News

El Centro de la Raza voter resources support

El Centro de la Raza believes that making our community heard is vital to our future. Although voting is often an uphill battle for communities of color, we know that voting can be one of the most powerful things that one can do to create change. In 2021 El Centro de la Raza reached out to thousands of individuals with bilingual resources to support our community by breaking down knowledge barriers and promoting access.

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: June

Padres Preparados’ – Parent Workshops

Since the beginning of 2021, families of the Totem After School Program and Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program have been participating in the ‘Padres Preparados’ workshops series. The workshops provide an opportunity for interaction among different households to create a support system while navigating the middle school years. Understanding that the success of our students is reliant on intergenerational support, the workshop models also build family members skillsets such as joining Zoom meetings and understanding the cultural capital they instill in their youth. Workshops are offered twice a monthly, with the second workshop, titled “Si Se Puede: Roadmap to College” offers caregivers a deep exploration on the pathway towards college. At the end of the series, participants will earn a certificate of completion for their dedication.


El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria

Francisca Pineda, dueña de El Toreo Tienda y Carnicería, asistió una sesión informativa que facilito El Centro de la Raza sobre la beca Working Washington Ronda -4.  El 10 de mayo, ella fue aprobada por una beca empresaria de $12,000 por el Departamento de Comercio del Estado de Washington. La beca la ha ayudado a continuar su negocio.

“El Toreo Tienda y Carnicería le da las gracias a El Centro de La Raza por el favor de apoyarnos en la aplicación. El dinero fue depositado en la cuenta de la tienda y nos esta sirviendo para pagar la luz y renta.”

Francisca Pineda, the owner of El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria, assisted the information session facilitated for the Working Washington – Round 4. On May 10, she was approved for a $12,000 grant for her business from the Washington State Department of Commerce. This grant has helped her business stay afloat – as she is using the funds for business debts and operational costs.

“El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria gives thanks to El Centro de la Raza for their help with the application process. The funds were deposited in our business account and it helps us to pay for our business utilities and rent.”


Open Doors Youth Case Management Program

Our Federal Way Open Doors Youth Case Management Program has continuously addressed participants’ growing needs. With the ongoing pandemic leaving more students and families in need of assistance, staff have provided students with educational support and addressing their basic needs. This month staff focused on personal hygiene and delivered kits to 10 scholars’ homes—kits including body wash, deodorant, lip balm, socks, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Good hygiene is an important part of student’s health, wellness, and self-esteem. Providing these basic essentials for scholars helps them start their day off right. Our goal is also to relieve the stress of having to purchase these necessary items. Scholars are already looking forward to the next supply delivery.


SEA/FW After School Programs

Each month, scholars enrolled in our two middle school after-school programs (The Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program or the Totem Federal Way After School Program) receive a doorstep delivery with supplies, snacks, and educational material. In our last delivery, 50 scholars received snacks and material for April activities, including our Trade Camps & Model UN: Latin American Conference Project. Students love delivery day because they receive their favorite snacks, and it serves as an opportunity to connect with staff members. Each month, youth have a chance to suggest favorite snacks and create a wish list of items they would like to receive. Scholars receive a small but thoughtful gift for those with birthdays in the month. One participant could not be more excited to have received a skateboard. The text message screenshot above demonstrates her excitement and the similar excitement of our young scholars.

June Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Updated vendor schedule for la Plaza Roberto Maestas!


ECDLR’s Tobacco & Marijuana Prevention & Cessation Program

As our current legislative session ends, El Centro de la Raza’s Tobacco & Marijuana prevention & cessation program would like to thank everyone in WA for their dedicated, hard work in fighting for tobacco laws that need to be changed. Our prevention efforts focus on educating our youth, young adults and members of our LatinX community about the health effects associated with the use of tobacco, vape and e-cigarettes. We continue to promote the prevention of nicotine dependence and provide the educational resources to do so successfully. Our hope is that our work will empower and encourage individuals in our Latino/LatinX communities to stop smoking/vaping by offering services/cessation tools that may be beneficial in helping them quit successfully.

