In this conversation, Dr. Christophe Ringer discusses the critical importance of November’s election through the intersection of faith and politics. Ringer says we all need to vote not just because voting is what keeps us connected as a society, but voting is also a shared responsibility for each other.
This article originally appeared on the Latino Community Foundation’s blog. Click here to view the original.
Directly after the 2016 Presidential Election results, the Latino Community Foundation launched the Nuestro Futuro Fund to counter xenophobia and fear with solidarity and hope. Thanks to more than 100 generous donors, LCF invested $122,500 into 13 Latino-led grassroots nonprofits that have offered much needed love, legal support, and immigrant rights advocacy. Together we have strengthened Latino families and ensured that nonprofits who are rooted in the Central Valley can reclaim the narrative of what it means to be a Latino and immigrant in this country.
Since the beginning of the 45th U.S. Presidency, California has seen a dramatic increase in aggressive ICE enforcement with new practices that destroy families and traumatize children. This has been a time of heightened fear, insecurity, and misinformation. These quick strike grants gave these nonprofits critical core support to quickly build staff capacity, recruit new volunteers, and provide the necessary legal support and information to keep countless families safe and children in school. The majority of investments went to the Central Valley—a hub of economic power and immigrant labor, but also a region plagued with anti-immigrant rhetoric, worker exploitation, and a lack of access to free or low-cost legal services. These funds helped keep families together and offered immigrant youth the opportunity to organize!
These trusted nonprofits helped families navigate the legal labyrinth of the immigration system, trained families and youth on knowing their rights, led rallies and organized press events to raise attention to local attacks from federal law enforcement, and advocated for local and statewide policies to protect immigrant and Latino families. With families lining up at some of these community partners starting at 4am, this support came at a critical time for both the nonprofits and the communities they serve. One community partner reported providing 700 free legal consultations and answering 1,500 calls for support through their multilingual hotline—all within just two months.
Collectively reaching 300,000 community members, LCF funded the following Latino nonprofits:
- California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation | Central Valley | To achieve social justice and equity in partnership with farm workers and all low-wage workers and their families in rural communities through community, legislative and legal advocacy.
- Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC) | Central Valley | To serve as the leading immigrant integration organization in the Central Valley, dedicated to ensuring full participation of immigrants in building strong, vibrant, inclusive communities.
- Centro La Familia | Central Valley | To empower low-income communities by supporting crime victims, strengthening families and children, promoting health and wellness, and encouraging civic engagement.
- Centro Legal de La Raza | East Bay | To protect and advance the rights of immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy.
- Education Leadership Foundation | Central Valley | To empower communities through educational opportunities, youth leadership development, and civic engagement.
- El Quinto Sol de America| Central Valley | To utilize art, culture, and education as principal tools to help create more just and equitable communities, including achieving healthy farm worker communities.
- Faith in the Valley | Central Valley | To unlock the power of people to put faith into action in the public square, and to advance a movement for racial justice and health equity.
- Faith in the Valley | Central Valley | To support the Fresno Legal Defense Fund, providing legal aid to the immigrant community.
- La Luz Center | North Bay | To be a catalyst for change in Sonoma Valley through advancing health, education, and financial security in local Latino communities.
- Mi Familia Vota | Central Valley | To support civic engagement, healthy living, and community building among Latino and immigrant families in the Central Valley.
- Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos | Central Coast | To promote multicultural social justice, non-violence and economic equity through cultural healing, civic leadership and community development.
- Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN) | Statewide | To empower low-income immigrants and refugees through community education and organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy, and naturalization services.
- The Unity Council | East Bay | To help families and individuals build wealth and assets through comprehensive programs of sustainable economic, social, and neighborhood development.
- UFW Foundation | Central Valley | To open the doors of opportunity to working people and their communities.