and products. 

Excellence

Strive for outstanding results.

Innovation

Remain agile and flexible – quickly adding or modifying services, products, and plans.

Integrity

Strong ethical and moral principles.

Respect

Utilizing a multicultural perspective, take into account the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of others.

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 2019-2021 strategic plan and annual report.

2018 Revenues
$7,155,769

  • Donated Services
  • Fees, Sales to the Public, & Other Revenues
  • Contribution
  • Foundations
  • United Way
  • Contracts & Grants

2018 Expenses
$7,246,181

  • Programs
  • Management & General
  • Fundraising

2018 Programs
$6,143,756

  • Case Mgmt. & Resettlement
  • Social Work & Health Services
  • Econ. Dev.
  • MO-ORA
  • Community Engagement
  • Employment & Training
  • Education & Citizenship

History


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.

1919
1920
1923
1934
1942
1945
1950
1953
1956
1969
1975
1982
1992
1999
2000
2007
2009
2012
2015
2019

1919

Opened on November 19 with quarters on S. Broadway Blvd.

1920

Sponsored Mayfest, St. Louis’ first multicultural festival in May 1920.

1923

Joined the Community Council of St. Louis. (United Way’s predecessor).

1934

Sponsored the first Festival of Nations at the time of the dedication of the Municipal Auditorium (now Peabody)

1942

Assisted with the relocation of 30 Japanese Americans from US internment camps.

1945

A Young Women’s Group is organized for foreign-born wives of American servicemen.

1950

Launched St. Louis’ first US Citizenship preparation classes.

1953

English classes for Japanese wives of American servicemen commence. The Institute staff organizes foreign students at all area colleges and universities for Friday evening social events.

1956

Moved to 4484 West Pine Blvd, our first owned vs. leased facility.

1969

Launched SHARE PLAN FOR INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION in the St. Louis public schools

1975

Began sponsoring refugees; program evolved significantly with passage of the Refugee Act of 1980.

1982

Relocated to a substantially larger facility at 3800 Park Avenue.

1992

Commenced the sponsorship of Bosnian refugees – almost 7,000 over the next 10 years.

1999

Relocated to a larger facility at 3654 S. Grand Blvd.

2000

Launched Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park.

2007

Incorporated the IICDC, our microlending subsidiary.

2009

The Institute’s 90th Anniversary is celebrated with the dedication of the William K. Y. Tao Refugee Resettlement Fund.

2012

Opened a branch facility in Springfield, MO.

2015

Relocated to a significantly larger campus at 3401 Arsenal St.

2019

Celebrating the International Institute’s 100th Anniversary!

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.

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