STAFF CORNER: APRIL 2024

Meet Flor, our dedicated staff member at El Centro de la Raza! With 30 years of experience serving the Latino community, Flor brings passion and expertise to her role. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and exploring new countries.

Here, Flor is pictured celebrating a birthday with one of our beloved seniors from the Senior Hub Program at El Centro de la Raza. Join us in celebrating Flor’s commitment to making a difference! It’s moments like these that showcase Flor’s unwavering commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the community.

As we celebrate Flor’s remarkable journey and unwavering dedication, let’s take a moment to honor her profound impact. Her passion, expertise, and compassionate spirit serve as guiding lights, illuminating pathways toward a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Join us in applauding Flor for her extraordinary contributions and her relentless pursuit of making a difference, one heartfelt gesture at a time.

Flor, with her keen eye and compassionate spirit, has been instrumental in capturing the special moments at our Senior Hub. Her photographs not only freeze moments in time but also capture the essence of joy, companionship, and resilience that define our beloved seniors’ experiences.

Thank you, Flor, for your dedication to preserving the memories and stories of our community. Your photographs not only bring smiles to our faces but also serve as a testament to the vibrant tapestry of life within our Senior Hub.

Thank you for being a part of this journey, and for your unwavering support of El Centro de la Raza.

With heartfelt appreciation,

El Centro de la Raza

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).

A Call to Action: Defend Our Families – Time Sensitive!

We’re calling on you to defend immigrants and their families!

A Call to Action to Defend Our Families! A bipartisan group of senators is negotiating a deal to pass funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan in exchange for extreme, permanent changes to U.S. immigration and asylum law. Now, the White House has signaled support for trading away refugee protections. This tradeoff would destroy lifesaving protections for people seeking safety and increase chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as expand fast-track deportations of immigrants in the U.S

These are unprecedented threats to refugees and our loved ones and communities.

Time is of the essence: the President hopes Congress will act on a deal before the holidays.

Call Washington State Senators: Patty Murray (202) 224-2621 and Maria Cantwell (202) 224 3441

What to say when you call: I strongly oppose any spending deal that:

  • Trades foreign aid to Ukraine for harmful immigration policies that hurt asylum seekers, children, mixed-status families, and the long-term undocumented.
  • Goes against our values and international obligations by closing our doors to refugees.
  • Results in mandatory detention or sends refugees back to danger and death in their home countries.
  • Creates a nationwide dragnet that deports the undocumented with deep social and economic roots in the U.S. and tears families apart.”

For more information, see links below!

  1. Congressional Republicans are demanding harsh immigration policies.
  2. Recent reports (see here and here) suggest President Biden may agree to a draconian deal with lawmakers.

NewsLETTER: November 2023

Solidarity Statement for Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine 

Thursday, November 16th, 2023

As faith leaders, elected officials, community leaders, educators, and individual residents of Washington state, we are heartbroken and horrified by the escalated violence and bloodshed in Israel/Palestine. As people of all faith backgrounds and conscience, we deeply value life, and are appalled by the significant loss of human life. 

We condemn all targeting and killing of civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian, of any or no faith background. Such indiscriminate violence harming innocent civilians is not only a violation of law, but also of basic morality and human decency. While this violence occurs in the context of daily injustices under a military occupation of Palestinians, we are outraged at the mass scale  of kidnappings and killings of Israeli civilians including children, women and the elderly on October 7, 2023, as well as the mass killings, bombings and displacement of human beings away from their homes and communities as collective punishment of the 2.3 million people in Gaza (nearly half of which are children) since then. We must prevent more devastation. 

Both the Talmud and the Quran recognize that killing one life is like killing all of humanity, and saving one life is like saving all of humanity (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Quran 5:32). Our hearts grieve for the loss of humanity right now, and we will strive – through the world’s brokenness – to find hope, and save all of humanity by saving even one life. 

Accordingly, we reject the efforts to add further fuel to the fire of violence and vengeance through reactionary rhetoric or revenge-seeking actions. Our hearts recognize the tragedy, trauma and terror experienced by all peoples in and connected to the region. We are committed to “holding the whole” and feeling the pain of those who are currently suffering, oppressed, grieving, heartbroken, and/or terrified. In the face of deepening polarization, we choose the side of peace and justice. We recognize the horror experienced by all right now, and we uplift the humanity of all peoples in the region. 