One of our strongest collaboration efforts has been reflected in our teamwork with the Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs Coalition. We worked together in addressing our support to several bills that we believe will help make a change in our fight for a smoke & vape free WA. We testified via zoom during live hearings as well as provided written testimony supporting the following bills, which affect Vape and PUP bills:

  • HB 1345 – 2021-22: Concerning the regulation of products sold to adults age 21 and over
  • HB 1550 – 2021-22: Concerning methods to prevent nicotine addiction
  • SB 5129 – 2021-22: Concerning the possession of vapor, vapor products, tobacco, and tobacco products by minors.

We were happy to have learned that on April 29, 2021, the FDA announced a federal action to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from gaining new generations of smokers. We have recently learned that US Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) is also in support of this federal ban on menthol.

We as Washingtonians can do our part in having our voice heard that we want this change too! We want to give a HUGE Thank you to everyone in WA fighting to make this possible. We plan to continue to spread our message for tobacco cessation within our LatinX community via virtual/interactive means; COVID-19 will not stop us!

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Aunque la última sesión legislativa acaba de terminar, el programa de prevención y cesación de tabaco y marihuana de El Centro de la Raza desea agradecer a todos en Wa por su dedicado y arduo trabajo en la lucha por las leyes del tabaco que necesitan ser cambiadas. Nuestros esfuerzos de prevención se centran en educar a nuestros jóvenes, adultos jóvenes y miembros de nuestra comunidad latina sobre los efectos en la salud asociados con el uso de tabaco, vapeo y cigarrillos electrónicos. Continuamos nuestro trabajo en prevención contra la dependencia de nicotina y proporcionando los recursos educativos necesarios para hacerlo con éxito. Nuestra esperanza es que nuestro trabajo empoderará y alentará a las personas de nuestras comunidades latinas/latinasX a dejar de fumar/vapear ofreciendo servicios/herramientas de cese que pueden ser beneficiosas para ayudarlos a dejar de fumar con éxito.

Uno de nuestros esfuerzos de colaboración más fuertes se ha reflejado en nuestro trabajo en equipo con la Coalición Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs. Trabajamos juntos para abordar nuestro apoyo a varios proyectos de ley que creemos que ayudarán a hacer un cambio en nuestra lucha por un WA libre de humo y vapeo. Testificamos a través de zoom durante las audiencias en vivo, así como proporcionamos testimonios escritos que respaldan los siguientes proyectos de ley, que afectan las facturas de Vapeo y PUP (Posesión, Uso, Compra):

  • HB 1345 – 2021-22: Relativo a la regulación de los productos vendidos a adultos mayores de 21 años
  • HB 1550 – 2021-22: Relativo a los métodos para prevenir la adicción a la nicotina
  • SB 5129 – 2021-22: Relativo a la posesión de vapor, productos de vapor, tabaco y productos de tabaco por menores de edad.

Nos alegró saber que el 29 de abril de 2021, la FDA anunció una acción federal para poner fin a la venta de cigarrillos mentolados y cigarros aromatizados de ganar nuevas generaciones de fumadores. Recientemente nos hemos enterado de que la representante estadounidense Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) también apoya esta prohibición federal del mentol.

¡Nosotros como washingtonianos podemos hacer nuestra parte para que nuestra voz sea escuchada que también queremos este cambio! Queremos dar un enorme agradecimiento a todos en WA luchando para hacer esto posible. Planeamos continuar difundiendo nuestro mensaje para el cese del tabaco dentro de nuestra comunidad Latina a través de medios virtuales/interactivos; COVID-19 no nos detendrá!


