The Resurrection Project http://resurrectionproject.org The Resurrection Project Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:52:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 TRP and partners help families escape the cycle of poverty through new Lending Circles http://resurrectionproject.org/trp-partners-help-families-escape-circle-poverty-new-lending-circles/ http://resurrectionproject.org/trp-partners-help-families-escape-circle-poverty-new-lending-circles/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:21:50 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5574 by Diana Pando With area families still struggling to recover from the recession and living paycheck to paycheck, The Resurrection Project (TRP) has teamed up with Mission Asset Fund (MAF) and Chase Bank to create a new social loan program called Lending Circles. The Lending Circles are designed to help financially vulnerable families save money, […]

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by Diana Pando

IMG_0177With area families still struggling to recover from the recession and living paycheck to paycheck, The Resurrection Project (TRP) has teamed up with Mission Asset Fund (MAF) and Chase Bank to create a new social loan program called Lending Circles.

The Lending Circles are designed to help financially vulnerable families save money, establish a credit history, and improve their credit score. As part of the program, participants will be required to create a savings plan, and will be able to meet with a TRP financial coach to establish and accomplish financial goals. Participants will be required to attend a financial coaching session before they apply to ensure they are qualified.

“This is an important expansion of our financial literacy programming,” says Kristen Komara, Vice President of Financial Wellness. “There are financially under-served families in our communities that are taking out high-interest payday loans or using their credit cards for everyday purchases, which is creating a continued cycle of poverty.”

According to a recent Demo’s national survey,“43% of Latinos are reporting using their credit cards to pay for basic living expenses like rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities or because they did not have enough money in their checking or savings accounts.”

TRP’s Lending Circles program was created with these families in mind. Unlike informal lending circles where you make a payment to family or friends, TRP Lending Circles payments will be reported to the credit bureau. Payments are guaranteed by Chase Bank ensuring that all participants receive their full loan amount.

“It’s a safe and affordable way to build credit,” said Madeline Cruz, TRP’s Financial Coach. “It provides a zero-interest and zero-fee loan that can be used towards the individual’s financial goals.”

The Lending Circles are a non-traditional option to building and re-stablishing credit because of the less conservative eligibility requirements. Most people are expected to use the money to pay off debt or to save for home ownership, a new business, an emergency fund, college fund, or larger expense.

The Lending Circles will also become an important tool in helping participants establish or improve their credit. TRP recognizes credit as the foundation for building wealth, but also recognizes the lack of affordable financial products available to our community that help in building this credit.

“Credit building allows the community to build wealth, become financially stable, and access affordable financial products,” says Cruz.

At this time the capacity for the Lending Circles program is being capped at 50 but will increase based on demand. TRP will begin new Lending Circles each month.

Currently, TRP is one of two organizations in Illinois providing lending circles. The TRP Lending Circles are supported by JP Morgan Chase. The Lending Circles are managed and licensed by the Mission Asset Fund (MAF), a nonprofit organization based in California dedicated to creating a fair financial marketplace for working families. MAF is an official lending circles provider.

For more information on how to sign up for TRP’s Lending Circles please contact Madeline Cruz, Financial Coach, at 312-217-5598 or via email at mcruz@resurrectionproject.org

The next bilingual information Lending Circles workshop will take place on the following day:

Wednesday, January 7th 5:30PM to 6:30 PM English session / 6:30PM to 7:30PM – Spanish Session

1914 S Ashland, Chicago, IL 60608

Return to Nueva Vida November 2014 here.

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From La Casa To Your Casa: A DACA student makes the most of her new opportunities http://resurrectionproject.org/la-casa-casa-daca-student-makes-new-opportunities/ http://resurrectionproject.org/la-casa-casa-daca-student-makes-new-opportunities/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:17:48 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5592 by Claudia Martinez Beatriz came to the U.S. with her family when she was five years old. She thought they were on vacation, but the reality was that her father lost his job in Mexico and, like many immigrants, brought his family to the United States to find a better life. It wasn’t until Beatriz […]

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by Claudia Martinez

Beatriz_2Beatriz came to the U.S. with her family when she was five years old. She thought they were on vacation, but the reality was that her father lost his job in Mexico and, like many immigrants, brought his family to the United States to find a better life.

