FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday August 26, 2021
Hispanic Federation and Southern Coalition for Social Justice Announce Multi-State Bilingual Redistricting Academy
Series of map-drawing and advocacy trainings will empower Latino communities to fight state-led gerrymandering efforts across the country
Nationwide—Today the Hispanic Federation (HF) and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) announced the first-ever bilingual Redistricting Academy, empowering Latino communities to advocate for district maps that reflect the diversity of their population. Throughout the fall, academic experts and civic engagement leaders will equip dozens of community leaders in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and Georgia with information and tools to ensure that redistricting efforts protect Latino political representation despite a suspected undercount in the 2020 Census data.
“We must ensure the upcoming redistricting process in each state is fair, transparent, and protects the gains in political representation that communities of color have made in the last decade,” said Frankie Miranda, President of the Hispanic Federation. “We will stand up against any gerrymandering process that denies all voters in that state adequate representation. Our bilingual Redistricting Academy will empower the Latino community to make our voices heard in the process.”
”The Redistricting Academy is the culmination of months of training and many hours of hard work by dedicated individuals committed to one goal: fair voting districts,” said Irving Zavaleta, SCSJ’s Networks Director for Voting Rights. “The Redistricting Academy attendees and our partners at Hispanic Federation are a testament to what happens when committed activists map their futures for the next decade.”
The Redistricting Academy has developed a series of online trainings, available in English and Spanish, that cover the following topics:
- Redistricting 101: Participants will learn the basics of redistricting, including what redistricting and reapportionment mean, their impact, and why it’s important for them to get involved in the process.
- How to Build a Winning Coalition: Participants will learn why and how to build redistricting coalitions at the county, state, and federal level.
- Designing an Advocacy Campaign for Redistricting: Participants will learn how to build an advocacy campaign around redistricting, including how to identify and map stakeholders, and set and achieve SMART goals.
- Redistricting Outreach Tactics in a Digital World: Participants will learn how to leverage digital tools to engage with elected officials and stakeholders online.
In addition, all participants are invited to join a series of state-specific live discussion sessions that will provide action steps and information for each state.
There will be two live discussions per state. The first will cover each state’s specific redistricting process and deadlines. The second will be a live map-drawing tutorial that teaches participants how to design district maps using map-drawing software for each state.
The live map-drawing tutorials will group organizations and individuals at the local level to teach them how to use map drawing tools for their particular districts. Afterwards, the participants will be able to design joint maps and advocate for them at the local, state and federal levels.
Redistricting Academy participants will leave the program with coalition partners at their local county level, drawn maps that accurately reflect their community, and the tools to advocate for those maps with stakeholders.
Civic engagement groups have raised concerns about the undercount of Latino communities, which critically impacts access to resources for schools and infrastructure and affects political representation of the Latino community.
Growing from 50.5 million in 2010 to over 62 million in 2020, Latinos continue to be the second largest population group in the country, even with a suspected undercount in the Census data from the past administration’s attempt to include a citizenship question. Anticipated state-level gerrymandering efforts threaten to dilute the power that Latinos have gained through population growth in the past ten years. The redistricting academy seeks to raise awareness among directly impacted communities on how redistricting, representation and funding are interconnected.
HF and SCSJ first tested the concept for the Redistricting Academy in North Carolina, which ran from July 14 to July 22. Over 50 community members participated representing 21 different organizations that serve Latinos across the state. The event led to the creation of local working groups that will design district maps approved by the community and advocate for them at the local, county and state level.
For more information and to register for the Redistricting Academy, visit: HispanicFederation.org/RedistrictingAcademy. Registrants will be the first to gain access to any of the online trainings and be able to choose which local and state group to join for the state-specific live sessions.
About Southern Coalition for Social Justice
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at southerncoalition.org and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.