ITIN Assistance


Opportunities in our Community


Articles of Interest

We can’t wait: Essential workers need a path to citizenship

Biden’s Plan for Jobs, Investments, and Fairer Taxes: Fact Sheet

Beacon Hill Resident Gene Moy Celebrated as One of the Oldest Living World War Two Vets

FDA Commits to Evidence-Based Actions Aimed at Saving Lives and Preventing Future Generations of Smokers

Utility Bill Assistance Available Now

May Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Updated vendor schedule for la Plaza Roberto Maestas!


Nominate or self-nominate community members for El Centro de la Raza’s Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. 

Each year at our Building the Beloved Community Gala, we celebrate two individuals in the community who exemplify Building the Beloved spirit through multi-racial unity and work to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity, with a Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. We will celebrate our 2021 awardees with a humble $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice and recognize each awardee at our 2021 Building the Beloved Gala on October 2nd. 

Meet our past nominees here

Nominate a community member or self-nominate by May 31st, 2021, here


Info on Child Tax Credits for families with children who files their taxes by May 17th!


Articles of Interest

Biden & Treasury Secretary Yellen; Latinos will Help with COVID Recovery

Gov. Inslee Signs Washington’s New Capital Gains Tax

How Native Communities on the Front Line of Climate Change Are Feeling the Heat

Cap-and-Trade Law, Is On It’s Way to Gov. Inslee’s Desk

Latino groups calling for federal investigation of Adam Toledo killing: report

What WA can learn from Native communities’ vaccination plan


Upcoming Events in our Community

El Centro de la Raza’s Vaccine Clinics

We have continued to host vaccine clinics at both our Beacon Hill and Federal Way locations. In partnership with International Community Health Services, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle Fire Department, CHI Franciscan Health (Virginia Mason), Adiós Covid, UW Medical Center, and Sea Mar we have given over 1200 vaccinations. We were excited to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Director Patty Hayes, Health Officer Jeff Duchin.

Need a vaccine today?

It is vital for our community that we all do our part and get vaccinated. Below you will find a quick sheet sharing Myths vs. Facts about vaccinations and a quick sheet on your vaccination rights.

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: May

Robotics Program – Bahlam Bots

The Robotics Program for middle school youth at El Centro de la Raza has been operating via remote platforms since Fall 2020. This month scholars began a unit on coding delivered through a logic challenge demonstrating how computer coding looks in the real world. Through this challenge, scholars are learning the importance of paying attention to the detail of their codes which the robots use as instructions to follow. In our most recent Logic Challenge, scholars provided instructions on cooking a pancake. Instructors then followed the youth’s direction precisely as instructed, and if there were gaps, the pancakes would not come out like regular pancakes. Visualizing these “coding errors” created frustration among scholars, but they could laugh at their mistakes. The picture above is a pancake from a student who requested 1/8 of the butter without knowing how much butter was needed. This was the closest we got to the “ideal” pancake. “


Paola*, Unidos in Finance 2021 Cohort 1: 01/27/2021-3/12/2021

Paola, 25, single, and recently immigrated from Africa to pursue different job opportunities in the US. Laurena was referred to us from another participant. Paola has maintained perfect attendance and has an eagerness to learn. She is the head baker at her current job and looking to use her education in Accounting and obtain more information on the US banking system and this is the reason she joined the program. Paola is currently working on improving her resume and taking the skills learned in the course to apply to banks and credit unions in the upcoming months.

*Name has been changed for privacy.


Open Doors Youth Case Management Program

Our Federal Way Open Doors Youth Case Management Program has continuously addressed participants’ growing needs. With the ongoing pandemic leaving more students and families in need of assistance, staff have provided students with educational support and addressing their basic needs. This month staff focused on personal hygiene and delivered kits to 10 scholars’ homes—kits including body wash, deodorant, lip balm, socks, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Good hygiene is an important part of student’s health, wellness, and self-esteem. Providing these basic essentials for scholars helps them start their day off right. Our goal is also to relieve the stress of having to purchase these necessary items. Scholars are already looking forward to the next supply delivery.


