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Cultural Corner

 Sociedad Latina's blog about youth, culture, and opportunities in Boston's Latino community

Tuesday
Jan312017

Our Values and Principles

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Queridos amigos y aliados,

Durante la primera semana de la administración de Trump, se han llevado a cabo algunas de las promesas electorales más xenófobas y, seguramente, en las próximas semanas, se van a firmar otras políticas que criminalicen y apunten a familias Latinas e inmigrantes en el país. En nombre de la Junta Directiva, el personal, los jóvenes y las familias de Sociedad Latina, quiero expresar nuestra fuerte oposición a estas medidas y al mensaje que envían a nuestro país. En Sociedad Latina creemos que Estados Unidos es y seguirá siendo un país guiado por la caridad y la hospitalidad. Nuestra América valora a todas las personas por lo que traen en forma de herramientas y experiencias, y también le damos la bienvenida a aquellos que huyen de la violencia y la pobreza por una vida mejor.
 
Desde nuestra fundación en 1968, Sociedad Latina ha visto personalmente la contribución de latinos y otros inmigrantes en Boston. Somos, como toda América, una ciudad de inmigrantes; y latinos de toda América Latina y el caribe están orgullosos de ser parte de esta tradición. Sin embargo, sentimientos anti-latinos y anti-inmigrantes han esparcido miedo en nuestras comunidades y tienen el potencial de dividirnos. No debemos dejarlo.
 
Los signos de solidaridad y resistencia en Boston y a lo largo del país, acciones grandes y pequeñas que demuestran qué poderosos que somos cuando estamos unidos, me han conmovido. Mirando hacia adelante, los invito a todos a mantenerse involucrados como puedan, aún cuando estén listos para darse por vencidos. Los latinos e inmigrantes de Boston necesitan saber que hay adultos dispuestos a proteger sus derechos. Nuestra ciudad necesita asegurarse que todos nuestros jóvenes tengan el apoyo necesario para alcanzar un futuro exitoso.
 
A los jóvenes de Boston, Sociedad Latina siempre va a ser un espacio seguro donde van a ser bienvenidos y celebrados. Si me lo permiten, quiero recordar las palabras de nuestra ex-primera dama, Michelle Obama: “A todos los jóvenes…sepan que este país les pertenece – a todos ustedes, no importa de dónde vengan o por donde hayan caminado. Si ustedes o sus padres son inmigrantes, sepan que son parte de una tradición orgullosa estadounidense – la infusión de culturas, talentos e ideas nuevas, generación tras generación, que han hecho de este país el mejor del mundo”.

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Dear friends and supporters,

During its first week in office, the Trump administration executed some of its most xenophobic campaign promises and, in upcoming weeks, we expect additional policies to be made that will target and criminalize Latino and immigrant families across the country. On behalf of Sociedad Latina’s Board, staff, youth and families, I want to state our strong opposition to these measures and the message that they send about our country. Sociedad Latina believes that the United States is, and will continue to be, a country that is guided by charity and hospitality. Our America values all people for what they bring in the form of skills and expertise, and also welcomes those fleeing violence or poverty for a better life.
 
Since our founding in 1968, Sociedad Latina has seen first-hand the many contributions of Latinos and other immigrant groups in Boston. We are, like all of America, a city of immigrants; Latinos from across Latin America and the Caribbean are proud to be a part of this tradition. But anti-Latino and anti-immigrant sentiment spreads fear in our communities and has the potential to divide us from one another. We must not let it.
 
I have been moved by the shows of solidarity and resistance in Boston and across the country – actions large and small that demonstrate how powerful we are when we are united. Looking ahead, I encourage each of you to stay involved in any way that you can, even when you’re ready to give up. Boston’s Latino and immigrant youth need to know that there are adults who are committed to protecting their rights. And our city needs to ensure that all of our young people are supported to achieve successful futures.
 
To the youth of Boston, Sociedad Latina will always be a safe space where you will be welcomed and celebrated. If I may echo the words of former First Lady Michelle Obama: “For all the young people…know that this country belongs to you – to all of you, from every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition – the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.”

