Take Action: JUNE 2024

Get Out the Vote: Ignite the Change in Civic Engagement

We invite you to join us at “Ignite the Change,” an empowering event sponsored by El Centro de la Raza and the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. Taking place at Plaza Roberto Maestas (2601 17th Ave S) on Friday, August 2nd, from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, this event promises an afternoon filled with civic engagement and community spirit.

What to Expect:

  • Voter Registration: Exercise your civic duty by registering to vote and learning about the importance of civic participation.
  • Music: Enjoy live music performances that celebrate cultural diversity and community unity.
  • Organizing Workshops: Engage in workshops designed to empower and educate on effective community organizing and advocacy.
  • Food: Indulge in delicious food offerings that reflect the vibrant flavors of our community.
  • Speakers: Hear from inspiring speakers who champion social justice and community empowerment.

“Ignite the Change” is a non-partisan, family-friendly event that welcomes individuals of all backgrounds to come together in support of civic engagement and social change. Whether you’re passionate about voter rights, community activism, or simply connecting with neighbors, this event offers something meaningful for everyone.

Mark your calendars and join us for an afternoon dedicated to fostering a more informed, engaged, and united community. Together, let’s ignite the change we wish to see in our neighborhoods and beyond.

Articles of Interest: Stay Informed with Issues Impacting Our Community

  1. As gun violence is declared a public health crisis, it’s past time to act | The Seattle Times
  2. Comcast Partners with Jaime Mendez News to Serve Hispanic Community in Seattle (yahoo.com)

Cuentos from Our Work: JUNE 2024

Benefits & Resource Navigation – Eviction Prevention Program

A resilient single Latina mother and her six-year-old daughter faced the challenge of navigating life after being abandoned by their husband and father. Despite this, they have made remarkable strides toward stability. Recently securing employment, the mother received her first paycheck, which unfortunately fell short of covering their rent and basic needs. Recognizing their urgent need for support, El Centro De La Raza stepped in by covering their May rent and committing to assist them for the next two months, ensuring they avoided homelessness.

Beyond rent assistance, we have been proactive in offering job search support, ESL classes, and legal clinic information. We also referred them to our Jose Marti Child Development Center to provide additional support and resources. As a gesture of kindness, we provided them with complimentary admission tickets to the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo, offering them a delightful and uplifting experience.

At El Centro De La Raza, our mission is to assist households with rental aid and prevent homelessness through comprehensive support services. We provide counseling, job search assistance, and referrals for basic needs to ensure families have the resources they need to thrive. By assessing each family’s individual needs, we create personalized stability plans to track progress and achieve long-term stability.

Child & Family Services – Kaleidoscope Play & Lear Group

On June 13, 2024, El Centro de la Raza’s Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Group recently distributed Walmart grocery gift cards to Latinx families, providing crucial support for household essentials. This initiative, funded by DCYF and in partnership with BrightSpark Early Learning Services, aims to bolster community support and enhance family well-being.

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups serve as inclusive spaces where Family, Friend, and Neighbor caregivers, parents, and young children come together to foster healthy child development and school readiness. These groups emphasize learning through play in culturally-responsive environments, led by community members who understand and cater to the diverse needs of the participants.

The distribution of grocery gift cards not only addresses immediate household needs but also underscores El Centro de la Raza’s commitment to supporting families holistically. By providing practical resources alongside educational opportunities, we strive to empower families and strengthen community bonds.

Advocacy – Volunteers

At El Centro de la Raza, we believe in the power of community. Our volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization, and we’re always thrilled to welcome new members into our family! Whether you’ve been part of our programs before or you’re just passionate about making a difference, there’s a place for you here. We have opportunities for individuals, groups, English speakers, Spanish speakers—everyone is welcome!

A big shoutout to Everett High School’s Latino Unidos Group for lending us their hands in preparing cempasúchil flower decorations for our upcoming Dia de los Muertos event in November. Your support means the world to us!

Benefits & Resource Navigation: Free Bilingual Legal Clinic

Presented by the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW), King County Bar Association, and El Centro de la Raza, our Free Bilingual Legal Clinic on June 12, 2024, made a significant impact. Supported by volunteer interpreters and legal intake assistants, the clinic provided crucial legal assistance to community members. It was a testament to our commitment to accessibility and justice, ensuring that language barriers did not hinder access to legal resources and support.

Cuentos from Our Work: MAY 2024

Advocacy– Seattle’s annual May Day march

On May 1st, 2024, in Seattle, WA, our dedicated staff and Jovens from El Centro de la Raza proudly marched. With unwavering commitment, we stood shoulder to shoulder with workers worldwide to honor International Workers’ Day! A heartfelt thanks to Coalición de Acción 1 de Mayo for spearheading this powerful event.

Culture – El Centro de la Raza’s 17th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration

It’s more than just festivities; it’s about honoring culture and heritage, fostering unity, and building a vibrant Beloved Community. Thanks to all who joined us!

Photos by Darryl Wong and Diego Cortez

Child and Family Services: Universal Children’s Day 2024

Since 1954, the United Nations championed this special day to honor the rights and well-being of children worldwide. From the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Children to the groundbreaking Convention on the Rights of the Child, our commitment to protecting children’s rights only grew stronger.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the incredible diversity, creativity, and potential of every child. We shared all of the festivities from our José Martí Child Development Center here at El Centro de la Raza. Whether through cultural activities, entertainment, or simply showing love and respect, we ensured every child knew they were valued and cherished.

Join us in recognizing the importance of Universal Children’s Day and empowering the next generation to thrive!

See more here!

Take Action: APRIL 2024


Stay Informed: Join us in celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd, a global event dedicated to raising awareness about environmental protection and sustainability.

Check these links out to get involved or to lear more!

King County Earth Week 2024

Seattle Department of Transportation – Earth Day 2024 | Let’s take the next step together to address climate change through sustainable transportation

International Worker’s Day: Let’s also commemorate International Workers’ Day on May 1st, honoring workers’ rights and the achievements of the labor movement. While recognized globally, the US has been hesitant to fully embrace this day, fearing it could strengthen worldwide working-class unity. Let’s stand together in solidarity! 

Cuentos from Our Work: March 2024

Business Opportunity Center – Celebrating Community Impact and Success Stories at El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center!

On Thursday, February 22, we convened at our Business Opportunity Center to rally behind over 40 Latina women entrepreneurs in our community. Our aim was clear: to equip them with the tools and resources essential for igniting and nurturing their business ventures.

But the impact didn’t stop there! We delved into pivotal programs offered at El Centro de la Raza like the Unidos at Work Program, offering crucial technology job training. Additionally, our discussion on the Unidos in Finance Program illuminated pathways in financial management, including our Lending Circles Program, which provides safe methods for building credit and savings, among other vital services.

Our Business Opportunity Center took the spotlight, shedding light on the comprehensive support we offer, from obtaining business licenses and permits to navigating banking and marketing strategies.

Our dedication to fostering the success of Latina-owned small businesses remains unwavering. They are the backbone of our community’s economic prosperity. To all who attended and contributed to the success of this event, we extend our heartfelt gratitude!

Special thanks to our partners: Unidos at Work Program: Oscar Sepulveda, Housing Counselor for Foreclosure Prevention and Lending Circle: Janet Torres & Denisa Aitonean. Express Credit Union: Cinthya Gomes, Craft 3: Edwin Rios, Mass Mutual: Hilda Acevedo, Mexican Consulate: Kara Mora Laveaga & Nora Arauj and Creciendo Juntas: Diana Camacho and EmmaMoreno

Stay tuned for more transformative workshops and events, crafted to uplift and empower entrepreneurs across our community. Together, we’ll continue to reach new heights!

El Centro Skate Rink – National Speed Skating Circut Invitational Recap

El Centro’s Skate Rink was buzzing with excitement as we hosted the National Speed Skating Circuit’s all-ages invitational event, accompanied by Pro Tryouts for NS. This electrifying competition brought together 200 talented athletes from across the nation to showcase their skills on the rink.

Team Xtreme from El Centro Skate proved their mettle, securing an impressive 2nd overall placement in the competition. The highlight of the event was when one of our exceptional skaters shattered a longstanding record for the fastest flying 100m lap. Clocking in at an astonishing 8.24 seconds, equivalent to nearly 30MPH, this remarkable feat left spectators in awe and exemplified the incredible talent within our skating community.