SEA/FW After School Programs

Each month, scholars enrolled in our two middle school after-school programs (The Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program or the Totem Federal Way After School Program) receive a doorstep delivery with supplies, snacks, and educational material. In our last delivery, 50 scholars received snacks and material for April activities, including our Trade Camps & Model UN: Latin American Conference Project. Students love delivery day because they receive their favorite snacks, and it serves as an opportunity to connect with staff members. Each month, youth have a chance to suggest favorite snacks and create a wish list of items they would like to receive. Scholars receive a small but thoughtful gift for those with birthdays in the month. One participant could not be more excited to have received a skateboard. The text message screenshot above demonstrates her excitement and the similar excitement of our young scholars.

9 Stories from the El Centro de la Raza Community

El Centro de la Raza began in 1972. Since then, we have continued to serve as a voice and hub for the Latino community and a support system for communities of color in Seattle. We have grown quite a bit since then, but we keep the same values. Our community means everything to us and we continue to be grateful for the community members who use our services and trust us as they go through both difficult and exciting parts of their live. 2020 was especially difficult for many in our community and we saw even more need for our services. If you are interested in supporting our organization and the services we offer the community, please click the donate button on the top right of our site. A recurring or one-time donation is always appreciated and an valued action. Here are some stories from this last year that we hope will give you a picture of our familia and the work that we do.  

Javier*

People at El Centro de la Raza Care about us, says Javier*, 60, who has been joining us during our Senior lunches since September 2020, after some friends told him about it. He says that the free hot lunch five days a week has helped him emotionally through difficult times. He made a point to mention the care Flor, one of the coordinators of our lunch program, gives to the community. Javier feels the program is like a blessing to him. 

*Name has been changed for privacy

Image Description: Senior in blue sweater smiling in front of El Centro de la Raza building

Hilda & Lourdes

Early on in the pandemic, our Business Opportunity Center staff contacted Sabor Delicioso co-owners, Hilda and Lourdes, with good news to share. Hilda and Lourdes breathed a sigh of relief: the City of Seattle approved their small business to receive a total of $10,000 in funding and mitigate the loss of their income caused by COVID-19. With that money, they: 

  • Paid for food permits and licenses 
  • Paid rent, utilities, and transportation 
  • Recouped their loss in revenue from catering and other events 

Our BOC staff helped Hilda and Lourdes by providing hours of assistance over a conference call to translate and offer guidance in applying for the City’s Small Business Stabilization Fund. El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center continues to help small businesses owners with applying to grants and loans. Support Sabor Delicioso and our other food vendors by visiting our plaza. You can find our food vendor schedule here.

Image Description: Photo of Hilda & Lourdes standing in front of their food cart smiling and laughing

Adrian*

Adrian* worked two jobs to meet his family’s needs. Due to the pandemic, he lost one of his jobs and his family of five was significantly impacted. He lost his second job after the Stay Home Stay Healthy Order’s extension. 

Adrian was increasingly stressed and concerned about their situation. He had to somehow make rent, in addition to buying groceries and paying for utilities. Your support of our Emergency Response Fund made it possible to provide Adrian’s family with food and rental assistance. He said, “Mi vida ha cambiado drásticamente por la mejor.” (English translation: “My life has changed drastically for the better.”) 

Adrian feels blessed that El Centro de la Raza understands and meets the community’s needs. El Centro de la Raza is also providing Adrian’s eldest son a laptop so that he can continue his education from home. 

*Name has been changed for privacy

Photo of man in front of El Centro de la Raza

Martin*

Since March 2020, El Centro de la Raza has been partnering with the Schultz Family Foundation to distribute funding to restaurant workers impacted by the pandemic through The Plate Fund. The Plate Fund is a one-time funding source of $500 Visa gift card that can be utilized in any store to purchases necessities like food or even for things like online payments for utility bills or rent. During the pandemic, the restaurant industry was incredibly unstable due to the constant closing and reopening of businesses due to the changing restrictions and phases. Many restaurant workers lost income due to the businesses shutting down, to severe reductions in hours, or even contracting COVID-19 forcing them to take time off work. The pandemic has shown us how difficult it is to navigate resource, however, many restaurant workers also had to deal with the language barrier that they faced when they tried to find any assistance or aid. 

