News Release

Hispanic Unity of Florida Named NCLR Affiliate of the Year

July 25, 2016

Gabriela Gomez
(202) 776-1732

ORLANDO, Fla.Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) received the Affiliate of the Year Award this evening at the 2016 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Annual Conference. The Affiliate of the Year Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an NCLR Affiliate for its exemplary efforts in collaborating with NCLR to achieve positive and meaningful change for Latino communities.

HUF is the largest Hispanic-serving nonprofit organization in Broward County, Fla., and is dedicated to a mission of “empowering immigrants and others to become self-sufficient, productive and civically engaged.” Founded in 1982, HUF became an NCLR Affiliate in 2007. Since then, it has been an active partner in expanding opportunities for Hispanic Americans in the areas of civic engagement, economic empowerment and workforce development.

HUF has partnered with NCLR on various initiatives, including NCLR’s 2016 voter registration campaign, our efforts to end predatory payday lending practices, and the Citizenship Savings and Loans project, which helps eligible legal permeant residents pay for naturalization applications. HUF also recently partnered with NCLR and Affiliate El Barrio in Cleveland to launch a customer service and retail sales training program, and recently secured funding to add a bank teller training program. In the health arena, HUF has also provided its clients with guidance in filling out Affordable Care Act applications, and helped launch a healthy food selection shopping program through the NCLR Comprando Rico y Sano grant.

“Hispanic Unity of Florida has been a key partner in so many of our initiatives—from helping to register eligible Latino voters in South Florida to educating our community on healthier eating and getting signed up for health care—they are always looking for new ways to help empower Latinos and place them on a path to reaching their full potential,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “We are proud of our continued partnership with Hispanic Unity and to witness the growth of the organization and its success in providing key services to thousands of Latino families in Florida.”

The Affiliate of the Year Award, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company Fund, is the highest honor awarded to an NCLR Affiliate for its outstanding contributions to the Latino community and commitment to advancing the mission of NCLR. Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

“Ford congratulates the Hispanic Unity of Florida’s accomplishment to empower their community in South Florida,” said Joe Avila, Community Outreach Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “It is evident that our long-standing collaboration of more than 25 years with NCLR continues to make a difference to ensure a brighter future in the lives of so many.”

“Being selected as the NCLR Affiliate of the Year is the high water mark in our agency’s 35-year history. Being recognized for doing work we love for a community we care about is extraordinary. Our dedicated HUF team members and volunteer leadership have remained focused on ensuring the American Dream remains alive and accessible to all. And our partnership with NCLR and its great Affiliates has made us a stronger and more effective organization and ultimately better at assisting our clients. Thank you for this incredible honor,” said Josie Bacallao, President and CEO, Hispanic Unity of Florida.

In addition to honoring HUF with a $25,000 cash award, NCLR also recognized regional awardees from its Affiliate Network. Each honoree will be presented with a $5,000 cash award on Tuesday, July 26 at the NCLR Affiliate Leadership Breakfast. The 2016 regional awardees include:

Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (Montebello, Calif.)
   California Affiliate of the Year
Houston Gateway Academy, Inc. (Houston)
   Texas Affiliate of the Year
Latino Network (Portland)
   Far West Affiliate of the Year
Erie Neighborhood House (Chicago)
   Midwest Affiliate of the Year
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
   Northeast Affiliate of the Year

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit