July eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Seattle Superintendent Begins His Tenure With A Welcome Reception at El Centro

Banda Reception by Ilona Berzups JUN 27 2012 (10)El Centro de la Raza along with the Alliance for Education and host committee of 25 organizations and individuals hosted a welcome reception for new Seattle Superintendent, José Banda, at El Centro de la Raza on Wednesday June 27th. Banda began his tenure as Seattle Superintendent on July 1st. Community members from all over Seattle, many who had never been to El Centro before, came to welcome José. We estimate that almost 300 people were in attendance.

The gathering of decision makers, who are passionate about education, was a sight to see. Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro, spoke about making connections and getting to know the people around you. Estela made it clear that this night was not only about meeting José but about meeting those who have been working for years to make Seattle schools better.

José spoke about the warm reception he received after a long
Banda Reception by Ilona Berzups JUN 27 2012 (52) three day drive from California. He said that even though it has only been a couple of days the people have already made Seattle feel like home. José reiterated his desires to work with engaged communities for the betterment of our children’s educations.

Welcome José and good luck!


Estela resized 2
Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - And of course, visit our website to stay up-to-date on the happenings at El Centro and in nuestra comunidad - our community.

Turning the Page on the Drug War

Yes on I-502El Centro de la Raza announced its support for I-502, which would tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over, dedicating revenues to healthcare, research and education, and substance abuse prevention. The initiative will be voted on by the public on November 6th, 2012.
“It is necessary to pledge our support towards the decriminalization of marijuana in Washington State as this is an issue that affects communities of color disproportionately,” states Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza.
The truth is that people with brown or black skin have been and are more likely to end up with a marijuana conviction. These marijuana criminal convictions limit our children’s educational and employment opportunities. Communities of color must recognize the institutionalized bias and come together for social justice to change the system.

There are years of research and data that show the War on Drugs is not working, it’s time for a new approach.  We believe the next step in a new approach is to approve I-502.

Click to View our Full Press Release

Say "I Do" to Marriage Equality

R-74 2El Centro de la Raza says “We do,” and announced our support for marriage equality in Washington. Referendum 74 will decide if the recently signed law, allowing same sex couples the right to marry, will become the law of the land. Referendum 74 will be voted on by the public on November 6th, 2012.
“As a matter of principal, justice, and for the validation of so many of our families, we pledge our support for marriage equality in Washington,” states Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza.  
People from all walks of life, including gay and lesbian couples, share values of love, commitment and family. The respect, protection and commitment that marriage represents should be available to all loving couples in Washington.
At the heart of this divisive political issue are people’s lives - our friends, our family, our neighbors. The fate of thousands of loving couples and families has been left to our vote; it is time to say “I do,” and approve referendum 74. 

Click to View our Full Press Release

Words by Roberto Maestas

Roberto Maestas Legacy Award Image 212 copyCheck out this amazing video that captures a series of interviews in chronological form with the late Roberto Maestas, Civil Rights Leader and co-Founder of El Centro de la Raza. Mr. Maestas became one of the first Chicano Students to graduate from the University of Washington. This is not a biographical film but rather a collection of important interviews of an ordinary man who became socially conscious and socially active. Roberto shares his perspective on the Chicano Movement in the Northwest and the need for cultural and linguistic social services in Seattle. This is a must see for anyone that knew Roberto or El Centro de la Raza over the last 40 years.

Congrats to Our Youth

On June 1st El Centro de la Raza held our 7th Annual Graduation Luncheon. This year we celebrated our 72 graduating high school students and the promotion of its 43 eighth graders to high school. We couldn’t be more proud of what these students have accomplished and have in store for the future. Youth Graduation Celebration JUN 1 2012 048 2The event was held at El Centro during school hours – which the students much appreciated. Our College Readiness, Hope for Youth, and Youth Case Management programs organized this wonderful event. We had student MCs, Jonathan ‘Chiquitin’ Bernal from Chief Sealth and Lizabeth Herrera from Ballard. These two were a great duo and did an amazing job.

Mil gracias to our students, families, and staff for all their hard work.

Our graduating students have received an amazing $175,645 in scholarship money and counting. Some of the scholarships include: the 13th Year Promise Scholarship to South Seattle, the Nora Stone Smith Scholarship from the Seattle Foundation, the Education First Scholarship, and the Mount Baker Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship.

Youth and Families Job Readiness Program

Did you know that El Centro de la Raza has a Youth and Families Job Readiness Training Program?

Students enrolled will receive a $325 stipend for attending summer job training and then incorporating those learned skills to produce a video media project.

Start date: July 30th -Aug 31st!

Interested? Please contact Cristina Jimenez @ (206) 973-4289 or youthemployment@elcentrodelaraza.org to see if you qualify!