Further, we reject the efforts to conflate the actions of Hamas with the Palestinian people, just as we reject equating the actions of the Israeli military or government with the people living in Israel or Jews across the globe. 

We call on the United States to use its influence and position to facilitate de-escalation in the region. We call for an immediate ceasefire; the safe return of the hostages captured by Hamas; the safe return of those displaced from their homes; a stop to the acts of war by the Israeli military that violate international law; the restoration of basic necessities like food, water, electricity, and medical services to the Gazan people; and the opening of humanitarian aid corridors. We ask all of our elected officials in Washington state and beyond to amplify these calls and to take action to achieve them. 

In addition, we condemn antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Arab bigotry and violence that may result, as we have tragically seen with the brutal stabbing that killed 6-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume in Illinois. We call upon elected officials, corporate leaders, and school administrators in Washington state to be a voice for safety and calm, and to provide support to all those impacted during this devastating crisis, especially the children. 

Together, we envision a world of peace and justice in Israel/Palestine, an area that is sacred to people of all three Abrahamic faith traditions. A world that embraces and delivers safety and security, freedom and liberation to everyone who inhabits the land, which necessarily requires an end to the decades-long military occupation. We look forward to the day when our beloved Israeli and Palestinian children alike will be able to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness together. 

In the powerful words of James Baldwin, ‘the children are always ours, every single one of them, all over the globe; and I am beginning to suspect that whoever is incapable of recognizing this may be incapable of morality”. 

Add Your Name to this Statement Below!

Link for individuals here. Link for organizations here.

NewsLETTER: OCTOBER 2023

Recap of the Building the Beloved Community Gala 2023

We’re thrilled to share the highlights from our spectacular annual Building the Beloved Community Gala, which took place last Saturday, October 14, 2023. This event was a remarkable success, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support.

An Unforgettable Evening: The gala was a night to remember, with attendees coming together to raise crucial funds for 43 programs and services that positively impact over 20,000 individuals and families across our region.

The Gala in a Glance:

  • Musical Magic: Banda Vagos set the stage on fire with their electrifying live music, creating a vibrant atmosphere that had everyone on their feet.
  • Networking and Connections: The reception was a fantastic opportunity for attendees to connect, share stories, and strengthen the bonds that make our community special.
  • Speakers & Presenters: Aneelah Afzali, Maria Casarez, Enrique Cerna, Pablo Cohen, Juan Flores, Veronica Gallardo, Fred Granados, Elisa Jimenez, Anika Lehde, Claudia Lendo, Daniela Lizarraga, Miguel Maestas, Jesus Mendoza, Mimi Santos and Estela Ortega.
  • Bidding Wars: Our silent and live auctions provided an exciting experience for all, with one-of-a-kind items and experiences up for grabs, all for a great cause.
  • Culinary Excellence: The three-course meal was a culinary delight, pleasing the palates of all who attended.
  • Honoring Remarkable Contributions: A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Roberto Maestas Legacy Awards, Roxana Norouzi, Executive Director of OneAmerica and Keith Tucker, Founder and Executive Director of Hip Hop is Gree, individuals who have made outstanding contributions to our beloved community.
  • 2023 Roberto Felipe Maestas Scholarship Recipients: We take great pride in recognizing the diligent efforts and unwavering dedication of 20 promising scholars who attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way and are part of our Hope for Youth and ELEVAR Case Management Programs: Angel Sanchez, Astrid Mejia, Celeste Guzman, Claudia Lendo, Crystal Morales, Edwin Hernandez, Erandy Loes Ramirez, Israel Vasquez, Jasmine Venegas, Jany Aguilar Ramirez, Joel Jesus Quinones, Kathia Toro, Keila Gaspar, Luz Seleni Chaves, Mariana Leos-Bravo, Mayra Aguirre, Nicolas Nava, Oscar Perez, Reyny Gonzalez and Valeria Perez-Cruz.
  • Mil gracias to our El Centro de la Raza team, as well as William Wright Photography.

Your Invaluable Support: We want to express our deepest gratitude to all the attendees, donors, volunteers, and sponsors who made this gala a tremendous success. Your support enables us to continue our mission of building a beloved community that benefits thousands of lives.

Stay Connected: We look forward to keeping you updated on the impact of your contributions and the progress we make throughout the year.

Thank you for being a part of this memorable night and for your unwavering commitment to our cause. Together, we are making a real difference in our community.