🏆 Battle in Seattle: A Legacy of Excellence 🏆

As anticipation builds for another thrilling year of racing, El Centro Skate Rink extends heartfelt gratitude for the nationwide support and recognition we’ve received. The Battle in Seattle, an event with a rich history spanning three decades, stands as a testament to the passion and dedication of skaters nationwide.

We invite all skating enthusiasts to join us in celebrating this legacy of excellence and to stay tuned for more exhilarating events and competitions at El Centro Skate Rink.

See more here!

A Call to Action: Support The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024

We’re calling on you to support Legislative Bill S. 3565.

We ask you to urgently call upon Washington’s Congressional Delegation to act swiftly in renewing ongoing Federal funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This vital program is a lifeline for our most vulnerable families across rural, Tribal, suburban, and urban communities in Washington, enabling them to access affordable internet services and acquire essential devices. The ACP goes beyond mere connectivity; it’s about facilitating access to education, employment opportunities, job training, elder care, family connections, faith programs, healthcare, farming resources, and civic participation. Its impact on our communities cannot be overstated.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a benefit program that helps ensure households can afford reliable broadband services for work, school, healthcare and much more. The ACP was enacted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in November of 2021 as an extension of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which provided a monthly benefit to eligible households to receive access to broadband during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

We urge you to join us in spearheading the ongoing funding for the – Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024 and ask Washington’s Congressional Delegation to support Legislative Bill S.3565.

Contact Washington’s Congressional Delegation here.

Call Washington State Senators Patty Murray (202) 224-2621 and Maria Cantwell – https://www.senate.gov/states/WA/intro.htm

Representative Marilyn Strickland
1708 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Dan Newhouse
504 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Derek Kilmer
1226 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers
2188 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Marie Gluesenkamp Perez
1431 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Rick Larsen
2163 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Kim Schrier
1110 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Adam Smith
2264 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Suzan DelBene
2330 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Senator Patty Murray
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Representative Pramila Jayapal
2346 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Senator Maria Cantwell
511 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Let’s come together in our dedication to closing the digital gap and guaranteeing fair access to act now by reaching out to your elected officials and advocating for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Cuentos from Our Work: February 2024

Business Opportunity Center – Celebrating Community Impact and Success Stories at El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center!

Meet Señora Lulu, the inspiring founder of Sabor Delicioso from Mexico, whose journey to success is a testament to the transformative impact of El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center. Overcoming Challenges: Success didn’t happen overnight for Señora Lulu. Starting a business in a new country presented her with early challenges – a new territory, unfamiliar processes, and the common hurdles faced by many entrepreneurs. The journey was further complicated by the language barrier and the unfamiliarity of the business landscape. A Brush with Fraud: In the face of these challenges, Señora Lulu teetered on the edge of falling victim to fraudulent schemes due to language barriers and the novelty of the business environment. However, in a defining moment, she turned to El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunities Center for assistance, seeking a path to legitimate success. Empowering Through Education: Determined to succeed, Señora Lulu immersed herself in the workshops and classes offered by El Centro de la Raza. From computer literacy to credit counseling, lending circles group, entrepreneur classes, and seeking mentorship from the Events Coordinator at Centilia Cultural Center – she embraced every opportunity for growth. A Success Story Unfolds: Today, Sabor Delicioso stands as a testament to Señora Lulu’s determination, resilience, and the profound impact of community support. She began her small business as a food vendor at Plaza Roberto Maestas, then expanded into food catering. On February 10th, she celebrated the Grand Opening of her Food Truck Business, Sabor Delicioso Seattle. In an effort to give back to her community, she offered 50% off all food for the entire day. Her success story resonates through the walls of El Centro de la Raza, inspiring others to overcome barriers and realize their dreams.

Take Action: JANUARY 2024

Voting is a fundamental right that allows you to influence decisions on issues that matter to you. Registering to vote ensures your voice is part of the democratic process, shaping the future from local policies to national leadership.

Join The Question of Palestine and the Evolution of Solidarity and Resistance in the U.S., a talk and discussion featuring Karam Dana, Alyson McGregor Distinguished Professor of Excellence and Transformative Reasearch University of Washington – Bothell, as part of their War in the Middle East Lecture Series. UW Seattle on January 30th, 2024. Starting @ 5PM. Registration /RSVP Not required. You can just show up. Location: University of Washington in the HUB: 211B-South Ballroom. Facebook Link here!

