News Release

PODER Named UnidosUS Affiliate of the Year

July 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC—PODER, a dynamic nonprofit out of Chicago, has received UnidosUS’s (formerly NCLR) Affiliate of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an UnidosUS Affiliate that strives to achieve meaningful change in the Latino community. PODER offers adult immigrants in the Chicago area an opportunity to enroll in tuition-free English language education and job training programs. PODER provides students with customized assessments to ensure long-term success in its programs and provides critical job training that helps prepare community members to enter the local job market. As students advance in the English program, they become eligible for job training courses through Oprima-1, a unique work/study opportunity that allows students to earn income while training to fulfill an industry need—customer service representatives that are bilingual.

In addition, PODER has been active on the civic engagement front, helping to register eligible Latino voters and emphasizing the importance of naturalization for qualified immigrant applicants within the community.

“We are proud to name PODER our Affiliate of the Year and to have partnered with them in the critical efforts to help grow Latino civic engagement. The work they do to help immigrants integrate into the local communities and build successful futures is critical to ensuring our Latino families can thrive and prosper. Now, more than ever, their efforts to help register eligible Latino voters is critical to ensuring our community has a voice and is able to fight back against some of the devastating policies that threaten our community’s progress,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.

The Affiliate of the Year award is made possible through the generous collaboration of Ford Motor Company Fund, a longstanding partner of UnidosUS in its commitment to advancing the interests of the Latino community. Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

“Ford applauds PODER’s efforts to open new doors for our community in Chicago through education and job training opportunities. We are proud of their commitment to helping Latino families,” said Joe Avila, Manager, Community Development, U.S. & Latin America, Ford Motor Company Fund. “It is an honor to continue our partnership of more than 25 years with UnidosUS to strengthen communities across the country.”

“PODER is honored to have been selected as the UnidosUS 2018 Affiliate of the Year. Since 1997, PODER has empowered Spanish-speaking adult immigrants to create successful and fulfilling new lives in the United States. Through a deep commitment to the needs of Chicago's growing Spanish-speaking population, PODER provides critical societal and workforce integration services with both immediate and long-term impact for families, communities and employers throughout the City of Chicago. We thank UnidosUS and the Ford Motor Company Fund for this incredible recognition of our past work but more importantly, for investing in our community’s future. There’s more work to do, but together we are stronger. Together, we can!” said, Daniel Loftus, President & CEO of PODER.

In addition to honoring PODER with a $25,000 cash award, UnidosUS also recognized regional awardees from its Affiliate Network. Each honoree will be presented with a $5,000 cash award at the UnidosUS Affiliate Leadership Breakfast. Regional awardees include: Building Skills Partnership as the California Affiliate of the Year; Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. as the Far West Affiliate of the Year; KIPP Houston as the Texas Affiliate of the Year; El Centro Hispano, Inc. as Southeast Affiliate of the Year and Ibero-American Action League, Inc. as Northeast Affiliate of the Year.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@unidosus.org
(305) 215-4259