Warm regards,

El Centro de la Raza

¡Mil Gracias to our Volunteers!


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated volunteers from Starbucks, Microsoft, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. Your unwavering commitment to our cause is nothing short of inspiring. We look forward to continued collaboration and the positive change we can create together. Thank you for being the driving force behind our mission.

¡Mil Gracias to our Sponsors!

Staff corner: October 2023

In the true spirit of community, El Centro de la Raza has opened its doors and welcomed several dedicated volunteer groups into our fold over the past few months. These volunteers, hailing from various backgrounds and walks of life, have become the lifeblood of our organization, each playing a crucial and irreplaceable role in advancing our mission.

We find ourselves profoundly grateful for the incredible synergy that has emerged from the collaboration between our dedicated staff and these remarkable volunteers. Their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts have been nothing short of inspiring. Together, they have woven a tapestry of impact that reaches far and wide, touching the lives of individuals and families within our community.

(Starbuck’ Latinx Partner Network, Hora de Café make paper flowers decorations for our ‘Building the Beloved Community Gala’.)

Our volunteers are not mere helpers; they are the embodiment of our shared values and aspirations. Through their selfless contributions, they have enabled us to expand our reach, offer essential services, and strengthen the bonds that tie our community together. Their work is a testament to the belief that real change happens when we unite and work together with a common purpose.

(Emerging Leaders 365 | United Way of King County reached out to over a hundred past attendees, paving the way for our upcoming ‘Building the Beloved Community Gala’.)

Thank you for being a part of this journey, and for your unwavering support of El Centro de la Raza.

With heartfelt appreciation,

El Centro de la Raza

TAKE ACTION: SEPTEMBER 2023

VOTE YES FOR PROP 1: SEATTLE HOUSING LEVY

Don’t wait until election day! Vote today. Go to VoteWA.gov for information about voting center and ballot drop box locations near you.

We strongly encourage you to vote YES for Prop One, The Seattle Housing Levy, to help ensure affordable housing options for our community’s most vulnerable members. Your support can make a significant difference in addressing housing affordability in Seattle. Learn more here.

How Vaping Harms Students’ Mental Health: Tips For Parents and Educators

Beginning a new school year can be stressful for students. However, it’s important to know that vapes, like cigarettes, can negatively impact students’ physical and mental health. Parents, teachers, mentors, and school administrators can offer guidance and tools to help students make informed decisions. What can parents, teachers, influential adults, and school administrators do? Let more here.

Latino Democratic Caucus Statement on Palmer v Hobbs Voting Rights Act Decision

OLYMPIA – On August 10, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in favor of Latino voters living in Central Washington in Palmer v Hobbs, finding that Washington’s legislative map violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The court concluded that the districts drawn in the Yakima Valley dilute the Latino vote and prevent the Latino community from electing representatives of their choice. The bicameral Latino Democratic Caucus released the following statement in response:

“We, the members of the Washington State Latino Democratic Caucus, strongly support creating fair and just electoral maps to ensure that the voices of the Latino community are heard.

“The dilution of Latino votes is not new in Washington State. In 2018, the Legislature passed the Washington Voting Rights Act to provide a remedy for the known problem of voter dilution in municipalities and counties. This year, the Legislature passed the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) 2.0, to strengthen and improve the WVRA by making it easier for communities of interest to bring voter dilution claims and to allow plaintiffs to recover costs when a remedy is implemented.

“Latino voters from the Yakima Valley won enfranchisement for their community in court, and we support their right to propose their preferred remedy directly to the court. The bipartisan Redistricting Commission failed to draw a legislative map that complied with the federal VRA. We support voters seeking justice in a forum where it has already been achieved, devoid of partisanship and gamesmanship. We do not support reconvening the Redistricting Commission.

“We are committed to fair representation in our government at every level. The Latino community deserve the opportunity to elect leaders of its choice to the state Legislature. To have a truly representative democracy voters must be able to exercise their rights in a just system.” Learn more here.

Events: June 2023

July 23RD: Latina/o bar association of washington’s Raise the bar 5K

“The Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded to support Latinx legal professionals and the Latinx community in Washington State. We provide a number of services, scholarships, and programs across the state, all with the mission of uplifting our Latinx community. This is our first 5K and we hope to raise funds to support our work. We provide free monthly legal clinics at El Centro de la Raza in Seattle and hold clinics in various locations across the state. We provide scholarships to law students, undergraduate students preparing to take the law school admissions test (LSAT), and high school students interested in the law. We provide legal training, professional development, mentorship, and various other programmatic initiatives throughout the state, including judicial evaluations for lawyers seeking to become judges. We look forward to seeing you out there and thank you for helping us continue to serve our community.”