Alex Oliver-Dávila
Directora Ejecutiva / Executive Director

P.D.: Si eres un joven personalmente afectado por los cambios recientes en las políticas de inmigración, o conoces a alguien que lo es, puedes, confidencialmente, contactar a Sociedad Latina al correo development@sociedadlatina.org o por teléfono al 617-442-4299 x107. Podemos contactarte al servicio legal gratuito de nuestros socios Irish International Immigrant Center y Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.

P.S. If you are a young person affected by the recent changes in immigration policy (or know someone who is), you can confidentially contact Sociedad Latina by email at development@sociedadlatina.org or by phone at 617-442-4299 x107. We can connect you to free legal advice through partnerships with the Irish International Immigrant Center and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.
Friday
Jan062017

New Campaign Launched to Increase Latino Representation and Impact Across Greater Boston

 

Greater Boston Latino Network unveils new website and upcoming events and actions
 
BOSTON – Friday, January 6, 2017 – The Greater Boston Latino Network (GBLN) today launched a new campaign to increase Latino representation and impact in local government, which will include digital outreach, discussion forums and the release of a new report.
 
“Latinos are the region’s fastest growing population, contributing billions to our local economy and tax base, but we are largely absent from decision-making positions,” said GBLN Steering Committee Member Alex Oliver-Dávila. “This campaign will help increase the voice, impact and representation of Latinos across Greater Boston.”
 
Today’s launch includes the unveiling of a new website, GreaterBostonLatinos.org, featuring news on GBLN’s campaign and the opportunity to sign up for action updates.
 
GBLN also announced today it is co-sponsoring a counter-inaugural event on January 15 at the Boston Public Library featuring diverse writers and activists expressing their shared commitment to the rights and values that are essential to American democracy.  
 
Finally, GBLN announced an upcoming report which will detail the underrepresentation of Latinos in leadership positions across the region, set for release in May, 2017. The report will be the second edition of The Silent Crisis: Including Latinos and Why It Matters.
 
“With continued under-representation at the local level and harmful policies coming at the federal level, now is a critical time to act,” said GBLN Steering Committee Member Vanessa Calderón-Rosado. “This campaign will help ensure the voice of the Latino community is heard loud and clear and no longer marginalized.”
 
About the Greater Boston Latino Network: 
Formed in 2013, GBLN is a collective effort to address historical underrepresentation of Latinos in leadership roles across the region. Member organizations include: Chelsea Collaborative; East Boston Ecumenical Community Council; Hyde Square Task Force; Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción; Juan Leyton, activist and Roslindale resident; La Alianza Hispana; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Economic Justice; Sociedad Latina; and South Boston en Acción. 
 
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Thursday
Dec152016

Sociedad Latina to receive $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

CONTACT: Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, Executive Director
                  alex@sociedadlatina.org

 

[BOSTON - December 15, 2016]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017.  Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to Sociedad Latina for Viva La Cultura!. The Challenge America category supports primarily small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Sociedad Latina, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

"We are so honored to have been recommended for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts which will allow us to celebrate the diverse Latino cultural traditions during Latino Heritage Month," explained Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, Executive Director of Sociedad Latina. "Our celebrations are an opportunity for Boston's youth, families, partners and community members to enjoy music, art and dance, and to come together as a community."

Sociedad Latina's Viva La Cultura! is a multi-tiered, community-based arts initiative, which offers youth ages 6-18 in Boston opportunities to engage in arts exploration and pathways to artistic mastery and lifelong arts engagement. Our pipeline of activities is designed to sustain youth arts engagement over time, through school day music education for Boston Public School students, after school and weekend community arts classes, a pathway to music mastery, career exploration in the arts, and arts and cultural celebrations for our community. Viva La Cultura directly serves more than 500 youth annually, with hundreds more attending arts and cultural celebrations and events. Our pipeline of arts programs are organized to engage and meet the needs of a wide range of youth artists at various skill and interest levels, with diverse opportunities for youth to explore a range of artistic mediums and pursue pathways to artistic mastery over time.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