ADVOCACY IN ACTION: SUPPORT LEGISLATIVE BILL – SB 6191

We’re reaching out to you because we believe in the power of community and the importance of affordable housing for everyone. Right now, there’s a fantastic opportunity for us to make a positive impact by supporting SB 6191!

SB 6191 is a crucial initiative that aims to establish a permanent fund for the State Housing Trust Fund, which includes support for Farmworker Housing. This fund plays a vital role in financing affordable housing projects, making it possible for communities like El Centro de la Raza to create spaces like Plaza Roberto Maestas and the Four Amigos development in Columbia City.

This week the Senate version of the Affordable Homes Act, SB 6191 by Senator Frame, will be heard in Ways & Means. Please take a moment and help us show vigorous support for the senate bill as well.

As a reminder, both bills enact progressive policy that provides predictable, sustainable funding for state housing programs by:

· Creating a permanent fund source for the state Housing Trust Fund, including farmworker housing.

· Investing in permanent supportive housing (PSH) construction.

· Investing in operations, maintenance & services for affordable housing, including PSH.

· Establishing robust housing programs serving populations with developmental disabilities.

The senate bill has received support from 17 co-sponsors, and it will be heard Thursday, January 25th at 4pm in Senate Ways & Means.

Please take the following specific actions now:

  1. Sign in Pro today to support the bill in advance of the 4:00pm Ways & Means hearing on January 25th.  Follow this link CSI (wa.gov) to sign-in and state your Pro position on the bill.
  1. Activate your networks today to sign-in Pro before the hearing. Opposition to this bill will be fierce. It is critical the bill is well supported with Pro sign-ins, as soon as possible.

Housing is a basic need. Like food, water, and air, people need it to survive. When people have the opportunity to get back into housing and have a decent, affordable place to live, they can stabilize and thrive.

The lack of housing affordability and related instances of homelessness affect every community in Washington state. And over the next 20 years, will need over 1 million more units to accommodate a growing population. Over half of those homes need to be at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below.

We must act now, or the housing affordability problem will only get worse and more expensive. Recent state investments in housing have laid the foundation for success. But those historic efforts to create statewide solutions for homelessness and housing must be sustained and expanded to ensure that everyone in our state has a safe and affordable place to live. 

Cuentos from Our Work: January 2024

Staff Accomplishments – Staff Awards & Holiday Party

El Centro de la Raza is an organization where our team exemplifies an extraordinary commitment to our mission. Throughout 2023, our dedicated staff went above and beyond to make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of those we serve. As we approached the end of the year, we took the opportunity to gather and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of our staff.

The celebration included acknowledging and honoring the exceptional efforts of our team members through staff awards. These awards serve as a recognition of the hard work, dedication, and passion that each staff member brings to our organization. We believe in fostering a culture of appreciation, and the awards are a way to express gratitude for the outstanding contributions that contribute to the success of El Centro de la Raza.

The festive spirit continued with a joyful holiday party, where staff members came together to celebrate not only the achievements of the year but also the sense of community that defines El Centro de la Raza. The holiday party provided a moment of camaraderie, allowing our team to unwind, connect, and reflect on the collective impact we’ve made.

At El Centro de la Raza, we value and recognize the efforts of our team members, understanding that their dedication is integral to achieving our mission. As we look forward to the upcoming year, we remain inspired by the passion and commitment of our team in making a positive difference in the community we serve.

Teacher of the Year – José Martí: Adulfa Gomez

Teacher of the Year – Plaza Roberto Maestas: Maria De Jesus Ramirez

Teacher of the Year Hirabayashi: Claudibet Garcia Velasquez

Teacher of the Year – Cedar Crossing: Maria Jasso

The Executive Director’s Award: Veronica Gallardo,Facilities Manager

Employee of the Year: Chris Espinoza Alvarez, Youth Program Manager

Spirit Award: Ricardo Solis, Maintenance

Volunteer of the Year: Lorena Ware

Volunteer Team of the Year: Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority at UW

Team of the Year: Latino/a Bar Association of Washington