2009-2010 ELC Grantees
Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition (AIRC), Austin, Texas ($10,000 grant)
The Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition is a grassroots coalition of immigrants, students, and labor, faith and community organizations that works to achieve fairness for all immigrants. AIRC combines community organizing and policy advocacy, know-your-rights training and raid preparedness, and public education and strategic communications to advance its mission. AIRC’s current organizing work includes advocating for just and humane immigration reform, and working to limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement's access to the Travis County Jail. The group’s Welcoming Committee educates the broader public on the contributions of immigrants to the diversity and vitality of our society.
Centro Campesino, Owatonna, Minnesota ($9,000 grant)
Centro Campesino works to improve the lives of members of the Latino and migrant community in southern Minnesota through community organizing, education, and advocacy. Centro Campesino’s Immigrant Empowerment Project includes know-your-rights education, leadership development, and civic engagement activities, as well as organizing for fair and just immigration reform and policy changes at the local, state and national level. Centro Campesino is currently organizing to get cities and police departments in rural Minnesota to accept foreign consular identification cards as an acceptable form of identification for immigrants.
Coalicion de Lideres Latinos (CLILA), Dalton, Georgia ($13,000 grant)
CLILA works to develop the leadership of Latinos in Northwest Georgia through civic engagement programs, leadership training, and grassroots organizing. Centered in Dalton, Georgia, a community that is over 60% Latino, CLILA works to build the political power of the Hispanic community, which has been largely excluded from participation in political and public life. CLILA’s current organizing campaigns are focused on support of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, and reform of local immigration enforcement policies.
El Comité Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social, Seattle, Washington ($10,000 grant)
Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social was organized in 1999 as a grassroots organization in Seattle to draw attention to the plight of immigrant laborers in Western Washington. El Comite seeks to advance the rights of immigrants and promote immigration reform through community organizing, leadership training and capacity-building, and alliance building with unions, non-immigrant groups, and other organizations. Its current organizing priorities include passage of local and statewide legislation to prevent racial profiling, and support for comprehensive immigration reform.
CREER, San Juan Capistrano, California ($9,000 grant)
CREER focuses on asset-based leadership development for the purpose of empowering and mobilizing Mexican/Latino leaders to pursue higher educational achievements, safer communities, and expanded cultural and recreational opportunities for their children. CREER links youth, education, parental involvement, and cultural programs to community organizing and civic leadership development. Its recent work has focused on ensuring fair and just implementation of the city of San Juan Capistrano’s gang injunction; fighting a city parking ban that imposed hardships on Latino residents; and promoting parental involvement and empowerment through the Latino Educational Attainment initiative.
Hispanas Organizadas de Lake and Ashtabula (HOLA), Ashtabula, Ohio ($13,000 grant)
HOLA seeks to improve the quality of life for Latinos in Northeast Ohio through community organizing, advocacy, coalition building and education. HOLA also publishes the HOLA journal, a bilingual newsletter that informs the public about issues important to Hispanics in Lake and Ashtabula County and provides a forum for Hispanic voices. HOLA’s organizing priorities include reforming local immigration enforcement practices, winning support from Ohio’s Congressional delegation for comprehensive immigration reform, and developing the leadership skills of Latino youth.
Mano a Mano Family Center, Salem, Oregon ($13,000 grant)
Mano a Mano Family Center is the oldest Latino organization in the Salem-Keizer area in Oregon's Mid-Willamette Valley. Its mission is to support the social and economic integration and inclusion of low income and Latinos families and individuals of color in Salem-Keizer, through popular education programs and a model that links direct services with community organizing. Its current organizing work is focused on addressing juvenile justice issues, increasing Latino and minority access to resources from the federal stimulus package, and increasing the political participation of grassroots Latino community members.
Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates, St. Louis, Missouri ($15,000 grant)
The Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates is a coalition of over 40 organizations that promotes the basic rights of all immigrants through rapid response/know-your rights programs, direct action organizing, and legislative advocacy. MIRA has defeated over 60 anti-immigrant bills during the past three years, and works statewide to build support for comprehensive immigration reform. Currently, MIRA”s organizing and advocacy work is focused on securing access to higher education for undocumented students in Missouri and eliminating the five-year bar to access healthcare for legal permanent resident children and pregnant women. MIRA has also launched the Welcoming Missouri initiative, a positive, proactive, values-based campaign targeted to non-immigrants that highlights the contributions of immigrants to the community.
Nebraska Appleseed, Lincoln, Nebraska ($10,000 grant)
Nebraska Appleseed focuses on advancing policies and practices that promote self-sufficiency for Nebraska’s working poor families, promote the integration and participation of immigrant populations in communities across Nebraska, provide safe and adequate child welfare services, increase low-income people’s access to the legal system and foster low-income people’s participation in the electoral and public policy decision-making processes. Nebraska Appleseed utilizes all “paths to justice” available to address problems at their roots, including community education, negotiation, research, network building, legislation, and litigation. The organization’s current organizing work is focused on immigration reform, meatpacking worker health and safety, and countering hate messages/anti-immigrant proposals while proactively working to build stronger, integrated communities.
VOZ Workers' Rights Education Project, Portland, Oregon ($18,000 grant)
VOZ works to promote the rights of day laborers in Portland, Oregon through organizing, leadership development, and community education. VOZ addresses issues of wage theft through worker’s rights training, legal advocacy, and direct action; promotes employment opportunities for its members; and conducts organizing campaigns around local and national immigration issues. VOZ’s current organizing priorities include support for comprehensive immigration reform, and passage of federal anti-wage theft legislation.