UnidosUS has nearly 300 Affiliates across the country that work tirelessly to improve opportunities of Latinos. Each year, we honor those who have gone above and beyond to serve our community through our Affiliate of the Year awards.
Esperanza Health Centers is this year’s National Affiliate of the Year.
Esperanza Health Centers is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) operating on Chicago’s under-resourced Southwest side. Esperanza opened their first clinic with a staff of three, creating a welcoming medical home for everyone regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status. Esperanza has since grown to become one of the most respected FQHCs in the country. With four sites and a staff of more than 200, Esperanza now serves more than 30,000 patients a year.
This year, UnidosUS recognizes Esperanza’s exceptional response during the pandemic. Through the provision of a full range of bilingual, culturally appropriate services, Esperanza continued to commit to improving health equity for residents, expanded their reach by more than 50%, and have administered 100,000 vaccines. Esperanza provided critical testing and vaccine services to the Chicago Southwest side, and leveraged the UnidosUS Network to ensure they could reach all members of their community, as well as empower community to do their own outreach and education.
The Vaccine Ambassador certification program provided guidance and information for community members to play an active role against misinformation, and to help the spread of accurate and trusted information. Esperanza also worked with critical partners. Esperanza, in partnership with fellow UnidosUS Affiliate, Enlace, were able to provide a health hotline for essential questions and concerns from the community.
Esperanza’s commitment to providing culturally competent services and information during the pandemic, and success in expanding services during such a critical time has earned them the title of 2021 National Affiliate of the Year.
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 Fund congratulates Esperanza Health Centers for its extraordinary response during the pandemic to ensure that Latino families accessed critical medical care and information, as well as each of the Regional winners for the invaluable service offered during a time when Latino community-based organizations were at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19,” said Joe Ávila, Manager, U.S. & Latin America, Ford Motor Company Fund. “It is rewarding to continue our more than 25-year partnership with UnidosUS to strengthen communities across the country.”
The Mission Asset Fund, or MAF, is UnidosUS’s California Affiliate of the Year.
Mission Asset Fund (MAF) helps low-income workers, people of color, and immigrant families become visible, active, and successful participants in the U.S. financial mainstream. Based in San Francisco, MAF’s programs combine zero-interest, small dollar loans with financial education and coaching, helping clients build credit, increase savings, launch businesses, and reach their full financial potential.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, MAF provided $55 million in cash assistance to their community, as well as zero interest loans to more than 80,000 families and shared their best practices around their COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund during the UnidosUS Fall Affiliate Convening so that Affiliates may learn from their lessons learned and expertise.
The Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization, better known by its acronym CLLARO, is UnidosUS’s Far West Affiliate of the Year.
For years, CLLARO has worked to empower Latinos through leadership development, advocacy, and policy research to strengthen Colorado—strengthening civic engagement and advocacy programs in their community in order to empower and protect the Latino community.
This past year, CLLARO has continued to demonstrate their commitment to empower the Latino community by cohosting on policy forums, and as a LEAP grantee, working hard to register voters and ensure that eligible Latinos could make their voices heard in the presidential election.
CLLARO has also remained a strong advocate during the pandemic, working to address health disparities due to the economic impact of the virus, and provided bilingual, culturally competent, and accurate information to community members so that they could make the best decisions for their health and the health of their families.
Congreso de Latinos Unidos is this year’s Northeast Affiliate of the Year.
Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. (Congreso) is a multiservice nonprofit organization located in eastern North Philadelphia whose mission is to enable individuals and families in predominantly Latino neighborhoods to achieve economic self-sufficiency and well-being.
They have successfully scaled home-buying program, Mi Casa, by integrating digital literacy into the curriculum to help clients from our low-income, predominantly Latino community overcome barriers on their journey out of poverty.
Congreso was also an active supporter and participant of Philly Counts, the City of Philadelphia’s Initiative to ensure a complete count of Philadelphia. And during 2020, Congreso’s Federally Qualified Health Center, served as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site for the community. Congreso has remained committed to lifting Latinos out of poverty through their ongoing programs and response to COVID-19.
Conexión Américas is UnidosUS’s Southeast Affiliate of the Year.
Conexión Américas is receiving this award due to their work leveraging their partnership with UnidosUS and the overall Affiliate Network in order to meet the needs of their local community. As the first UnidosUS Affiliate in the state of Tennessee, they have implemented and grown through many UnidosUS programs: Escalera, Padres Comprometidos, CASA, Digital Innovation, and Esperanza Hope for All.
Throughout the pandemic, Conexión Américas worked with the Nashville Public Health Department to manage a Spanish-language hotline. Additionally, their work in partnership with the local department of health and other providers helped to ensure that Latino adults in their community could have equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Their efforts demonstrate how they continue to build an inclusive community that provides opportunities for Latino families.
The Concilio is this year’s Texas Affiliate of the Year.
The Concilio is an ally and champion for Latino North Texas families, providing direct services: turn-key programs that engage and connect families to resources and opportunities to maximize their quality of life. The Concilio’s programs serve thousands of families each year and inspire them to overcome obstacles and unfavorable conditions that interfere with their health and education.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they offered a six-week technology support course for parents via their Access Program—critical for parents navigating online education for their children. Additionally, they have worked to address fears and concerns from families regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. The Concilio also works with other UnidosUS Affiliates to share information via monthly and quarterly Affiliate calls, positioning them as leaders in the UnidosUS Affiliate Network.
We also recognize Affiliates doing extraordinary work in supporting Latino families and LGBTQ communities.
This year’s recipient of the Family Strengthening Award is The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF), an UnidosUS Affiliate in New York City.
UnidosUS’s Family Strengthening Award honors an Affiliate who has displayed a commitment to the success and strength of their local Hispanic community through comprehensive programs and advocacy that promote the well-being of the entire family.
This year, we recognize CHCF’s efforts in leveraging parental engagement programs to empower families to be better equipped to be leaders within their communities.
CHCF supports families through early care and education, youth development for middle school and elementary school students, leveraging parent and community engagement to develop supportive environments for families and thriving communities.
CHCF also provided technology and support to families of students, critical during the pandemic when students had to rely on online education. CHCF has a long history of partnership with UnidosUS and other members of the Affiliate network to serve the underserved, low- and moderate-income children and families throughout New York City, along with the child care providers who support them.
Project Vida Health Center, an UnidosUS Affiliate located in El Paso, TX, is this year’s recipient of the LGBTQ Champion Award. UnidosUS’s LGBTQ Champion Award is given to the Affiliate each year that demonstrates exceptional leadership and commitment to improving the well-being of the LGBTQ community. Project Vida provides inclusive treatment for employees and clients, including for HIV prevention and treatment.
Project Vida also works hard to address the stigma surrounding HIV and raise awareness of the services they offer via social media and during Pride Month.
Their work is especially critical in the El Paso area and in Texas as a whole, where there is a dearth of health care providers who work on HIV with a cultural, linguistical, and sensitive approach to LGBTQ issues.
The LGBTQ Champion Award is made possible through the generous support of BBVA.
Each of the nearly 300 Affiliates in our Network works hard to make their communities better for Latinos every day. To find an Affiliate and learn more about their work, visit unidosus.org/affiliates.