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On this Giving Tuesday support Illinois Latinos by supporting the Forum

By Diana Mendoza Scanlan

It’s been a bruising year for Latinos nationwide, following a contentious presidential election that saw immigrants cast as villains. The Forum has heard from many in the community who feel disenfranchised by the election’s results. In these trying times, now more than ever your support is critical to the sustainability of Latinos in Illinois and across the nation.

On this Giving Tuesday, DONATE to help the Forum continue its work convening local, state and national leaders to take proactive steps that move Latinos forward by focusing on the issues that matter: A better future in education, preserving immigrants’ rights, fair housing and strengthening tomorrow’s leaders.

Currently, the Forum is leading the way in the struggle to pass the Student ACCESS Bill through the Illinois legislature, which would allow undocumented immigrants to compete for scholarships to state universities. The Sun-Times Editorial Board recently came out in support of the legislation, which is similar to bills passed in other states like Texas and Washington.

The Forum also is a leader in helping Illinois move forward with the Every Student Succeeds Act, which is replacing No Child Left Behind, to ensure that English learning students in public schools are given adequate instruction and opportunities to pursue their education. Projections say that by 2023, one out of every three students in the U.S. will be Latino. The future of Latino children will be critical to the American workforce and the economic vitality of our nation as a whole.

And in the coming months, the Forum will continue the Multicultural Leadership Academy, aimed at strengthening relationships between African American and Latino leaders in order to impact social, community and policy change across both communities.

There has been no shortage of accomplishments in the past year. Here’s a brief list of just some of the Forum’s accomplishments in 2015-16:

  • Expanded knowledge of early literacy and social emotional development by training 29 parent facilitators who empowered 400 parents from 28 partner sites through Abriendo Puertas, a parent engagement curriculum that fosters leadership and advocacy skills.
  • Abated the mortgage foreclosure crisis by coordinating a 16-member coalition, Operation HELP (Housing Education, Leadership and Policy), to provide information to 50,000 households, increasing their capacity to preserve their home and wealth.   
  • Fostered immigrant integration by providing policy guidance to the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus and local municipalities in Illinois on the requirements of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive action that limits deportation for some undocumented immigrants.
  • Better prepared teachers to improve the education of Latinos and English Learners by providing recommendations in a three-part policy brief series. Recommended quality linguistic and culturally sensitive teaching standards that address the existing mismatch between teacher workforce and the growing diversity of student populations.
  • Promoted immigrant rights in Chicago by ensuring revisions to the U-visa, which gives victims of certain crimes temporary legal status and work eligibility, and passage of Chicago’s Welcoming Cities Ordinance amendment, which prohibits abusive and coercive language by city employees.
  • Strengthened economic opportunities for immigrants to qualify for work permits and gain exemption from deportation by training more than 600 school administrators, teachers, counselors and families to overcome the barriers to take advantage of the federal executive order that limits deportation for eligible immigrants.  

So you see how critical the Forum’s work has been to Latinos and Illinois at-large. Help the Forum continue this work by clicking HERE to donate.  


Posted In: Education, Parent Engagement, Housing, Families & Communities, Foreclosure, Affordable Housing, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership