The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit (IIMD) is dedicated to working with American and foreign-born residents on the tasks of social problem solving, career development, job placement, financial empowerment, acculturation, education, and acceptance within the Metro Detroit region. The IIMD does this by providing the human and physical resources necessary to advance the integration of foreign-born residents into full civic participation. Utilizing its areas of core-competency, the IIMD also serves and nurtures the efforts of organizations that have a stake in immigrant issues, both non-profit and for-profit, in becoming vital components of the regional community. Through its programs and services the IIMD promotes global awareness, cultural harmony, and celebrates ethnic heritage by infusing a spirit of assistance, tolerance, and understanding that has been at the heart of its programs since 1919. Founded in 1919 by a committed group of YWCA volunteers, the IIMD sought to help immigrants acquire English-language skills, enter into the process of citizenship, and assimilate into their new communities by fostering awareness and understanding of the multiculturalism that flourished in the early part of the 20th Century. In 1926, the Institute created and established the visionary Original World Market to support local foreign-born residents who were craftspeople, tradespeople, and artisans. The market allowed immigrants – and their families – to sell artisanal handcrafted, folk items and goods of their cultures to Detroiters and provided a leg-up to these foreign-born residents during the economic collapse of the Great Depression. In 1945, the Institute became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Seven years later, the IIMD became a United Way Agency and, in doing so, firmly committed itself to education and social services in all matters relating to immigration: citizenship counseling, job placement, translation and interpretation services, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and consultation and referrals concerning ethnic and legal matters.