Strengthening Community Trust

by Raul Fernandez | Aug 31, 2010
| 5 Comments
Competition Winner

This entry has been selected as a winner in the
SpectrumTrust Multicultural Endowment competition.

Summary:

Strengthening Community Trust is Centro's approach to developing a coalition of multicultural leaders and allies to address the issues of education, social justice and community governance in the Moorhead/Fargo area to mitigate the effects of racism and intolerance.
This community based approach develops grassroots leadership to change the policies that bar opportunities for inclusion and development in the social and economic arenas. The multicultural leadership brought together by partner organizations and community leaders will be educated on how to do grass roots organizing around particular issues. These organizations and community leaders will then work together to develop new leaders.
The Moorhead School District has formal and informal policies that greatly impact communities of color and immigrants negatively. Examples of these policies include the siphoning of students of color and immigrants into an alternative learning center that prevents drop outs but does not prepare students for success after graduation. These students become socialized into a second class citizenship with skills that are irrelevant in mainstream society but prepare them to live as social outcasts. Unable to succeed socially, our students are denied opportunities economically.
The community based multicultural leadership will engage school government to ensure that all students are given the same opportunities both socially and academically. Once community leaders become engaged they stay engaged. This is more than a project but an investment in multicultural grassroots movement.

About You

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About You

First Name

Raul

Last Name

Fernandez

Title

Executive Director

Website

Organization

Centro Cultural de Fargo Moorhead

Country

United States, MN, Clay County

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Centro Cultural de Fargo Moorhead

Organization Email

Organization Website

Organization Phone

(218) 236-7318

Organization Address

1014 19th Street South

Organization City

Moorhead

Organization Zipcode

56560

Brief description of your organization

Centro Cultural is a community organizing organization that supports leaders in action, develops new leaders and creates opportunities for leaders to engage in community governance.
Mission: Reach out, connect and empower Latin@s and the Fargo/Moorhead community to bring social change.
Our goal in organizing is to address systemic barriers that impede diverse community growth and development.

Organization Country

United States, MN, Clay County

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Your idea

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Name your project

Strengthening Community Trust

Country your work focuses on

United States, MN, Clay County

Describe your project. Explain the extent to which it mitigates the effects of racism

Strengthening Community Trust is Centro's approach to developing a coalition of multicultural leaders and allies to address the issues of education, social justice and community governance in the Moorhead/Fargo area to mitigate the effects of racism and intolerance.
This community based approach develops grassroots leadership to change the policies that bar opportunities for inclusion and development in the social and economic arenas. The multicultural leadership brought together by partner organizations and community leaders will be educated on how to do grass roots organizing around particular issues. These organizations and community leaders will then work together to develop new leaders.
The Moorhead School District has formal and informal policies that greatly impact communities of color and immigrants negatively. Examples of these policies include the siphoning of students of color and immigrants into an alternative learning center that prevents drop outs but does not prepare students for success after graduation. These students become socialized into a second class citizenship with skills that are irrelevant in mainstream society but prepare them to live as social outcasts. Unable to succeed socially, our students are denied opportunities economically.
The community based multicultural leadership will engage school government to ensure that all students are given the same opportunities both socially and academically. Once community leaders become engaged they stay engaged. This is more than a project but an investment in multicultural grassroots movement.

Project starting date

September 2010

Project ending date

August 31, 2011

Total project budget - required field

$31,385

Website URL

Innovation

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What makes your project unique?

Strengthening Community Trust is the intentional development of a movement of multicultural community leaders around the issue of education and social justice. Centro Cultural in collaboration with other organizations and community leaders is bringing several organizations together around common community issues. These organizations and leaders will come together to address common issues and develop new leadership that will engage in academic governance.

Often organizations singularly design projects that effectively create opportunities, yet fail to sustain. In a time of financial instability, organizations must invest in long term social change. Centro Cultural will develop community and organizational leaders that understand and practice grassroots leadership development around the issues of education, social justice and racial justice. Once these leaders become engaged they will always be engaged.

Coalition building is not new or innovative. Centro Cultural will be taking coalition building to the next level by developing a coalition focused on developing grassroots leadership around the issue of education from many different cultural groups that are stakeholders in the local school district.

Centro Cultural in collaboration with other organizations such as Ready 4 K, the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, The New Sudanese Community Association and others will share best practices methods and training's with the coalition members so that they will go forth and develop their own leadership that ia representative of their communities.

Through the development of new leadership we will be creating an engaged community that is representative of the people that are affected most by biased and inequitable policies. This intentional development of a movement of multicultural community leaders will come together to change our schools and develop them into equitable institutions.

Impact

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Tell us about the social impact of your project as it relates to ONE of these three areas: Education, Employment or Housing

Attaining equitable institutions of education in the Moorhead school district is our goal.
Our families and community leaders feel helpless in their attempts to ensure that their children and community are given the opportunities and experiences necessary to succeed in life. It is because of systemic barriers in our schools that impede our families from receiving these opportunities and experiences. As our community leaders work individually they become fatigued and lose persistence.

This movement will engage leaders from all organizations and groups to work in concert with one another to address the systemic barriers that exist in our schools. We will work with the school district to inform their policy making and build new policies, procedures and values that instill equity in our schools. Several organizations have already been meeting statewide and in the Moorhead/Fargo area to examine education equity. We are developing a coalition that can coalesce with new grassroots leadership inform our school's policies.

