Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th. This official celebration recognizes the achievements and culture of Latinx people in the United States. While the term "Hispanic" can seem a little outdated and yes, even a little cringe-worthy to some including myself at times. As a Latinx woman, I want to use this moment to shed some light on a few Latinx-led organizations.
National Latinx Nonprofits
The following organizations are led by Latinx teams and serve the Hispanic community in varying ways, each as great as the other. From driving Latinx political leadership and social change to connecting the community to nature, these nonprofits are doing incredible work. This is a curated list and is certainly not all-inclusive so use your favorite search engine or check out EveryAction's list for even more Latinx-led nonprofits. For now, read on for a few of my favorites.
Latino Outdoors is an organization working to expand and amplify the Latinx outdoor experience and narrow the nature gap that exists for Latinx and POC communities. I was introduced to this organization through my work with one of our awesome clients, Children & Nature Network.
Latino Outdoors caters to the Latinx population that is the fastest-growing demographic in the US while also being one of the most underrepresented in conservation, outdoor recreation, and environmental education. Learn more about Latino Outdoors and support their mission of connecting Latino communities to nature by joining an event or donating!
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
Women's rights, especially Latina women's rights, are a particularly close passion of mine. Politically, this has been a topic that has seen tremendous progress and recently, some setbacks. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice fights for equal access to reproductive health for the Latinx communities in the US. They work to amplify the voices of Latinx peoples in an effort to gain visibility and bring more power to the Latinx community.
The importance of voting in this country both in local and national polls has become undeniably clear in the last few years. The issues facing the US today are arguably unprecendented in modern times. Voto Latino is a grassroots politication organization that's working to get Latinx communities out to vote and to spread knowledge on important political issues. The organization focuses primarily on education and empowement - bringing a new generation of Latinx voters to the polls.
Local Latinx Nonprofits
We had to give some shout-outs to local Latinx organizations. The following nonprofits serve Minnesota's Latino community and offer amazing opportunities to learn about the Hispanic culture. These listed do not encompass all of the great Latinx organizations here in Minnesota, for a more comprehensive list, check out MN Gov's community resources.
CLUES or Communidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio is Minnesota's largest Latino-led nonprofit organization. The organization was founded in 1981 and in service of the West St. Paul Latinx communities. They work to empower individuals and families to advance social and economic equity for all Latino communities. CLUES provides resourcces and opportunties to the community that range from youth empowerment programs to community engagement.
The killing of George Floyd and Daunte Wright at the hands of MN law enforcement forced the brutality and racial profiling against our Black community into the spotlight. The aftermath of those injustices also brought to light the level of racism that Black people endure on a daily basis from their own neighbors. ACLU Minnesota has used its platform to demand justice and proper investigation into these crimes against the Black community. With a vision of protecting civil rights and liberties for everyone, ACLU Minnesota fights to fulfill the promise of the Minnesota and US Constitutions especially for the intrestes of disfavored and marginalized communities.
The Neighborhood Development Alliance is a nonprofit out of St. Paul that builds affordable housing and provides financial education to the Latinx community. The organization has counsled more than 6500 community members on how to successfully buy a home and they continue to work with families on financial literacy and more. Connecting those who need it with financial tools and guidance is NEDA's bread and butter.
These organizations are doing work and fighting for equity and power for the Latinx community. Show your support this Hispanic Heritage Month and everyday by educating yourself and sharing knowledge on the issues facing the Latinx community.