Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in the development of our local latinx community and our population as a whole. When government agencies fall short, nonprofits leverage corporate, philanthropic and public support to provide a wide range of services and funds to communities in need.
With the California latinx community growing at a rapid rate, the work of nonprofit organizations is more important than ever. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, here are four non-profit organizations that are making a positive impact on the Latinx community.
Alliance for a Better Community
What started as a weekly meeting of Latino civic and business leaders to discuss the issues within Los Angeles’ latinx community grew to become one of the city’s most important nonprofit organizations. The Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) was formed to communicate and fight for the interests of the Latino community by leveraging networks, resources and relationships. The organization aims to advance the Latino agenda within government agencies like City Hall, the County, LAUSD, and other influential entities like the media.
Part of ABC’s mission is also to raise awareness about issues that impact the latinx community of Los Angeles. One way they are working to do this is by creating an online LA Research Library that features current education, economic development, housing and health research on communities throughout Los Angeles County.
If you’d like to support ABC, please visit: http://www.afabc.org/.
Promesa Boyle Heights
Although latinos are earning degrees at a much higher rate than in previous years, an achievement gap still exists. While several factors may be to blame, inadequate funding for schools and the lack of access to educational resources are undoubtedly roadblocks to progress.
In California, Promesa Boyle Heights has stepped up to provide support and individualized success plans for students who are struggling in the classroom. Their mission is to provide students with the tools and proper educational support needed to pass exams and become eligible for college acceptance.
With the idea that if students are given the right support the achievement gap will close, Promesa is committed to improving opportunities for both students and families.
If you’re passionate about education and would like to volunteer for Promesa Boyle Heights, please visit: https://www.promesaboyleheights.org/work-with-us
For many people living in East Los Angeles during the 1990’s, gang violence was part of daily life. InnerCity Struggle was founded by residents in 1994 on the idea that the local community should join together to find solutions in the wake of high neighborhood crime and violence.
One of their first campaigns addressed the correlation between the broken public school system and high prison rates among Latinx communities. Then in 2004, the organization was instrumental in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s decision to approve the construction of three new high schools, a new elementary school, and a new adult school.
In addition to hosting frequent summits and workshops, InnerCity Struggle has recently unveiled a new 6,000 square-foot youth and community center dedicated to training youth and residents on how to take on policy campaigns to improve the quality of life in East Los Angeles.
If you’re interested in attending a summit, workshop or event, please visit: https://www.innercitystruggle.org/
The Esperanza Project
The Esperanza Project is a Guadalajara-based social change magazine founded in 2009 by veteran environment and immigration journalist Tracy L. Barnett. The magazine practices “hope-based journalism” and describes it as writing that, “gives voice to those heroes and heroines who are quietly changing the world from the ground up.”
After exploring and living in Latin America, Barnett saw a side to the latinx and indigenous community that is seldom shone in the media and felt compelled to create the project. “Stories about Latin America are dominated by crisis and catastrophe,” she says, “what is needed in these times is a journalism of hope.”
The organization’s mission is to use storytelling as a bridge between cultures and create awareness to the inspirational work of Latinx change-makers and trailblazers.
Susie is a journalist, entrepreneur and traveler. Born and raised in Los Angeles, her passion for creative storytelling has fueled her professional career and she pursues stories that highlight innovative and inspiring people from diverse backgrounds and industries.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @susieplascencia.