One participant, in particular, called El Centro de la Raza and told staff that they were rejected from many other organizations and were in desperate need of support. This participant, Martin Sanchez*, is a 70-year-old man who could not work as a result of his age and diabetes, making him at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. His daughter was also laid off from Mcdonald’s in early March and had not been able to find work since then. Both father and daughter had exhausted the last of their savings and sold their car for additional income but were in dire need of financial support as they had medical expenses and housing and food expenses. Due to the language barrier, technology barrier, and limited ability to read or write, the family had difficulties accessing relief resources. Our staff at El Centro de La Raza was able to work with them to get Martin’s daughter qualified to receive a $500 Visa gift card to the Plate Fund and referred them to receive rental assistance as well. 

*Name has been changed for privacy

Image Description: Photo of Elizabeth in front of computer

Elizabeth

Elizabeth, originally from Colombia, started her tax services business United Enterprise Tax Services 10 years ago. With the help of the Business Opportunity Center (BOC) of the Center de la Raza, she was approved funding for her business under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This government aid program provides funding to businesses impacted by the COVID-19. Elizabeth happily continues her business operations and serves her community due to these funds. For her services, please contact Elizabeth via email: uetaxes@gmail.com

“It is great labor and excellent work that you [BOC] and el Centro de la Raza are doing for our community. May God bless you! 

Elizabeth, originalmente de Colombia, comenzó su negocio de contabilidad e impuestos United Enterprises Tax Services hace 10 años. Con la asesoría del Centro de Oportunidad de Negocios del Centro de la Raza, fue aprobada para recibir fondos de ayuda empresaria por parte del Programa de Protección de Pago (PPP). El programa gubernamental proporciona fondos a empresas impactadas por COVID-19. Elizabeth felizmente continua su negocio y sirviendo su comunidad con la ayuda de los fondos. Para sus servicios, pueden contactar a Elizabeth por correo electrónico: uetaxes@gmail.com

“De verdad es una maravillosa labor y un excelente trabajo el que usted y el Centro de la Raza están realizando ayudando a la comunidad. ¡Que Dios les bendiga! 

Sandra*

Sandra*, who emigrated from Venezuela 3 years ago, says she approached El Centro de la Raza seeking information about resources that will help me succeed as I face the reality of living in a new country. Sandra enrolled in the Business Launch and Grow and the First Time Homebuyers webinar, both trainings offered by our Business Opportunity Center. She says that she was pleased by the level of commitment, clarity, and knowledge of her instructors. She is now that every training that El Centro de la Raza provides leaves a seed of knowledge and wanting to continue learning and growing. She emphasizes the value of finding people to guide you when you are adjusting to a new language, culture, and education. Since joining these trainings, she has been sharing about the opportunities El Centro de la Raza provides to her circle of friends.

*Name has been changed for privacy

Our José Martí Child Development Center

Our teacher at José Martí Child Development Center reads a story in Spanish for the children who are following along from their homes. Click to watch how we are engaging young children at this time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eazipYwkkBI.

It has been amazing that José Martí Child Development Center has continued its work through the pandemic. In August we celebrated our brilliant youth graduates with Pizza, Cupcakes, gifts, and most importantly, their diploma!

