2011-2012 ELC Grantees

The Emerging Latino Communities (ELC) Initiative combines capacity-building grants of up to $20,000 with additional funding for targeted technical assistance aimed at strengthening the community organizing and leadership development efforts of community organizing groups in emerging Latino communities. Technical assistance is also focused on building organizational capacity in the areas of governance, fundraising and resource development, strategic planning, financial management, and program planning and evaluation, and is aimed at building the long-term sustainability of the grantee organizations.

The 2011–2012 ELC grantee organizations include:

Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition (AIRC), Austin, Texas
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
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 a form of identification for immigrants.

Coalición de Líderes Latinos (CLILA), Dalton, Georgia
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.

Hispanas Organizadas de Lake y Ashtabula (HOLA), Ashtabula, Ohio
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 creates 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
Mano a Mano Family Center is the oldest Latino organization in the Salem-Keizer area of 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 (MIRA), St. Louis, Missouri
MIRA 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
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 uses 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.

Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN)
ICAN’s mission is to provide a voice for Idahoans committed to progressive social change and to develop the power necessary to create those changes. ICAN’s programs focus on empowering the disenfranchised and on developing new leadership in the community on the issues of healthcare access, food security, utility fairness, and immigration rights. The network works to integrate immigrants and refugees and to develop a friendly environment through their Welcoming Boise campaign. The campaign focuses on an innovative theory of change that is based on the idea that just as fertile soil is needed for a seed to grow, receptive communities are needed for immigrants and refugees to thrive.

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