Posts By Sara McElmurry

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reflected on his struggles in brokering political compromise around immigration reform at a July 8 panel event co-sponsored by the Latino Policy Forum and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His candid remarks resonated with an audience of more than 120 Latino community leaders and immigrant advocates, many also wrestling with the reality that supporting a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants means also accepting increased enforcement and southern border militarization.

“[I] just close[d] my eyes and grit my teeth and  vote[d] on more damn money on that border than I could ever possibly explain or rationalize,” said Durbin, reflecting on the concessions necessary to garner the 68 votes that eventually ushered... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy

Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Sylvia PuenteAs Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), commented on CPS’ future, she reflected on her past.

“I’m from the [housing] projects of Harlem. In the projects, all you have is your word.” 

In addressing an audience of nearly 100 Latino community leaders and education advocates at a Latino Policy Forum reception at Roberto Clemente Community Academy on June 19, Byrd-Bennett gave her word that moving forward, her district could and would do better in ensuring strong academic outcomes for Latino students. At the close of a tumultuous school year—one that started with a district-wide... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education

2011 Academy ParticipantsYear 5 of the Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy will be the largest in the program’s history, with 34 participants from 19 Illinois-based Latino-serving nonprofits set to participate in the intensive nine-month program.  Embracing the cultural strengths of the Latino community, the Academy invests in leadership to remedy two conflicting trends: the growth in the Latino population and the decrease in resources available to the organizations that serve them.  

Even as the Latino population remains one of the fastest-growing segments in the country, just 1 percent of total foundation funding in the US has been dedicated to serving Latinos over the past decade,... Continue Reading

Posted In: Leadership, Strengthening Leadership

An April 16 Reuters headline heralded what many immigrants and immigrant advocates had been anticipating for weeks, months, lifetimes: “Senators unveil immigration reform bill.”

The story devoted nearly 1,000 words to the particulars of the “Gang of 8” Senate proposal and included quotes from an Iowa Senator and unnamed “immigration expert.” Conspicuously absent from the piece, however, were the voices of those poised to be most affected by eventual reform legislation: immigrants themselves. But this troubling reporting dynamic isn’t unique to Reuters: Far too many of the thousands of stories written about immigration reform in past weeks have woefully omitted immigrant perspectives, for reasons ranging from a lack of time to a lack of will to seek out grassroots... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigrant Integration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigration
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