It wasn’t until Beatriz became a teenager that she began to encounter the obstacles of being undocumented. She tried to get her driver’s license but was unable to get one. When she started to apply to college, she found that she could not apply for federal student aid.

To get herself through school, Beatriz found a job at a restaurant and saved every cent she could. She enrolled at the College of DuPage and began to open up to others about her immigration status. “The hardest part,” she says, “was getting people to understand what being undocumented actually meant.”

After completing her general education requirements, she applied to different universities but was ineligible for financial aid. Beatriz continued applying to different schools and was finally accepted to Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). With Beatriz successfully becoming a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student, IIT was able to provide financial assistance to continue her education.

Beatriz decided to major in business since she was working at a restaurant and doing marketing for them. But to get to class, she spent an hour and a half on the Metra and then took a bus. The commute back home was up to two hours. “There were times,” she says, “when I was too tired to do homework. I didn’t feel motivated.”

After almost missing an exam because of her commute, she finally shared her frustration with classmates. One of them was a La Casa resident who recommended she look into La Casa.

She applied to La Casa Student Housing and was accepted. She convinced her parents to let her move into La Casa, and was able to cut down on her commute time. Now she had time to do homework without being exhausted.

The time saved on commuting didn’t just help her focus on her studies: it also allowed her to become more active in school. After being a member of Latinos Involved in Further Education (LIFE) and Hispanics Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), she decided to take on a leadership role in both after seeing a need for improvements. Drawing from her experience at the restaurant and from her business studies, Beatriz became a Marketing Director for both organizations.

Beatriz1“Student participation was dying down,” she explained. “We only had about seven active members and now we have at least 20. Our e-board has also grown to eight people.”

The main source of her drive in everything she does is her family.

“I want my family and to be proud of me,” she says. “I want to give back to the community.”

She is thrilled to be graduating this semester because she is the first of her sisters to get a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” she says, “but that is what keeps me going.”

To learn more about La Casa Student Housing, visit www.lacasasstudenthousing.org.

Return to Nueva Vida November 2014 here.

 

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With a little help from TRP and a patron saint, a man finds a home in Back of the Yards http://resurrectionproject.org/back-yards-resident-finds-stability-trp-apartment/ http://resurrectionproject.org/back-yards-resident-finds-stability-trp-apartment/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:17:06 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5579 by Diana Pando Before moving into a TRP apartment, tenant Douglas Allan had been living on Chicago’s north side. He was struggling to regain his independence after going through financial hardship and health issues. While he was appreciative of his family supporting him through hard times, he knew he had to move out on his […]

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by Diana Pando

Anthony2Before moving into a TRP apartment, tenant Douglas Allan had been living on Chicago’s north side. He was struggling to regain his independence after going through financial hardship and health issues. While he was appreciative of his family supporting him through hard times, he knew he had to move out on his own.

He began searching for apartments in his area but all of them were out of his price range. Douglas didn’t have a traditional 9-to-5 job because he was an entrepreneur and worked out of his home. The problem was that no one was willing to work with his income. Despite his efforts, he still couldn’t find anything.

Discouraged, he decided to see if he could find something in the Pilsen neighborhood. He began walking west down Pilsen hoping to see “for rent” signs in windows. He also started going into local businesses to inquire about apartments.

After walking around the neighborhood for some time he started feeling discouraged. He decided to go into one last store on 18th Street. He spotted a statue of St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things. Douglas picked it up and said, “St. Anthony please help me find an apartment.”

Douglas promised St. Anthony he would place him in a prominent place in his new apartment and went to pay for the statue. The store owner commented, “You know he is the patron of lost things. What are you looking for?”

Douglas told him he was looking for an apartment, and the store owner told him about The Resurrection Project (TRP). He decided to reach out to TRP and apply for an apartment. He was excited because while he did not get the apartment in Pilsen, he was approved for one in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

“I haven’t lived in a stable environment for many years,” said Douglas. “I’m able to afford an apartment and it provides me with a stable environment allowing me to do more things.”

He encourages people to apply for a TRP apartment because “the apartments are spacious, clean, and have new appliances.”  Douglas also notes, “These apartments allow people to save money and gives them a lifestyle they can actually afford.”

ANTHONY_1The TRP building he lives in is also helping create healthy communities because it’s stabilizing the neighborhood. “It’s important for TRP housing to be here,” he says, “because it provides a beautiful space where before there might have been an abandoned home or empty lot.”

Living in the neighborhood is also giving Douglas an opportunity to volunteer and teach English as a second language. While the neighborhood continues to need more affordable housing and community resources Douglas points out that there is a new school and shopping opportunities in the area.

“There is a feeling of hopefulness in the Back of the Yards neighborhood,” he says.

Return to Nueva Vida November 2014 here.

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The City of Chicago and TRP team up to help minority business owners http://resurrectionproject.org/city-chicago-trp-team-help-minority-business-owners/ http://resurrectionproject.org/city-chicago-trp-team-help-minority-business-owners/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:14:25 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5632 by Diana Pando The City of Chicago has selected The Resurrection Project (TRP) as one of three Capital Access Centers to help provide capital to small business owners and entrepreneurs in underserved neighborhoods. This exciting announcement comes at a time when TRP is already working with small businesses to provide them with free workshops and […]

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by Diana Pando

pilsen1The City of Chicago has selected The Resurrection Project (TRP) as one of three Capital Access Centers to help provide capital to small business owners and entrepreneurs in underserved neighborhoods.

This exciting announcement comes at a time when TRP is already working with small businesses to provide them with free workshops and counseling to help their operations grow. Small business owners and entrepreneurs help create jobs and stimulate local economies.That is why TRP and the City of Chicago have teamed up to improve access to capital in underserved communities. Accessing sufficient capital, including small business loans, is a key barrier many minority business owners and entrepreneurs face.

According to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, “Hispanic and black entrepreneurs tend to start their companies with less money than white entrepreneurs, and are also less likely to be approved for a business loan.” Data released by the Federal Reserve also indicates minority business owners pay interest rates 32 percent higher on business loans than white counterparts pay.

As part of the new program, TRP will help entrepreneurs navigate the application process to competitive business loans.TRP will also provide capacity and access to opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the Chicagoland area.

“We are working with many lenders across the city and state of Illinois that all have different requirements,” says Adrian Soto, TRP’s Vice President of Economic Development.“We will refer a business to the source of capital that best fits their needs and qualifications.”

This new partnerships between TRP and the City of Chicago as a Capital Access Center will help jump-start many small businesses.

“Our goal in working with our communities on these efforts,” says Soto,“is to help them build assets and create wealth so they can contribute towards healthy communities.”

Return to Nueva Vida November 2014 here.

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Nueva Vida November 2014: The TRP Newsletter http://resurrectionproject.org/nueva-vida-november-2014-trp-newsletter/ http://resurrectionproject.org/nueva-vida-november-2014-trp-newsletter/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:13:47 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5620 From the desk of Raul… Dear friends and supporters, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! This month, we are especially thankful for President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which will impact up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. Our staff will be working to educate the community on eligibility and the application process. We will […]

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From the desk of Raul…

Dear friends and supporters,

RAULHappy Thanksgiving to you and your family! This month, we are especially thankful for President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which will impact up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.

Our staff will be working to educate the community on eligibility and the application process. We will also be informing them of fraudulent practices by individuals trying to take advantage of the current situation. TRP will be providing additional services to help integrate families into the social, economic, and political fabric of our community. We will also continue to fight alongside our community partners to demand full immigration reform to help those who are ineligible for President’s Obama’s administrative relief.

In this issue of Nueva Vida, we share the story of a DACA student who has made the most of her new opportunities in school and at La Casa. This month’s TRPtv episode spotlights three La Casa students and how they are impacted by the programs available to them.

Our Economic Development department also continues to make strides in strengthening small business. We were recently selected by the City of Chicago as one of three Capital Access Centers in the city. This will allow qualified small business owners to have access to the capital they need to be able to grow their business.

We are also excited to launch TRP’s Lending Circles program to help individuals and families establish credit. Lastly, Mr. Allan, a TRP tenant, shares his unique story about regaining his independence and improving the quality of his life after moving into a TRP apartment.

As always, thank you for your continued faith and trust in our mission to create healthy communities throughout Chicago.

Raul Raymundo
CEO, The Resurrection Project

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TRP launches education and information campaign regarding President Obama’s administrative relief http://resurrectionproject.org/trp-launches-education-information-campaign-regarding-president-obamas-administrative-relief/ http://resurrectionproject.org/trp-launches-education-information-campaign-regarding-president-obamas-administrative-relief/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:12:06 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5614 Following President Obama’s November 20 announcement of administrative relief for undocumented immigrants, The Resurrection Project (TRP), in partnership with various regional and national organizations, is launching an education and information campaign, Educate Yourself! The goal is to provide access to information and resources regarding this historic action, and to help keep undocumented individuals from being […]

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IY_postcard1Following President Obama’s November 20 announcement of administrative relief for undocumented immigrants, The Resurrection Project (TRP), in partnership with various regional and national organizations, is launching an education and information campaign, Educate Yourself! The goal is to provide access to information and resources regarding this historic action, and to help keep undocumented individuals from being exploited by scam artists.

As part of the Educate Yourself! campaign, TRP has established an Immigration Hotline at 312-666-3062 for individuals wanting to know more about President Obama’s administrative relief. In addition, TRP will be posting regular information and updates on its website and social media sites.

“This is a historic moment,” says Raul Raymundo, CEO of The Resurrection Project, “but it is important that we educate families so that they don’t fall victim to unscrupulous individuals looking to exploit undocumented immigrants.”

TRP wants to stress that there is currently no application process in place, and that there won’t be one until the spring of 2015. There are individuals already claiming that they can help undocumented immigrants apply for a work permit under the administrative relief. TRP is working with community stakeholders and partners to ensure undocumented individuals are not exploited by these scams.

“Information is key to this process,” says Raymundo. “That’s why TRP is going to be helping to disseminate as much information as possible so that, when the spring of 2015 arrives, our families are ready to apply for deferred action and become fully integrated into the social, economic, and political fabric of this great country.”

Please make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on President Obama’s administrative relief. Please share this information in an effort to engage as many people as possible.

Learn more about TRP’s immigration services here.

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The Resurrection Project receives grant from NALCAB to support small businesses http://resurrectionproject.org/resurrection-project-receives-grant-nalcab-support-sams-club-giving-program-support-small-businesses/ http://resurrectionproject.org/resurrection-project-receives-grant-nalcab-support-sams-club-giving-program-support-small-businesses/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:49:30 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5588 Chicago, IL — The Resurrection Project recently received a grant in the amount of $32,500.00 from NALCAB—National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders. This grant will continue to support TRP’s economic development initiative to help small businesses. This grant will allow TRP to build on its successful capital-focused small business development services and programming to […]

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NALCABChicago, IL — The Resurrection Project recently received a grant in the amount of $32,500.00 from NALCAB—National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders. This grant will continue to support TRP’s economic development initiative to help small businesses.

This grant will allow TRP to build on its successful capital-focused small business development services and programming to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in the largely-Latino Southwest Side Chicago neighborhoods of Pilsen, Back of the Yards, Little Village, and suburban Melrose Park.

Specifically, the funding will address the business development, financial management, marketing and PR, and technology-related needs of disadvantaged entrepreneurs, ranging from start-ups to established businesses, as part of TRP’s comprehensive Access to Capital Center programming.

With the generous support of the Sam’s Club Giving Program, NALCAB awarded $1.1 million to 24 small business projects across 17 states that are managed by community and economic development nonprofit organizations. View a complete list of the grantees and their program descriptions at www.nalcab.org/Grantees2014.

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About the Sam’s Club Giving Program: Established by the Walmart Foundation in 2008, the Sam’s Club Giving Program is dedicated to micro- and small business prosperity, investing more than $11 million in national and local programs dedicated to improved training, education and increased access to capital for small business owners. For more information on national or local giving, visit SamsClub.com/giving.

About NALCAB: NALCAB-The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders is a San Antonio based organization that represents and serves over 100 members that are a geographically and ethnically diverse group of nonprofit community and economic development organizations that are anchor institutions in our nation’s Latino communities. NALCAB’s mission is to build financial and human assets as well as real estate and technology resources for Latino families, communities, and organizations. For additional information, visit NALCAB’s press room or go to www.nalcab.org.

 

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Nueva Vida October 2014: The TRP Newsletter http://resurrectionproject.org/nueva-vida-october-2014-trp-newsletter/ http://resurrectionproject.org/nueva-vida-october-2014-trp-newsletter/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:13:35 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5519 From the desk of Raul… Dear friends and supporters, It’s always exciting to share with you the stories of how TRP is not just helping people improve their quality of life, but in helping people gain exposure to new opportunities and new experiences. Our college youth are a priority for us, and through our programming […]

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From the desk of Raul…

Dear friends and supporters,

RAULIt’s always exciting to share with you the stories of how TRP is not just helping people improve their quality of life, but in helping people gain exposure to new opportunities and new experiences.

Our college youth are a priority for us, and through our programming at La Casa, we are able to provide the support they need to graduate. This month we spotlight Sam, a resident at La Casa who was struggling academically. Today, he’s a successful student who is inspiring others by his example.

La Casa also helped students experience something new during a study break. In honor of Dia de los Muertos, a diverse group of students learned about this cultural tradition. Afterwards, they created an altar to honor loved ones and three TRP founding members.

We also continue to make great strides in helping to create healthy communities. Mayra was living in a cramped basement apartment when her children got sick from living there. Find out how TRP worked with Mayra to find a safer housing solution.

On the technology front, the Pilsen Portal relaunched as Chicago Voz, a new, dynamic website featuring new content and resources for the community. This is significant because it will be a new way for us to build healthy digital communities by providing access to information to the communities we serve while creating a platform to cultivate community journalists.

Over the summer, we also had an important staff change. Trish DeAnda became TRP’s Chief Operating Officer, and we wanted to spotlight Trish because her role is vital in moving our organization into its next phase of growth.

And on TRPtv, we have not one but two new episodes highlighting a housing fair and our breast cancer survivor group.

As always, thank you for your continued faith and trust in our mission to create healthy communities throughout Chicago.

Raul Raymundo
CEO,The Resurrection Project

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A mother and her children find a clean bill of health at TRP’s Casa Tabasco http://resurrectionproject.org/family-finds-happiness-health-new-apartment/ http://resurrectionproject.org/family-finds-happiness-health-new-apartment/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:23:33 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5495 by Diana Pando Mayra was living with her three children in a cramped basement apartment. The apartment was in bad shape, but when she raised concerns with the landlord, he did nothing to address them. Then her sons started to get sick. She took them to the doctor, who informed her that her children had […]

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Mayra_Q by Diana Pando

Mayra was living with her three children in a cramped basement apartment. The apartment was in bad shape, but when she raised concerns with the landlord, he did nothing to address them. Then her sons started to get sick. She took them to the doctor, who informed her that her children had high levels of lead in their systems.

Deeply concerned for her children’s health and safety and fearing it was the apartment that was making them sick, she began an apartment search. She found some that were beautiful but also well out of her price range, while others were in bad conditions.

Mayra knew the longer her family stayed in their current apartment, the worse her children’s health would get. Finally, she was referred to The Resurrection Project (TRP). She applied and was approved for an apartment. Soon after, Mayra moved her children into a three-bedroom apartment at TRP’s Casa Tabasco in the Little Village neighborhood.

“My children now have the space they need,” she says, “and they’re happy here because it’s their home.”

The move into the new apartment has also impacted her children’s health; their lead levels dropped soon after the move and they are now in good health. She attributes this to the environment they now live in.

“These are dignified apartments that are well maintained and have everything people could want,” she said of Casa Tabasco. “If there were more apartments like the ones at Casa Tabasco, TRP would continue creating even more healthy communities.”

Return to Nueva Vida October 2014 here.

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A day in the life of an organizer http://resurrectionproject.org/day-life-organizer/ http://resurrectionproject.org/day-life-organizer/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:23:00 +0000 http://resurrectionproject.org/?p=5499 by Isabelle Barany Here is something for you in order to understand a day in the life of an organizer at The Resurrection Project (TRP): there’s no such thing as a regular day. TRP’s staff organizers, fellows, and community leaders all epitomize the diversity of daily tasks necessary to build healthy communities. Your day might […]

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by Isabelle Barany

Here is something for you in order to understand a day in the life of an organizer at The Resurrection Project (TRP): there’s no such thing as a regular day. TRP’s staff organizers, fellows, and community leaders all epitomize the diversity of daily tasks necessary to build healthy communities.