Deadline for 2012 fall SPD Community Police Academy Almost Here

Police meetingThe Seattle Police Department is now accepting applications for the 2012 fall SPD Community Police Academy.  The program will start on Thursday, September 6th and will go eleven consecutive Thursday’s, ending on Thursday, November 15th.  The Community Police  Academy classes will start at 5:30pm and end at 9:30 p.m.  Participation is free. 
The Community Police Academy is a eleven-week program designed to educate the public in the operations of the Seattle Police Department, while also giving the Department a chance to obtain valuable feedback from the community. The purpose of the Community Police Academy is to increase understanding between the Seattle Police Department and the community members of Seattle through education and interaction.
Community participants will become familiar with various facets of the Seattle Police Department and gain insight into law enforcement's role in the criminal justice system and the daily work of police employees. With increased understanding, Seattle's community and police can work together and achieve realistic solutions to neighborhood problems relating to crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decay.
If you are interested in applying, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/police/programs/policeacademy/default.htm  and scroll down for the application and mailing instructions.  Be sure to include a copy of your Driver’s License.  Space is limited and applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis.  The application deadline is Friday, July 20th.  If you have any questions, please contact Margaret at (206) 684-8672, or by email at margaret.olsen@seattle.gov

El Centro de la Raza Events!

            July 18: Financial Literacy Workshop
            July 19: Financial Literacy Workshop
            Aug 4: Alternatives to Foreclosure Orientation
            Aug 4: Homebuyer Education Workshops
            Aug 18: Tamale Class
            Sept 21: United Way Day of Caring - Sign up to Volunteer!
            Sept 29: 40th Anniversary Celebration - Save the Date!

ECR_40years40th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday September 29, 2012
The Westin Seattle, 5-8pm
The evening will consist of:
  • Reception w/ Historical Art Walk
  • Silent & Live Auctions
  • Three Course Dinner
  • Keynote Speaker Ben Ray Lujan, US Representative from New Mexico - 2nd Vice Chair of Congressional Hispanic Caucus
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarship presentations
Limited Seating, register online at https://elcentro.ejoinme.org/registration

We hope to see you there! If you are interested in becoming a Table Ambassador or want to donate an item, please contact us at events@elcentrodelaraza.org, (206) 957-4649 or see our website for more information.
Juvenile Justice at El Centro
WA MfC LogoEl Centro de la Raza is continuing its work around schools suspension policy through working with Seattle Schools on the upcoming Summer Leadership Institute.  We hope to expand the conversation to include teachers, principles and other administrators.  We also plan on including the youth voice as we work throughout the summer to provide space for young people to express their views on policies and practices.  

We welcome Mr. José Banda who began as superintendent of Seattle Schools on July 1st and look forward to continuing our partnership on this work.
On July 19th we will present at the WA State Juvenile Justice Conference. Gov. Christine Gregoire will be the keynote.  Our workshop is on the importance of culturally appropriate programming and the connection and impact on youth involved in the juvenile justice system.  We also highlight our work around prevention and our ongoing work with Seattle Public Schools.  The workshop is entitled, Keeping Latino Youth in School: Truancy Prevention Through Community Collaboration.

Gardening Classes!
L1030231Has the warmer weather made you think about gardening? You may be interested in a series of free gardening classes that will be held through September at El Centro de la Raza. Master Gardener Mick Duggan is teaching the “Growing Your Own Groceries” series on the second Saturday of each month, from 10-11:30 a.m. Only two more classes left this summer!
Each class will include free information handouts to take home. All are welcome to “join when you can, for as long as you can.”

The next meeting will be on August 11th in room 310. Topics on June 9th include:
  • What to Plant Now?
  • Figs and Kiwi
  • Seed Saving
Click here for more info.
Employment Program / Programa de Empleo

Our Employment Program provides job training skills and the opportunity to find employment. Our services include: monthly workshops, one-on-one support, assistance applying for jobs & preparing for interviews. We can help you acquire new skills to advance your career! If you would like to participate or need more information, please contact Camila Lagow: (206) 957-4622 or email or Janet Stafford: (206) 957-4644 or email. Para ver en español, haga clic aquí.

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation

Events Coordinator Needed

Applicants can send a resume to Miguel Maestas at associate@elcentrodelaraza.org then we can set-up an interview ASAP. The Position is through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Must have application in by July 20th.

  • Benefits include a monthly stipend (approximately $817), housing in an intentional community (LVC house), health care, dental care, vacation and sick leave, a transportation stipend, and two LVC retreats throughout the year.
  • LVC provides a capped reimbursement for moving and relocation costs to your project location (Seattle, El Centro de la Raza).
  • This is a one-year full-time volunteer position with LVC.
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old and should review the LVC website at www.lutheranvolunteercorps.org for more information about LVC.
  • The LVC orientation is in Washington D.C. the week of August 12, 2012 - includes airfare/transportation, meals and lodging.
  • Work begins August 21, 2012 at El Centro de la Raza.

Tacos, Hot Dogs, and Crepes @ El Centro

After a highly anticipated wait, El Sabroso Bocados Latinos owned by Alma Isabel Aleman and Francisco Daniel Perez, has arrived in our South parking lot. They feature traditional Mexican food. The second truck you'll see rolling into our parking lot is Caravan Crepes owned by Brook Sumner. Lastly, Jesus Avila has brought his hot dog stand to our parking lot as well. If you're hungry and in the neighborhood be sure to check out these food trucks. We are excited to start these partnerships and bring some more delicious food to Beacon Hill.

Alma and Francisco have generously agreed to have a bin outside their stand where they will accept donations for our Foodbank. They have offered to give anyone who donates to the Foodbank a discount on a purchase.

Parking Lot Open
at El Centro de la Raza!

El Centro has opened its temporary light rail parking lot to the public located at 2524 16th Ave S in Seattle next to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. The lot is minutes from downtown and the stadiums for Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners games! Proceeds benefit El Centro’s 33 human services and community building programs. Please call (206) 957-4603 or email facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org for monthly parking or airport passes.

Rental Space Available at El Centro!

El Centro de la Raza has office space for lease, 1044 sq ft, 1-yr lease required. The monthly lease rate is $1044/month for non-profits and $1262.54/month for for-profits. Please contact our Facilities Manager, Elisa Miranda, directly for a lease application and to view the space at (206) 957-4603 or facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org.


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El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave. South | Seattle, WA 98144
Tel: (206) 957-4605 | Email: donor@elcentrodelaraza.org
El Centro Endorses Decriminalization of Marijuana

El Centro Endorses Marriage Equality

Roberto Maestas Video

Congrats to Our Youth

Job Readiness Program for Youth and Families

Deadline for Police Community Academy Almost Here

Easy ways to support El Centro:
If   you use GoodSearch as your search engine, or do your online shopping through Goodshop, you can raise money for El Centro without spending an extra cent! You may actually save money with Goodshop coupons!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
Support El Centro's 33 programs by simply clicking here!
Learn More About El Centro!
Visit our website by clicking here!
Be our friend! Join us on Facebook,
Twitter, and MySpace!
Want to keep updated on what
El Centro is doing?
Tamale Making Classes
at El Centro de la Raza
10 AM - 12:30 PM, Saturdays: 
Taught by a master tamalera!
Click here to learn more!
Class fee: $75 per per class - includes recipe & a dozen uncooked tamales.
Fees support our Senior Wellness Program which provides balanced daily congregate meals, social & educational activities, exercise classes three times weekly and meal delivery for homebound seniors.
For more details: 206-957-4611or email.

Spanish Classes
6-7:30 PM Tusdays/Thursdays:
Summer Quarter: July 10-Sept. 13
Learn Spanish from native speakers in a unique educational setting! Class fees help support our 32 Human Service and Community Building Programs. Adult beginner to advanced level classes are available.
Click here to sign up!
For more details: 206-957-4605 or email.

Un grupo de apoyo y de conversación para la mujer Latina!
Para más información favor de contactor a Angela Frith-Gomez: (206) 957-4641.

You're invited!
Café con El Centro logo
Cafe con El Centro:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, August 2nd
How can you become an integral part of the community at El Centro? You can start by RSVPing to an upcoming Cafe con El Centro!

The Cafe is a great way to introduce yourself to our executive director, Estela Ortega, a board member, and staff from our programs. Learn the history of our roots, tour our building and programs, learn ways to get involved and network with like-minded folks. Share coffee & pan dulce with us!

Cafe con El Centro takes place the 1st Thursday of every month. Call 206-957-4652 or email to RSVP. 
Coffee generously donated by Starbucks!
Get more involved! Can you devote 2-3 hours or more a week, month, year, or just one time? We always have the need for volunteers.
For details contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Josh Stromberg:
(206) 957-4602 or by
Also see our website's volunteer section!
El Centro de la Raza relies on donations from our individual supporters to keep our programs running.
  We are also fortunate enough to have corporate and foundation sponsors and grants for many of our programs and services:

KUOW - $2,250 in radio advertisement spots for Día de los Muertos.

View our Annual Report
 Mil Gracias to all of our wonderful funders, sponsors and donors!
  • Clear Channel (Presenting Sponsor)
  • Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
  • Vulcan
  • Lilly
  • Union Bank
  • Amerigroup
  • Century Link
  • HomeStreet Bank
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • BECU
  • WEA
  • Verizon
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Enterprise Community Partner
  • Comcast
  • Seattle Seahawks| Seattle Sounders FC
  • Plaza Bank
  • Teamsters Local Union 360
  • Turner Construction Company
Ramon Soliz, President
Jeff Middelton, Vice President
David Gasca, Treasurer
Roxana Amaral, Secretary
Victoria Kill, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon

Dorry Elias-Garcia
Cristina Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Rhonda Gossett
Pablo Mendoza
Janet Jaime Rodriguez
Madrienne Salgado
Urbano Santos
Ofelia Alanis Torres
With over 28,000 volunteer hours,  El Centro de la Raza serves 23,565 individuals and 11,518 families annually through the following programs and services:

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