About Sociedad Latina
Since 1968, Sociedad Latina has worked in partnership with youth and families to create the next generation of Latino leaders who are confident, competent, self-sustaining and proud of their cultural heritage. Operating under this mission, we have developed an innovative youth development model called Pathways to Success, which engages youth over the long-term (ages 11-21) and builds skills in four areas identified by our youth and families as most in need of support: Education, Workforce Development, Civic Engagement and Arts & Culture. For more than 40 years, Sociedad Latina has served Latino youth and the community of Boston, pioneering new and innovative solutions to end the destructive cycles of poverty, health disparities, racism and lack of educational and professional opportunities in our community. Our comprehensive programs allow us to successfully guide youth through middle school, high school, college and beyond, and to create progressive change in our community. Our model is culturally relevant, bilingual and rooted in the community.

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Thursday
Nov102016

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is the day the world comes together to give.

 

It’s a global movement to incentivize and amplify peoples’ generosity, driven by collaboration and the force of social media.

The movement arose as an antidote to the consumerism of Black Friday. It’s a simple idea: at the beginning of the holiday season, we should come together to celebrate generosity and solidarity by giving to others.

Using the hashtag #GivingTuesday, we can all spread this idea on social media, mobilizing individuals, families, organizations, and companies to contribute on this global day of giving.

Last year, more than 45,000 organizations in 71 countries came together to celebrate #GivingTuesday. Since its founding in 2012, #GivingTuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities. We invite you to join the movement and to help get out and give this November 29.

Each year, Sociedad Latina serves more than 4,000 youth and adults. 1,000 of those youth age 11-21 engage intensively with Sociedad Latina through our comprehensive array of programming designed to build skills in four areas, identified by our youth and families as those most in need of support: Education, Workforce Development, Civic Engagement, and Arts & Culture. Programs promote long-term engagement and positive relationships with adults, providing youth with a vast network of support that enables them to grow into confident, competent, successful and self-sustaining adults.

Last year, 95% of seniors graduated or earned a GED, 100% of middle and high school students achieved on-time grade promotion, 95% increased work readiness skills and are more confident in their ability to find a job, and 88% reported being more prepared to attend and graduate from college or vocational school. In addition, 83% spent more time helping others in their community, 90% built cultural proficiency and pride in their own culture, race or ethnic group, and 95% built a caring relationship with a trusted adult.

 

Join us in this historical day of giving to change the lives of more youth! We are counting on you.

http://tinyurl.com/GivTues16SL

Thursday
Oct272016

Help Sociedad Latina win $50,000!

Sociedad Latina is excited to announce that our Youth Community Organizers have been selected as one of seven finalists for the 2016 Youth Organizing Award from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Now we need your help to get the most votes for a $50,000 grant to advance our student-centered learning campaign.

From noon on November 1st until noon on November 30th, you can cast your vote for the Youth Community Organizers to receive $50,000! Visit www.studentsatthecenterhub.org/youthaward now. You can vote once via text and once via email – please use both platforms to show how much you support youth leadership!

Voting is quick and easy! And you’ll be showing your commitment to elevating youth voice on the issues that affect their lives and communities. Over the last ten years, Youth Community Organizers have made a huge impact on youth and families in Boston by advocating for culturally proficient education, greater resources for English Language Learners, health equity, environmental justice, fair community development and more.

New this year, Youth Community Organizers are working to advance student-centered learning in Boston Public Schools so that all young people have the opportunity to be leaders in their education and build the competencies for college and career success. Join them in this important work at www.studentsatthecenterhub.org/youthaward!

Thank you for helping Sociedad Latina and the Youth Community Organizers raise $50,000! For more information about the Youth Community Organizing program and the importance of student-centered learning, please email Juan or call 617-442-4299. If you experience any technical difficulties while voting, contact surveys@studentsatthecenterhub.org.

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