News

Update

The clock is ticking! September 30th marks the last day that households can respond to the 2020 Census. There’s still time to make sure everyone in our community is represented. Many Washingtonians have already done their part – our state has the 3rd highest total response rate in the country!  As of early September, 96.2% of Washington residents have been counted.

If you haven’t had a chance to complete your census online, by phone, or by mail, it’s possible an employee of the US Census Bureau will visit your home to collect information. In this event, here’s what you can expect:

  • Census takers work between 9am and 9pm, including weekends.
  • They will be using PPE and following public health guidelines.
  • They will not be entering your households.
  • Census takers will have the US Census Bureau logo on their bags, badges, and phones or tablets.
  • Census takers will never ask for your banking information or credit card numbers.
  • If they visit while no one is home, they will leave a notice with information on how to respond to the census online, over the phone or by mail.
  • If the census taker doesn’t speak the language of the individual they are visiting, the respondent can request a person of the same language to visit. Census takers will have materials to help identify what language they should speak.

You can complete the 2020 census:

Online – www.my2020census.gov Phone – English: 844- 330-2020

Spanish: 844-468-2020

Mail – U.S. Census Bureau

National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132

It’s safe, takes less than 10 minutes, and ensures your community has resources for years to come!

¡El reloj está corriendo! El 30 de septiembre marca el último día en que los hogares pueden responder al censo de 2020. Todavía hay tiempo para asegurarnos de que todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad estén representados. Muchos habitantes de Washington ya han hecho su parte: ¡nuestro estado tiene la tercera tasa de respuesta total más alta del país! A principios de septiembre, se ha contabilizado el 96,2% de los residentes de Washington.

Si no ha tenido la oportunidad de completar su censo en línea, por teléfono o por correo, es posible que un empleado de la Oficina del Censo de EE. UU. Visite su hogar para recopilar información. En este caso, esto es lo que puede esperar:

• Los censistas trabajan entre las 9 am y las 9 pm, incluidos los fines de semana.

• Usarán equipo de protección personal y seguirán las pautas de salud pública.

• No ingresarán a sus hogares.

• Los encuestadores tendrán el logotipo de la Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos en sus bolsos, insignias y teléfonos o tabletas.

• Los censistas nunca le pedirán su información bancaria o números de tarjetas de crédito.

• Si visitan cuando no hay nadie en casa, dejarán un aviso con información sobre cómo responder al censo en línea, por teléfono o por correo.

• Si la persona que realiza el censo no habla el idioma de la persona que está visitando, el encuestado puede solicitar la visita de una persona del mismo idioma. Los censistas tendrán materiales para ayudar a identificar qué idioma deben hablar.

Puede completar el censo de 2020:

En línea: www.my2020census.gov

Por teléfono – Inglés: 844-330-2020

  Español: 844-468-2020

Por Correo: Oficina del Censo de EE. UU.

National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street

Jeffersonville, IN 47132

Es seguro, toma menos de 10 minutos y garantiza que su comunidad tenga recursos para los próximos años.

Miguel and Neyi’s Story

Miguel and Neyi approached El Centro de la Raza in Federal Way upon hearing about our Tandas de Ahorro (Lending Circle). They were interested in learning more about the program and its benefits, including 1) establishing and improving their credit score profile and 2) increasing their financial capacity by gaining access to capital with 0% interest and no fees.

They signed up in January 2020 and saved $1,400, allowing them to buy their first direct vehicle from an agency and with the credit backing of both. Miguel and Neyi are excited to continue saving through the Lending Circle. To date, they have saved $4,800 (240% more in savings from their first Lending Circle). Miguel and Neyi attended our certified seminar for first-time homebuyers in December 2019. They have received emergency assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic through our Emergency Response Fund

Teaching our Youth about Race and Racism

Due to the recent tragic murders of Black men and women, our José Martí Child Development Center staff at Hirabayashi Place wanted to help tackle conversations with children about race, racism, and systemic injustices. Seattle Public Library’s Early Learning Program Manager CiKeithia Pugh and Children’s Librarian Mynique Adams helped us by ordering books through the generous funds from the Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Public Library Foundation. In total, we received 478 books donated to our classrooms at Hirabayashi Place. We are grateful that she shared her knowledge about challenging subject matters while considering our youth participants’ different home languages.

