Fighting Hate through Humor: NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition

Bananas While the Latin America Coalition, an NCLR Affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina, is no stranger to threats and extreme xenophobic opposition, its response to a nativist Neo-Nazi/KKK rally creatively fought hate with humor.

Supporters of the Latin American Coalition and other pro-immigration organizations dressed as clowns, wore giant banana suits, and honked horns at the racist rally, easily outnumbering the KKK protesters by five to one.

Their message?  Racism is ridiculous.

For a little pick-me-up, check out this wonderful blog post by the Coalition’s Executive Director, Jess George, on how her organization deals with hate mail and the negativity they receive on a daily basis.  Sometimes you’ve just got to “Laugh to Keep from Crying.”

Laugh to Keep From Crying

By Jess George, Executive Director, Latin American Coalition (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Last Friday was an exciting day. We got two hate mail letters. Continue reading

Our Affiliates Are Paving the Way for Safer Communities

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Photo: Department of Education

When it comes to education, our Affiliates make the grade. The federal government has also taken note.

Recently, the Department of Education announced the winners of the 2012 Promise Neighborhoods grants. Three of our Affiliates were among 17 organizations that received a total of $60 million in grants. At a speech on school safety in Washington, DC, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan emphasized the role that Promise Neighborhoods plays in keeping communities safe.

“Children must be safe, healthy, and supported by adults across an entire community to reach their fullest potential,” said Duncan in a press release. “Against all odds, Promise Neighborhoods work to provide families and children with the support they need to help break the cycle of poverty that threatens too many of our nation’s communities.”

The NCLR Affiliates that received the grants are Youth Policy Institute (YPI) in Los Angeles, Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) in San Francisco, and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in Brooklyn, New York.

Promise Neighborhoods, first launched in 2010, is a community-focused program that funds local-led efforts to improve educational opportunities and provide comprehensive health, safety, and support services in high-poverty neighborhoods. To help leverage and sustain grant work, 1,000 national, state, and community organizations have signed on to partner with a Promise Neighborhood site, including over 300 organizations supporting 2012 grant winners. The grants are part of the Obama administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which is aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty through what the White House calls “innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together.”

YPI and MEDA are both receiving implementation grants, which will help the two Affiliates build upon previous work that was funded with planning grants. Each Affiliate is set to receive $6 million.
Cypress Hills has been awarded a planning grant in the amount of $371,222.

“NCLR congratulates all three Affiliates who are exceptional models of community-based organizations,” said Sonia M. Pérez, NCLR Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. “Their dedication, efforts and results exemplify the power of the NCLR Affiliate Network and the roles that these organizations play in strengthening neighborhoods across the country.”