News Release

NCLR Recognizes Florida and Minnesota Affiliates for Successful Local Initiatives That Empower Latino Families

July 23, 2016

Camila Gallardo
NCLR Press Office in Orlando:
(407) 685-5407
West Concourse, W230A

ORLANDO, Fla.—At the National Affiliate Luncheon held today at the 2016 NCLR Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., NCLR (National Council of La Raza) recognized two community-based organizations that belong to the NCLR Affiliate Network for their outstanding efforts to empower Latino families and broaden opportunities available to them. This year’s awardees are Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) in Saint Paul, Minn., and Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) in Immokalee, Fla.

“We applaud these exemplary organizations and their innovative approach to helping the Hispanic communities in Saint Paul and Immokalee improve their economic outlooks and have a second chance at completing their education. We are honoring CLUES and RCMA at the 2016 NCLR Annual Conference for their tireless work in helping to transform the lives of Latino families. Their dedication and success help to strengthen our entire community,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

Presented annually, the NCLR Family Strengthening Awards honor two NCLR-affiliated community-based organizations for their commitment to bolstering the success and strength of the Hispanic community through a combination of programs and services. Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award to further their work in the community and their partnership with NCLR.

Celebrating its 35th year of services to Latinos, CLUES has become the largest nonprofit run both by and for Latinos in Minnesota. CLUES provides services in two main program areas: health and economic vitality. CLUES delivers all services through a family-centered model to empower Latinos and other immigrants by understanding their life circumstances, building their skills, and celebrating their drive to create rich, healthy lives for themselves and their families. CLUES’s economic vitality services include programs for employment, education, workforce development, housing, financial empowerment, and asset-building, with a focus on reducing poverty and increasing economic opportunities for families. Facing recent years of economic strife, CLUES has been able to leverage the success of these programs to improve and expand their services for Minnesota families in need.

“CLUES greatly appreciates this significant recognition,” said CLUES President and CEO Ruby Azurdia-Lee. “The strength of our work is based on advancing children and their parents simultaneously. We meet families where they’re at and provide them with support systems to advance and to access new opportunities to succeed.”

Established in 1965, RCMA opens doors to opportunities through child care and education of all levels. Starting with child care for migrant farm workers in one rural county, RCMA has grown to serve the 21 counties in Florida, close to 7,000 children per year, 83 percent of whom are Hispanic. RCMA’s Community Learning Centers strive to bring free or affordable quality education to rural low-income communities using technology along with caring and culturally sensitive teachers and tutors. Through Community Learning Centers, RMCA provides education services to adults who have not completed their basic education studies. Ultimately, RCMA strengthens families by turning parents into leaders and advocates, not just for their children, but for the community they represent.

“We are blessed to work with incredibly strong immigrant families who face incredibly difficult problems due to our country’s inability to pass immigration reform,” said RCMA Executive Director Barbara Mainster. “Helping parents realize their importance as the most important teachers in their children’s lives focuses on the positive and the assurance of a brighter future. There is nothing we do that is as rewarding as this work. Thanks, NCLR, for supporting us!”

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.