Through the endless dedication of our promotorxs, volunteers, and interns, Comunidades Unidas has accomplished so much in the last 24 years. As an organization, we are committed to challenging oppressive and inequitable institutions at their roots in order to bring about new and just systems. We continuously fight for immigrant rights, as well as social and economic equity. Through organizing, advocating, and providing direct services to our community members, Comunidades Unidas generates much needed systemic change. During this time of reflection and celebration, it is critical to remember that none of this would have been possible without the support of our partners, donors, and grantors. As a team, Comunidades Unidas is filled with gratitude for those who share our core values, and have chosen to contribute to our efforts. Consider donating today so that we may continue to advocate and provide essential services for our community in order for them to thrive.
Womxn and Immigrant Led
CU works to empower the communities that we belong to, as our team is composed of a majority of women, non-binary, immigrant, and BIPOC-identifying people. All of our work is intentional as our projects are led by our own experiences and desires for our community.
In just the past 3 months, we have provided information about sexual health to almost 500 members of our community through Facebook videos. Our sexual health program is truly one of a kind for a number of reasons. We prioritize meeting community members where they are and provide education only after making a genuine connection in order to build trust. Not only do we provide inclusive and sex-positive education to community members, for the past 3 years we have had the privilege of providing different essential products to our clients including Plan B’s, menstrual products, and hygiene products at no charge! We are fully committed to the never-ending learning process that we must do to continue this work, to advocate for a Latinx, queer, and women-lead organization.
Over the past year, our immigration clinic has completed 99 consultations regarding immigration status. From this, Comunidades Unidas has completed 32 citizenship applications, 24 DACA renewals,7 residency renewals and 64 referrals.
Immigrant Rights Awareness
Comunidades Unidas is dedicated to protecting and empowering our immigrant community. To do this, CU continuously brings awareness to issues facing our undocumented community members. Not only do we fight for legislative change, but through social media, online, and news outlets. Our organization works to inform people of their rights in the face of situations that threaten the life they've built here in the U.S.
Financial Empowerment Network (FEN)
From January to August of 2023, 9,023 community members have received information about Comunidades Unidas' Financial Literacy Program and been connected to personal financial coaches.
Family Emergency Fund
There have been times where our community members have faced extremely difficult challenges. Circumstances such as the deportation of family members or a sudden inability for provider’s to work because of health issues led to the need for food, financial, and emotional support resources. With our Family Emergency Fund (FEF), we have supported more than 1,019 families in difficult emergency situations. Especially in the presence of the pandemic, these situations have severely derailed the lives of our community members. However, as a team, we are incredibly proud of the incredible resilience that everyone has shown and are grateful for the lessons we have learned during this time. To read some of the stories of families helped by FEF, click here.
Annually, Comunidades Unidas reaches more than 14,000 community members across the state of Utah. Our mission is to fight to build the social and political power of people who identify as Latinx immigrants (including undocumented folks) living in Utah. We defend the human rights of our community by connecting them to the social service programs they need to prosper and with opportunities to organize.
We are incredibly grateful to all of the users and followers of our social media pages. Through them, we were able to understand what services they needed and provide the necessary resources. Comunidades Unidas is proud to be on a mission to connect community members to the information about rental assistance, food banks, SNAP applications, health and dental clinics, immigration lawyers and advocates, DACA, worker’s rights, and much more. Through our social networks, we forge connections that empower and inspire, fostering a stronger, more resilient community.
CU Promotorxs Program
Comunidades Unidas’ Promotorxs, or Community Health Workers (CHW), program is founded on an evidence-based practice model supported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This program contains trusted community leaders who look for ways they can uplift and empower their community.
Promotorxs founded Comunidades Unidas in 1999 and plays an essential role in our communities in many different aspects, while continuing to be at the forefront of community health work. They share crucial information and resources in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner, along with creating connections with other government entities and organizations to ensure our community members have access to necessary resources.
Helping Asylum Seeking People
We are working to aid the increasing influx of asylum seeking people in the United States by bringing direct resources to people who arrive in Utah. Thus far, we have provided clothing, cultural food items, and legal help to receive documentation to hundreds of asylum-seeking people.
Our Values in Action
Comunidades Unidas lives the values of love, respect, advocacy, inclusivity and social justice. This is how our values are reflected in our work: We create spaces where every member of our community, regardless of legal status, gender identity, sex, race, nationality, and sexual orientation feel welcomed; not simply tolerated.