Cheryl’s Story

As with all of us, the COVID-19 crisis has changed Cheryl’s life. Her last day of work was in March, and her position remains on standby. She is no longer receiving unemployment benefits but still needs to cover her living expenses. Cheryl is seeking a different job, where she would be using computer technology in her new role. She is grateful for the knowledge she has gained through El Centro de la Raza’s Unidos @ Work training program.

Cheryl’s primary motivation for enrolling in the Unidos @ Work course was to invest in her skillset. She wanted to increase her proficiency in using computer programs and the Internet. Now she feels more confident in her personal and professional life because of the skills she acquired throughout the course. She said her experience was amazing because she thought that the instructors were knowledgeable, educated, patient, and polite. They were always happy to answer any questions.

Cheryl is uncertain about what her future looks like because life has been unpredictable. Cheryl does know that she wants to work for a stable company with a remarkable reputable, thrive in a positive and professional work environment with growth opportunities, and make a difference in her community.

Announcing our 2020 Legacy Award Honorees!

Our late founder Roberto Maestas dedicated his life to building Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity. He deeply believed that poverty, racism, and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so. In his honor, the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award recognizes individuals who have advanced the work of Building the Beloved Community. El Centro de la Raza celebrates the recipients and their contributions by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice.

El Centro de la Raza is pleased to recognize our annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award honorees: Ginger Kwan and Luis Rodriguez & Leona Moore-Rodriguez

Ginger Kwan, Executive Director of Open Doors for Multicultural Families
As the Executive Director of Open Doors for Multicultural Families, Ginger and her multicultural and multilingual staff work tirelessly to support families and their children who have developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. Open Doors makes equity central to all of its decision-making and strives to meet the needs of each family member, wherever they may be in their journey with raising their children. 

Ginger also serves in a leadership capacity for the Racial Equity Coalition, which is made up of 15 people of color serving and led organizations in South King County. She has been working closely with United Way of King County to identify and understand the factors influencing the inequitable allocation and accessibility of emergency assistance. Ginger has shared her expertise on topics ranging from the intake process to collecting and reporting data with smaller partner organizations.

At times, Ginger has been an “easy target” for those who are unhappy with her challenge of institutionalized racism whenever she encounters it, but she has not given up. Her life’s work has been focused on dismantling institutionalized racism and improving the lives of those who have experienced tremendous physical and emotional challenges. Through her inclusive partnerships, Ginger’s efforts have resulted in more than $1.5 million in pandemic related community assistance funds being allocated to the most vulnerable in our region. For her decades of work to strengthen communities of color as they navigate systems of oppression and her unwavering dedication to speaking truth to power, El Centro de la Raza is pleased to honor Ginger as a recipient of the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award.

Luis and Leona Rodriguez, owners of The Station
Luis and Leona built a community hub when they opened their coffee shop named The Station. People of all generations, ethnicities, and identities find a safe place to gather and share ideas at The Station. The baristas and even the customers around the café reflect a level of diversity that matches the Beacon Hill community that The Station serves. They are committed to employing BIPOC and LGBTQ+ workers, who often face barriers to employment and discrimination in the workplace.

Luis and Leona live community activism and advocacy. They open their doors to serve as informal headquarters for many community meetings and as an event space, such as block parties, fundraisers for victims of violence, and youth poetry writing workshops. Also, they partner with Cleveland High School to provide a food pantry to help feed community members since the full effects of the pandemic gripped our city.

Luis and Leona stand up for the community when they witness injustices and open their “home” to anyone who needs it. Their commitment to bringing together people of all races and backgrounds to fight for racial and economic justice furthers the work of Building the Beloved Community and honors the legacy of Roberto Maestas.