Join the first annual Raise the Bar 5k for the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW)!

Date: July 23rd

Time: 9 AM

Register: Here

July 12th: Free Legal Clinic

On the second Wednesday of every month, we host free bilingual legal clinics with volunteer attorneys in partnership with the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. Consultations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Date: July 12th, Intakes are from 4-6 PM and attorney consultations are from 6-8 PM

Location: Centilia Cultural Center, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St., Seattle, WA 98144

Learn More: https://www.lbaw.org/events/free-legal-clinic-5

July 15th: Seattle Latinx Pride Festival

Everyone is invited to the 5th Annual Seattle Latinx Pride Festival organized by Somos Seattle!

Let’s celebrate our LGBTQ and Latino/a/x identities. There will be entertainment, dancing, food, community resources/vendors & MUCH MORE!

Date: Saturday, July 15 | 5-10 PM

Location: Plaza Roberto Maestas, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St., Seattle, WA 98144

Learn More: https://fb.me/e/3HOo8mRNo

October 14th: 2023 Building the Beloved Community Gala

Please save the date for our annual Building the Beloved Community Gala! The in-person event will include live music, a reception and plated dinner, an awards ceremony for our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships recipients, live and online auctions, and more! We are looking forward to celebrating our anniversary with you!

Tickets for individuals and tables are on sale now! Early-bird tickets are available through Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023

Location: Seattle Convention Center (Summit Building)

RSVP Here: https://elcentro.ejoinme.org/register2023

Events: May 2023

May 31st: Housing Levy Rally

Join the Housing Development Consortium (HDC) at Seattle City Hall on May 31 for a rally in support of affordable homes, services, and fair wages for front-line staff! There will be a public hearing about the 2023 Housing Levy immediately following the rally

Date: May 31st, 3:30 PM

Location: Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave | Seattle, WA 98104

You can sign up for testimony tips and talking points for the public hearing here: bit.ly/42lI1aL

June 6th: Women of Color Leading Change

Many of King County’s leading anti-poverty agencies are led by women of color. Their vision, life experience, and executive leadership skills are driving how we work to solve poverty and provide all of our neighbors with equitable access to the support and resources they need to thrive.

For the first time ever, four of these leaders will come together for a dynamic community conversation in the Social Justice Salon Series: Women of Color Leading Change.

Date: June 6th, 7 – 9 PM

Location: The Great Hall at Town Hall Seattle | 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

More Information: https://www.solid-ground.org/get-involved/social-justice-salons/#wocleaders

June 8th: Columbia City Project – Community Meeting

Columbia City Rendering Header

Please join us virtually for a community meeting about our Columbia City project!

El Centro de la Raza’s Housing at Columbia City will include 87 affordable, apartments for families, a multicultural, bilingual child development center, a permanent home for Church of Hope, and office space for Consejo Counseling and Referral Services.

Date: June 8th, 6 – 7:30 PM

Location: Virtual

RSVP Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/el-centro-de-la-razas-columbia-city-project-community-meeting-tickets-622080468427

June 14th: The Four Amigos,
Beloved Community Groundbreaking Ceremony

We would like to invite you to the Groundbreaking Ceremony of The Four Amigos, Beloved Community. This mixed use development will include 87-units of affordable housing, a new four-classroom Jose Marti Child Development Center, Consejo Counseling Services offices, and Church of Hope worship space located in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle.

Date: June 14th, 11 AM – 12 PM

Location: 3818 S Angeline St, Seattle, WA 98118

RSVP Here: Please email Camila Puelpan to RSVP. (cpuelpan@elcentrodelaraza.org)

October 14th: 2023 Building the Beloved Community Gala

Please save the date for our annual Building the Beloved Community Gala! The in-person event will include live music, a reception and plated dinner, an awards ceremony for our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships recipients, live and online auctions, and more! We are looking forward to celebrating our anniversary with you!

Tickets for individuals and tables are on sale now! Early-bird tickets are available through Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023

Location: Seattle Convention Center (Summit Building)

RSVP Here: https://elcentro.ejoinme.org/register2023