Tackling Systems of Oppression
We have worked to transform ourselves before we have transformed our community. We tackle the systems that oppress us from the root. We uphold that women and people with uteruses should have the fundamental right to decide what they do with their own bodies. We believe in the liberation of all communities, and we work with other organizations to protect all marginalized communities because, in the words of civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer: “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
UCCP Cancer Control
It’s been a great benefit for the community that our organization continues the UCCP program, strengthening and increasing efforts with our allies to bring educational information about breast and cervical cancer prevention to our latinx, immigrant, and undocumented communities. The program has provided free mammograms to low-income and uninsured women as well as important education about breast cancer prevention in collaboration with Huntsman Cancer and U Health. This has been a great help for women to detect and prevent breast and cervical cancer and start their treatment on time, having better control of their health and their lives.
Vota por 2
Since 2018, our campaign “Vota por 2” has been focused on empowering members of our community who are eligible to vote, to register to vote and make it to the polls, for themselves and on behalf of those in our community who may not vote for various reasons. Over the years, our campaign has reached thousands of community members through canvassing, community meetings, phone calls, texts, and social media to ensure that the Latinx community of Utah is aware of the importance of registering to vote and making a plan to show up to vote on election day. The focus of this campaign isn’t only those eligible to vote, but everyone in our community who has family, friends, and colleagues that can vote to empower them to make their voice heard. Vota por 2 is a campaign that provides our community with all the information necessary to make an informed decision at the polls on every election day.
Youth Group - Our Voices
Our Voices is a space created by youth for youth within Comunidades Unidas. The mission of Our Voices is to provide the space and resources for youth to organize to transform themselves and their community. This group encourages youth to start conversations about what issues are important to them and their community and provides them with the tools to take action. This summer, the youth group has been hard at work organizing a movie night where they’ll discuss the film Freedom Writers. The event is an effort to promote media literacy and conversations about issues such as internalized racism, the educational system in America, and BIPOC representation in film and media.
Minisuper / Food Access Program
Comunidades Unidas' food distribution program supported 2,844 people with food bags during January to August 2023 in “MiniSupers,” which happen monthly at the CU office.
SNAP Enrollment is one of our oldest programs in Comunidades Unidas. Since 2014, we’ve trained our promotoras on the application policies and processes. In the past two years, we assisted a total of 910 with both new applications and recertifications for SNAP. We have supported our community by informing them about the new regulation regarding public charge to reduce the fear and uncertainty of applying to public assistance.
Comunidades Unidas is committed to the well-being of its community members. As such, part of what our preventative health team focuses on is tobacco use prevention and education. On our website and social media we provide information about the dangers of tobacco use and refer users to the correct organizations that can connect them with necessary resources for them, or family members, to receive the help needed to quit using tobacco products.
Despierta! / Awaken! Campaign
From January to August of 2023, we have reached out to, educated, and directly informed 884 Latinxs about workplace safety, Labor Commission resources, and OSHA. We provide workshops in an effort to ensure that our community members know their rights in terms of fair compensation, secure equal treatment in their workplace, and are knowledgeable in how to avoid serious and fatal injuries in the workplace. We have distributed protective equipment to over 150 workers.
Family Emergency Plans
Comunidades Unidas has been providing immigrant communities with family emergency plans in 8 different languages to ensure that our communities are prepared for emergencies and have a detailed plan of action in case a family member has an immigration-related emergency. This year we were able to distribute over 100+ plans to immigrant families, and with your support, we could distribute even more.
CU Phone Line
So far this year, we’ve provided more than 1,620 referrals to the community for welfare services. These referrals help the community find anything from free and low-cost community clinics, housing assistance programs, utilities assistance, COVID test and vaccination centers, food banks, to low cost mental health services. After some time has passed, we follow up with people who have been referred to services to ensure that their situation has improved, and ask if they are in need of any other resource.
Our Immigration Promise
We work to liberate all immigrants, and therefore, we do not criminalize any member of our community. We will not trade the freedom of some members of our community for that of others. We treat the undocumented community with respect and dignity. CU recognizes that we cannot promote immigration & naturalization services if our community’s basic needs are unmet. When clients seek immigration services from our clinic, we connect them with the requested immigration service and other CU and community services they may need. Families come to our community center with a wide range of needs.
At CU we are transforming ourselves to create a state where our Latinx and immigrant community has the courage to take and use their social and political power in favor of their collective interest. We aim to create Utah a state where our community can live being authentic and true to themselves. We have worked through obstacles in our work, and we will continue to work on social justice regardless of what we face and how long we will have to work at it.