Swimming 2.5 Miles to Help Struggling Families

Matt and Mariko know that many families in our communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing their privilege, they came up with a fun, unique idea to help struggling families by raising funds by swimming 2.5 miles across the Saratoga Passage that separates Camano Island and Whidbey Island.

They raised $1,045 – exceeding their initial goal of $500 – and completed 2.5 miles in under 90 minutes! Matt said, “We know there are definitely individuals that are in need of El Centro de la Raza’s resources now more than ever. We hope this inspires others to host small fundraisers that cumulatively can have a significant contribution to the resources El Centro de la Raza can provide.”

Mil gracias, Matt and Mariko, for supporting our families and for your hard work!

Elena’s Story

Elena* is a young mom of three children, and she has been a program participant of Bebes! BSK since April. She grew up in South King County and graduated high school in 2017.

Through the Bebes! BSK program, Elena has found reassurance and peace of mind that her children’s daily activities genuinely benefit them. She received health and safety tips and have already incorporated them into her routine. Elena has shown interest in enrolling in college courses to pursue a degree and working on her career. We have provided her with a tablet to continue with her GED.

*Name has been changed.

Free Bilingual Legal Clinic / Clínica Legal Bilingue y Gratis

On the second Wednesday of every month through November 2020, there are free bilingual legal clinics with volunteer attorneys from the Law Office of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. Sign up for consultations is on a first-come, first-served basis. To inquire: Please call 206-233-1258 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of your legal issue. Staff will try their best to find an appointment time for you to call back and speak to an attorney. Space is limited! Click here for more details.

El segundo miércoles de cada mes hasta Noviembre 2020, hay clínicas legales bilingues y gratis con abogados voluntarios del Bufete de Schroeter Goldmark & Bender y la Asociación de Abogados Latinos de Washington. Registración por consultaciones es ofrecida basada en la ‘órden de llegada.’ Para pedir consulta: Llame a 206-233-1258 y deje un mensaje con su nombre, número telefónico, y una descripión breve de su situación legal. Los encargados harán lo que puedan a establecer una cita en que ud. puede hablar con un abogado. ¡Espacio es limitado! Haga clic aquí para mas detalles.

Update: Federal Judge Blocked the Public Charge Rule’s Implementation

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court granted the Trump Administration permission to implement the Public Charge rule. This decision would have allowed the government to evaluate a green card applicant’s request for legal status based on their past use of public benefits, among other criteria, and determine if they are likely to become a “public charge” in the future.

In late July, a federal judge blocked the Public Charge rule’s implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic. While USCIS has said that immigrants will not be penalized for seeking COVID-19 medical treatment and services, policies that have come out of the Trump Administration typically target immigrants. This order’s significance is to protect immigrants and ensure they have access to testing and treatment, especially those with no health care coverage.

Yesenia’s Story

We followed up with Yesenia*, a participant from our Youth Job Readiness Training (YJRT) program, to see how her internship is going.

I have been interning at my site remotely, and the experience has been positive. In July alone, I completed 60 hours. On a typical day, I contact program participants by phone and send emails to complete their intake forms or provide training for them. I like my supervisor’s management style and his willingness to help me address any work issues. I also like the people I work with directly.

When I reflect on my time as a YJRT participant, I recognize how the training program has prepared me for my internship. For example, I had learned PowerPoint in school, but through YJRT and my internship, I am applying my PowerPoint knowledge in my work tasks. We also use Excel at my internship, which I am learning.

The YJRT Coordinator, Jeritza, provided invaluable tips on becoming more ready for a job, some of which were tips I have only learned through this training program at El Centro de la Raza. For example, she helped me prepare my first resume. Before that, I had never seen one, so I did not know how to start creating mine. Also, she gave us tips on doing well in an interview and approaching a supervisor about an issue. There is a proper way to do it.

Overall, I have found that my typing speed has increased, and I am more confident in using computers.

*Name has been changed. This interview has been edited for clarity.