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Leadership Initiatives - Fall Updates

Latinos on the Move

Get your early bird tickets, available till Oct. 28, for the Latino Policy Forum’s 6th annual policy breakfast fundraiser!

Latinos on the Move: Opportunity and Equity for Latino Children will be held Nov. 10, 2016 at the Union League of Chicago. Join keynote speaker Sarita E. Brown of Excelencia in Education, emcee and ABC 7 News anchor Stacey Baca, and this year’s “Champion of Change” recipients, Illinois State Sen. Iris Y. Martinez and Illinois State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, for a discussion about school achievement and opportunity for Latinos.

Multicultural Leadership Academy

The Forum is bridging the cultural divide between Latino and African American communities in Chicago through its inaugural Multicultural Leadership Academy. The Academy brings together 24 activists to increase understanding of how racial and ethnic groups can collaborate to transform their communities through social action. The group will meet through June 2017, and over the nine-month period, a full seven days of training will be provided to each community leader.

See a full list of the Academy’s 2016 cohort here


Strengthening Chicago’s “Welcoming City” Ordinance

The Chicago City Council passed an amendment to the City’s Welcoming City Ordinance on October 5.  The measure will prohibit all City employees, including Chicago Police officers, from questioning an individual’s immigration status and threatening deportation. The amendment also re-defines coercion and verbal abuse to include verbal threats, barring city employees from compelling a person to make statements, and making such behavior subject to disciplinary action by an independent review authority.  This effort was led by members of the City Council’s Latino, Asian American and Progressive Caucuses along with members of the Chicago Municipal Immigration Policy Working Group. 

Promoting DACA at ISBE bilingual director’s conference

The Forum provided a workshop in September for bilingual directors with the Illinois State Board of Education. This training provided educators, focused on children with limited English proficiency, with information about DACA eligibility, the benefits DACA recipients have and strategies for supporting undocumented students, scholarships and legal resources.

Latino advocates meet with DHS leadership 

Members of the Illinois Latino Agenda met with the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary and several senior personnel in August to advance a variety of issues affecting Latino children and families, nonprofit service providers and governance. A significant portion of state resources disseminated to Latino-led and serving nonprofit organizations are funded by DHS. 

During the conversation, service providers pressed DHS to share more information about the payment cycle, to answer questions about FY16 grants and to forecast how the agency will move forward with FY17 payments given the stop-gap appropriation.  These conversations are crucial to holding government administrators accountable, elevating the voice of Latino-led service providers and delivering messages about budget and program implementation with Latino children and families in mind. Agenda members also discussed the importance of state funding for immigrant integration services, improvements to managed care organizations and Latino employment at the agency. 

As a result of the coalition’s advocacy, DHS is in the process of hiring a Special Assistant to the DHS Secretary for Hispanic/Latino Affairs. 

Posted In: Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment