A healthy community depends on strong relationships, engaged citizens and skilled leaders. Our community organizing links us even more closely to the communities we serve, and provides our members with even more opportunities to act on the changes they wish to see.
TRP offers leadership development courses in our partner parishes and schools. Our leadership program begins with strengthening our understanding of our culture, self-esteem, and communication skills. The second part of the course focuses on understanding our community and how we can use our collective power for change. Participants are encouraged to get involved in their parish or school and to begin forming relationships with others within their institutions and with other leaders from institutions throughout the community. Our courses lead to the formation of core teams made up of people who actively work to build healthy communities.
Our leaders also periodically attend civic trainings. These trainings provide information on the branches and levels of the United States’ government. They also help our leaders to run their specific initiatives more effectively. For example, if there is campaign that relates to an Illinois state law, TRP will run a training session on the Illinois State Legislature.
To promote full and active civic participation by community members, TRP holds voter registration drives and conducts “Get Out the Vote” campaigns. Every election year, volunteers begin organizing within their immediate communities, and then go door to door to register voters. These initiatives span throughout the summer and end when registration closes. Through these efforts, TRP has registered thousands of new voters and launched massive civic engagement campaigns to ensure our communities are represented at the polls.
As a member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), TRP organizes local immigrant communities so they have a voice in the local, state, and national immigration debate. TRP votes on platforms and chooses which campaigns to participate in, such as a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL) awareness campaign. TRP’s leaders were also instrumental in the passage of TVDL legislation. Our organizers have participated in statewide and nationwide initiatives. We have marched in Chicago’s streets, joining thousands of other organizers. We have peacefully protested outside of the offices of legislators and the White House. We have called on key legislators to act through these public forums and by encouraging our community to contact their lawmakers. We have attended prayer vigils for those affected by the lack of reform. We are committed to expanding the rights of immigrants and rewarding the hard work and contributions families have made to build our community.
Our core teams have had a lasting influence on our communities. In Cornell Square Park, members of TRP worked to form a Park Advisory Committee, which will bring safe educational youth programming to the park after a recent tragic shooting. In Casa Maravilla, seniors have improved streets in the neighborhood by getting street lights installed and removing speed bumps. Seniors make up a vital part of our core teams in our partner institutions, and TRP is committed to including seniors in all organizing aspects of the organization.
To learn more about or to participate in each of these programs, contact Erendira Rendon, at 312-880-1151 or at email@example.com.
Parents can apply to become parent mentors at Daley Elementary School, William H Seward Communication Arts Academy, Robert Fulton Elementary School, Cesar E Chavez Multicultural Academic Center, Orozco Academy, and Jungman Elementary. After completing the program’s weeklong training, parents assist teachers in classrooms for two hours every day. The parent mentor program runs for either half a school year or a full school year. Parents attend a training session once a week for the entire program. They take TRP’s leadership development classes, where they learn organizing fundamentals, such as how to understand power within the community. They also hear from speakers in TRP’s Financial Wellness, La Casa, and health initiatives. In addition, teachers share their knowledge on assisting in the classroom. The parents also learn more about the public school system, such as the high school application process. These classes allow parent mentors to serve as resources who educate other community members on these topics.
The knowledge that the parent mentors gain from these workshops further empowers them to engage with both their school and neighborhood communities. Each mentor cohort must plan one community event at their schools per quarter, and in addition attend three community events outside of their school. Past parent mentor led events have included family nights attended by hundreds, health education days, and teacher appreciation nights. Parent mentors were also instrumental in the creation of the Cornell Square Park Advisory Committee, which advocates for more safety and youth programming in the park.
If you are a parent at one of these schools or a principal interested in the program, please contact Mayra Lopez at 312-880-1887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.