Latina Initiative’s Legacy Passed On As Latina Voices Thrive
After 10 years of service, the Latina Initiative (LI) a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating, supporting and maintaining involvement of Latinas in Colorado will be dissolving in August.
LI, Board President, Janet Lopez stated “The organization had reached a critical point in its evolution especially when many more organizations have incorporated Latinas in their advocacy and civic engagement programming. The need to compete with sister organizations for limited human and financial resources is not prudent for our communities. We sparked a voice which now buzzes throughout many communities and we are very proud of igniting that voice.”
Founded in 2002, LI worked to help Latinas have a voice to influence the decision and policy makers about the issues that affect their families and communities, as well as be a resource for information, support and education on the issues impacting the Latina community. LI provided a venue to jump start Latina civic engagement and advocacy in communities where such work was absent. In recent years, various organizations have either expanded or begun to incorporate programming that involves Latinas in the political process. Olivia Mendoza, Executive Director, Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) said, “We are proud of the impact that the Latina Initiative made over the years and we look to continue a tradition where Latinas continue to have a voice.”
At its June 2012 meeting, Board members voted to dissolve the organization by a majority vote. The Board is in Executive Session and is only participating in the steps to dissolve the organization and meet the requirements of the State of Colorado. The organization’s assets will be donated to CLLARO and will close down without any financial obligations or debt.
Despite the actions being taken, LI knows that it has helped Latinas raise their political clout in their local communities as well as in there city, state and nationally. Furthermore, it has inspired dozens of young Latinas to engage and take action and supported many families in becoming self-sufficient through citizenship classes. So many people have been involved with LI throughout the years, and it is this legacy that LI hopes it will be remembered for in the future. LI broke barriers by moving Latinas to the front seat of political discussions and recognizing the strength their sheer numbers along with cultural customs could bring to the electoral process.
The Board members of LI wish to thank the many who have helped along the way at increasing the civic and political engagement of Latinas.