The Moorhead School District currently exists as an opportunity to change how equitable education is addressed statewide. The Moorhead School District currently has a diverse population of students including but not limited to Latinos, Native Americans from multiple tribal affiliations, African- Americans, and African New Americans and immigrants. An engaged multicultural community leadership that is working with the school district to develop equitable policies will not only impact the students that are attending, but all student there after.

List any specific activities associated with the project and a timeline for the activities

Problem: Organizations and leaders that do no coalesce on common community issues.
Activities:
Training's-How to organize on education issue,-Oct. 2010
In many cases many groups are working on the same issues at the same time but are not working together. Together with Ready 4 K we will learn how to coordinate a multi-faceted education campaign

Problem: Top to bottom leadership
Activities:
Training's-Grassroots leadership development,-Oct. 2010
Many organizations have existed as advocacy organizations for a long time but in order to be truly representative we need to develop leadership in our communities that can advocate for themselves.

Problem: looking beyond the barriers to the real issues
Activities:
Sensing- Finding the real issues Nov2010-Jan 2011
It is often difficult to look beyond the current situation to see the cause but that is what we must do in our work. The coalition will work to deeply examine the which policies are affecting our communities the most negatively and develop a plan to change those policies.

Please summarize the involvement of people of color in the decision-making of your project

This grassroots project is led by people of color. The majority of organizations currently working to collaborate have boards with majority being people of color and Executive Directors that are people of color. The leaders that will be cultivated will be from communities of color to work on the issues chosen and led by community leaders that are people of color. This is not to say we will not include "white" allies but rather to say that the issues worked on will be those that affect people of color most and will lead to racial justice.

Please list which communities of color your project will involve and/or impact

Latino, Burundi, Sudanese, Somali, Nigerian, Khurdish, Liberian, and Bosnian are currently involved. This certainly can be expanded on as the movement builds.

This grassroots community based approach will develop leadership in the area of education to change the policies that bar opportunities for inclusion and development in social and economic areas.

What age group will your project impact?

Teens/adolescents (13-19 years), Adults (20-60 years).

Which gender(s) will your project focus on?

Male, Female.

What geographic area(s) will your project affect?

Northwestern MN, Central/Western MN.

If you selected either Twin Cities Metro Area or Other above, please specify or identify the area

Sustainability

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

If your project is a collaborative effort, please list the other organizations involved

In the past, Strengthening Community Trust has worked with the following organizations: New Sudanese Community Association, Mujeres Unidas, Sisters of the Presentation, People Escaping Poverty Project, Khurdish Youth, Cultural Diversity Resources and Women's Network.

Moving forward we will be also be reaching out to:
The Lost Boys Association, Cultural Diversity Resources, Multicultural Entrepreneurs, Daughters of the Earth, and others.

Ready 4 K-Jesse Kao Lee will provide perspective and training in organizing on the issue of education
Organizing Apprenticeship Project- Salvador Miranda will provide perspective and guidance in organizing on the issue of race equity.

Who or what is expected to change as a result of your project?

We envision coordinated community leadership that engages with school administration to develop an equitable school system.
Shifts
1. Shifts in collective identity and action
2. Shift in definitions or framing issues

Indicators
1. New leaders
2. Strategic alliances
3. Increased social capital and power
4. Organizations with the capacity to develop new leadership

What information will you provide in the final report to demonstrate the achievement of your results?

Evidence
We will provide you with the number of organizations that cultivated new leadership to the issue.
We will list the number of leaders that were involved in the campaigns.
We will discuss the policies reviewed and the policies targeted for change.
There will also be a description of the movement and how it has progressed and where it is trending.

What methods will be used to gather the information?

Every meeting will have the attendance taken. All new leadership will met with one on one and surveyed around three questions; What is your school district like? What do you like about it? What would you like to see changed? Meeting minutes will be used to keep all leadership informed and every organization will have to list the leadership names that they are developing.

What do you hope to learn about racism and its impact?

We wish to learn how to develop a coalition beyond racial and cultural differences that is respectful of the individual and all cultures while dismantling the racist policies that tear our communities apart.

What percentage do people of color comprise your board of directors?

6 of 7 current board leaders are Latino

Documentation

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Funding sources: Please check all that apply

Individual donations, In-kind donations, Foundations, Earned revenue, Federal government.

Other

In submitting this application, the applicant agrees to the following (check all boxes)

The applicant will spend the money solely for the purpose stated in the grant award and will return the unexpended portion of the funds, if any. In addition, the applicant will provide an interim and/or final report, as required., The applicant realizes that payment of funds will be at the convenience of the Foundation. The Foundation reserves the right to cancel the grant and/or modify previously agreed-upon payments should such actions be deemed necessary by the Foundation., The applicant understands that the Foundation may review any or all information submitted as part of this request with advisors of the Foundation’s choosing, if deemed necessary by the Foundation., The applicant intends to comply with the terms of the Minnesota Charitable Solicitation Act (MS §309), if applicable..

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Mercedez Ting said: I think this is a great topic being discussed and it has great advantages for our community and society. - United Faith Church about this Competition Entry. - 1162 days ago read more >
Michael Clark said: Agreed..these are the benefits of togetherness, we must promote and support the multicultural environment that is growing all over the ... about this Competition Entry. - 1164 days ago read more >
Christopher Heimarck said: all of us is stronger than some of us. i support efforts to help latino/african american/american indian students in moorhead-- though ... about this Competition Entry. - 1481 days ago read more >
Strengthening Community Trust has been chosen as a winner in SpectrumTrust Multicultural Endowment. - 2338 days ago

Raul Fernandez updated this Competition Entry. - 2400 days ago

Raul Fernandez submitted this idea. - 2409 days ago