Creating and Convening Coalitions
When the battle is as large and complex as the one we’re facing today, you can’t go it alone. This is the time to find common cause with other communities across the country who are eager to fight for civil rights and justice. That’s exactly what we have been doing during the first half of 2017.
On April 20th, Hispanic Federation celebrated its 27th anniversary at American Museum of Natural History. This year’s gala theme was UNIDOS, a bold declaration that the anti-Latino and anti-immigrant rhetoric in our national political culture had done nothing so important as uniting us in the struggle for justice. The gala raised a record-breaking $2.1 million in support of Hispanic causes and honored individuals and organizations who are making a positive impact in their communities every day. Just as importantly, more than 900 of the nation’s leading public officials, community advocates, media celebrities, and corporate leaders gathered to show their solidarity with our community and unite around our common values: inclusion, opportunity, diversity, and fairness.
In 2014, HF partnered with the New York City Council, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, New York Urban League, Asian American Federation and others to create the first-ever in our nation Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund (CCNSF). The program has raised more than $10M since then to address the startling under-capitalization and under-investment in communities of color-led nonprofits. In May of this year, we received word from the New York City Council that our coalition would receive $3.7 million for the upcoming fiscal year to continue its work in strengthening nonprofits in communities of color. We are deeply grateful for the incredible leadership and vision of the NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and members of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus for making this work possible. It takes a village and as an organization founded to strengthen the Latino nonprofit sector, support for the CCNSF is just one way in which Hispanic Federation continues to fulfill its original mission.
The educational achievement of our students is also central to our work. Parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders and many others have a stake in the success of our students. And each one of these constituencies must, as we say in Spanish, “aportar su granito de arena.” In May of this year, we redoubled our efforts to improve our student’s academic opportunities by creating The Latino Education Advocacy Directors (LEAD) Coalition. LEAD consists of twenty-four education-focused organizations across New York that are working to close the Latino achievement gap in New York State.
Finally, just about a month ago we announced our newest initiative. Working in partnership with Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father Luis Miranda (HF's Founding President), Hispanic Federation has launched the Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition. The coalition consists of twelve multiethnic, multiracial immigrant rights organizations working on the ground across the United States. With Hispanic Federation acting as the fiscal conduit and lead organizer, we’re raising awareness of this essential work, as well as raising vital funds to support a collective, national push to protect and uplift immigrant communities nationwide.
As part of this new program, HF will be taking a more active advocacy role with regard to federal immigration policy. That’s why we’ll be organizing our National Advocacy Day on September 27th and 28th in Washington D.C. Look for additional details on this convening in the upcoming weeks.
Hispanic Federation has always been committed to building inclusive coalitions that speak truth to power. We’re proud to be part of these efforts to bring community leaders and organizations together in defense of our shared values and the people who truly make our nation exceptional -- and who need us to stand up for them now more than ever.