The MAP Network started as Refugees Welcome!, a project under the University of Massachusetts Boston's Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development (CPDD), at the end of 2016. Founding Director Charla Burnett organized the “Refugees Welcome Fair” in November 2016 to gather various immigrant and refugee service providers in the Boston area, along with scholars who conducted research on immigration and refugee-related topics, to discuss the most pressing challenges in the field and showcase their important work. After the event, the organizing team received feedback from the service providers in attendance that they would like to see more events like this one that would bring them together and allow them to network and share resources. And thus, Refugees Welcome! was born!
Since 2016, Refugees Welcome! continued to organize networking events, conduct research, and gather resources in order to strengthen and assist service providers in Greater Boston. In September 2018, Refugees Welcome! became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and in November 2018, Denise Muro became the Executive Director after having served on the Leadership Team for more than a year.
In 2021, the Leadership Team shepherded the organization through a rebranding process to better represent our mission and purpose. This process allowed the team to improve internal organization and processes and to better position ourselves as a network of immigrant and refugee service providers. After much deliberation, the new name of Migrant Alliance and Partnership Network (MAP Network) was chosen.
Today, the organization acts as a networking and capacity building platform for migrant and refugee service providers in the Boston area. Rather than reinventing the wheel and trying to replicate services that already exist, members of the MAP Network aim to help coordinate, strengthen, and organize the vast and varying services offered by our network members.