Totem After School Program

On March 17, 8 middle school youth from the Totem After School Program attended Latino Legislative Day Leadership workshops. To their surprise, the workshops were completely led by high school youth. Among the topics discussed were Anti – Blackness in Latinx communities, mental health, and environmental justice. As youth left the workshop they shared with the facilitators, “I learned A LOT today, I’m glad I was here”. During reflections the next day in the after school program, youth wanted to know how they could get to that level, “How do I facilitate a workshop like them when I grow up?” youth were reassured, they are already capable and on track to lead their own workshops. The lessons offered during the cultural enrichment segment are providing youth a social justice framework. 

Image Description: Totem after school participants with El Centro de la Raza sign.

Through an interdepartmental partnership, youth from the Plaza Roberto Maestas After School and FW Totem After School Program were invited to submitted entries to the Scholastics, “Vaping is Not My Thing” contest. To enter the contest participants had to create an infographic poster targeted to their peers and informing them of the dangers of vaping. Two youth of the Plaza Roberto Maestas After School program were able to submit entries. Through the process, both scholars developed their own stance to say no to vaping and encourage their peers to also steer away from the dangers of vaping. We are very proud of them both! Here are is one of our scholar’s entries: 

Image Description: Photo of student project poster with headline Vaping is Not Cool

Piedro*

Piedro*, 67, who says he found out about El Centro de la Raza’s senior lunch program, has been joining us for hot lunch in September. He says he is happy to part of the community that is present for lunch. Piedro also mentioned how coming to the lunch program has helped him with other resources, most notably support with signing up and getting his COVID-19 vaccination. Piedro has enjoyed the other activities the lunch program has for seniors during the 11a-1p M-F schedule, including dancing and painting activities. El Centro de la Raza offers 43 programs and continues to be a resource hub for the community.  

*Name has been changed for privacy

April Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Vendor Food Schedule

Nominate or self-nominate community members for El Centro de la Raza’s Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. 

Each year at our Building the Beloved Community Gala, we celebrate two individuals in the community who exemplify Building the Beloved spirit through multi-racial unity and work to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity, with a Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. We will celebrate our 2021 awardees with a humble $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice and recognize each awardee at our 2021 Building the Beloved Gala on October 2nd. 

Meet our past nominees here

Nominate a community member or self-nominate by May 31st, 2021, here


May Day Fest streaming on May 1st at 6p

Register for the event, here.


Upcoming Events in the Community

Nia Tero & SIFF’s cINeDIGENOUS showcase

Nia Tero and Seattle International Film Festival’s cINeDIGENOUS showcase

This program focuses on global Indigenous filmmakers sharing Indigenous stories and culture. Centering Indigenous art and artists amplifies voices and perspectives that are essential to our global well-being. cINeDIGENOUS is curated and presented in partnership with Nia Tero.

Articles of Interest

Biden & Treasury Secretary Yellen; Latinos will Help with COVID Recovery

An Overview perspective of the U.S / Mexico Border

White House Releases State-by-State Fact Sheets to Highlight Nationwide Need for the American Jobs Plan

Pew: 5% of 2019 US Black Population Identifies as Afro-Latino

Study indicates the Jan. 6 riots were motivated by racism and white resentment, not ‘election theft’

CDC Director Says Racism Is ‘serious public health threat’

Who Are The Insurrectionists and Where Did They Come From?

On Tuesday, March 30th Washington State Senate Voted to Ban For-Profit Prisons

What WA can learn from Native communities’ vaccination plan

El Centro de la Raza’s Continues Community Support with Vaccine Clinic at Federal Way Offices

Earlier this month, El Centro de la Raza hosted another vaccine clinic, this time at our Federal Way offices. We are excited to reopen our Federal Way offices soon, but until then, we are happy that we can have a vaccine clinic on site and continue to show the support we hope to provide the LatinX and all communities in Federal Way. To find your phase, you can go here. Our clinics are equipped with translators, doctors, and volunteers to support with any questions or concerns. It’s important for everyone to get the vaccine when it is their phase to protect our community and loved ones. Jay Inslee has announced that by April 15th everyone in Washington above the age of 16 will be eligible for the vaccine.

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