Category Archives: Community

A Year of Racial Tension

The last year has been a watershed moment across the nation in the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. I clearly remember, almost exactly a year ago, watching images on my television of Ferguson burning. Tension and mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities that have been smoldering for generations have caught fire, sometimes explosively, throughout the nation. It is critical for our community to not ignore our smoldering tinder, but rather work to extinguish it before we follow suit with what has been happening in other communities. … Continue Reading →

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Approaching Every Day Like It’s Cinco de Mayo

We recently finished celebrating Cinco de Mayo throughout the country. Sadly, I’d venture to say that most people, including our Latino community in the United States, don’t really know what Cinco de Mayo is all about. Many mistakenly think it’s Mexican Independence Day. But looking past the misinformation and excuses to party, Cinco de Mayo celebrations still serve an important purpose in our communities. … Continue Reading →

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Achieving Independence Through Language

Recently we used this blog space to begin a conversation about balancing the need to provide crucial services with the risk of creating dependency and complacency among the recipients of those free services. We want to ensure that through the services we provide, the Latino Leadership Council creates the independence, competency and pride necessary for community members to not only stand on their own two feet, but also lend a helping hand to those around them. That’s why I was so excited at our most recent community meeting, where students from our English as a Second Language (ESL) class attended to share with us their personal stories and show us how the free classes we offer have changed their lives. … Continue Reading →

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Creating a More Accessible Court

Recently, representatives from the Superior Court of California in Placer County visited our monthly Latino Leadership Council public meeting to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities they are facing in serving the Latino community. Their challenges, I imagine, are not unlike those faced by many other agencies up and down the state that are trying to figure out how to adapt their services to the State’s quickly evolving demographics. And while the County Superior Court has a lot of challenges ahead of them, we strongly commend them for reaching out to the community and seeking collaboration with the Latino Leadership Council and our partners in figuring out how to best address these needs. … Continue Reading →

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Helping Without Creating Dependency

Good intentions are often just not good enough. We try our best to help our community and the families we serve by providing free services and bending over backwards to be accommodating and do as much as we can to assist them. But at what point is our help simply creating dependency and contributing to the long-term problems our community faces? Are free services taken for granted and unappreciated simply because they are offered for free? If the people we are trying to help had to pay for the services in some way, whether monetarily or in a different way, would the services be more effective? I don’t have the answers, but I sure do think that it’s a discussion worth having and that a better way, though perhaps yet undiscovered, must exist. … Continue Reading →

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Helping Out Without Burning Out

As promotores, community workers, social workers and advocates we go the extra mile to help the families and individuals with whom we work. But is there such a thing as a mile too far? Often times we give and give at the risk at overtaxing our own physical, mental and spiritual health. At what point do your own needs take precedence over those of the people you’re helping? … Continue Reading →

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