Your day might begin with planning or leading a training for community members. The type of training depends on the organizer’s focus. For years, TRP’s organizers have held leadership development trainings in its partner parishes and schools. The two-part program first develops the participants’ confidence and communication skills, then teaches strategies to build community power. TRP also periodically leads civic trainings on the United States’ government, allowing leaders a better understanding of the democratic processes they use to create change.

Mayra López, one of TRP’s Community Organizers, manages TRP’s Parent Mentor program at five schools, along with TRP’s organizing initiatives in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. As the leader of the parent mentors, López is responsible for leading and facilitating a workshop per week for an entire school year. The program primarily works to engage parents and provide them with opportunities to become more active participants in their children’s school and neighborhood.

López facilitates presentations and brings in TRP staff and other experts to discuss leadership development and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. The mentors also learned about financial wellness, physical health, and the college process. Organizers cultivate community leaders’ strengths by predicting and providing the knowledge leaders will need to be successful. This requires organizers to have one-on-ones with a community member who is considering becoming more involved.

Erendira1For Eréndira Rendón, TRP’s Head Organizer, these first meetings “establish working relationships” with others through “understanding their passion and self-interest.” Rendón also conducts one-on-ones with priests, principals, active teachers and church participants, non-profit members, and elected officials. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the needs and resources within the communities where TRP works. Equally as important, she builds partnerships. “You can’t work alone,” she says.

A bit later, your day might include canvassing, which refers to all face-to-face contact with community members. Typically, canvassers take their message to the streets, and go to public areas to talk to community members. “After a successful canvass of an area,” Rendón says, “people leave with a sense that somebody is doing something to serve them.”

Tabetha Martinez, a TRP summer fellow working with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), helped to execute TRP’s voter registration campaign. Martinez canvassed public areas including bus stops, train stations, and parks to ask residents if they were registered. Everyone carried voter registration forms, and un-registered voters filled out their information in person with the assistance of the canvassers. Speaking in both English and Spanish, the canvassers also briefly informed constituents on key election issues

Head organizers like Rendón also attend coalition meetings. TRP is a member of ICIRR, which has been a powerful force for immigration reform throughout the state and nationally. At ICIRR’s quarterly meetings, leaders from organizations in the coalition decide which campaigns to pursue, and how each organization will contribute.

For example, TRP played a huge role in the campaign to pass legislation for Temporary Visitor Driver Licenses (TVDLs), which allows all drivers, regardless of status, to hold a license. This has made Illinois roads safer since it has reduced the number of uninsured drivers. Rendón also attends organizing meetings, where she helps to decide and plan a campaign’s actions.

OrganizingThis might take the form of attending a demonstration, gathering for a vigil, making phone calls to legislators, creating a council, or a marching outside of detention centers, or lawmakers’ offices. In the summer of 2014, TRP and its leaders participated in numerous actions, including a vigil outside of President Obama’s house for the individuals in deportation proceedings and their families.

All circled around the block while holding candles and singing softly. Among TRP leaders attending the vigil was Maria Ochoa, a Parent Mentor at Daley Elementary School. As a member of a mixed immigration status family, Ochoa is directly impacted by the lack of reform, and has participated in actions outside of detention centers, Boehner’s house in Ohio, and the White House itself. In her determination to keep insisting and asking for reform, Ochoa epitomizes the spirit of TRP’s organizing as a whole. “If we do nothing,” she says, “we won’t accomplish anything.”

Ochoa, who is a strong voice for her community and was even interviewed by Univision at the vigil, did not do any advocacy before TRP. This gives Rendón the most pride. She believes organizing can deliver life-transforming moments, as those involved become aware of their own power. It is through these moments—an interview, a speech, a registration—that organizing creates changes in the world.

Learn more about TRP’s Community Organizing Department and get involved!

 

Return to Nueva Vida October 2014 here.

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