For over 10 years Comunidades Unidas/Communities United (CU) has been an affiliate of UnidosUS, the largest Hispanic advocacy and civil rights organization in the United States, and we are excited to announce that CU has been named the 2023 Affiliate of the Year! UnidosUS has recognized the importance of our work here in Utah, serving and advocating for Latinx immigrants and their families. What especially stood out was our work with Promotorxs, voter registration, community organizing and engagement, our new mission, vision, and values statement, and our dedication to recruiting and developing leaders within our community. Affiliate of the Year is one of the highest honors UnidosUS awards, and we are incredibly honored to see our work being recognized nationally.
Read the official press release here.
Honored for our Work in the Community
CU is dedicated to investing in leaders inside of the organization as well as in the community as a whole. As a woman, immigrant, and person of color-led organization, we understand the importance of uplifting leaders who have historically been excluded from positions of power. Through our CU Leadership Academy, we have created our own curriculum and signature style of leadership development that is made available to community members who want to develop their skills and learn about new tools. We believe leaders are made, not born, and that everyone can organize within their communities.
Mission, Vision, and Values
This past year, we decided to revisit our mission, vision, and values statements to better reflect who we are and where we are going. We received input from staff, promotoras, volunteers, interns, board members, and community members to ensure that our mission was inclusive and representative of our community. Being a mission driven organization keeps us centered on the needs of our communities and acts as a guide during decision making processes.
Responding to the Community
Like UnidosUS, we respond to the immediate and most pressing needs of our community. Through campaigns, calls to action, innovative programming, and advocacy, we are able to remove barriers that prevent community members from accessing resources and leading healthy lives. For example, although food insecurity has always been prevalent in our communities, it has become more visible in recent years. Thus CU responded by creating a culturally competent food pantry to ensure that families that come to our doorstep can receive an emergency food bag. Each food bag provides approximately four individuals with enough food to last four days, assuming each family member eats three meals a day. Additionally, another program that flourished recently is CU Family Emergency Fund (FEF) Program, which was created to bring economic assistance to those who were not eligible for a stimulus check. UnidosUS was one of the first sponsors of this program, and we admire their quick response to the needs of our community.