Felíz Cumpleaños Roberto! July eNews
 eNews-Header 4
July 10, 2014
Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Yesterday, July 9th, El Centro de la Raza staff and community members gathered in our main hallway for a very special occasion. Our beloved Roberto Maestas would have turned 76 yesterday, and although he is no longer with us, his memory, influence, and legacy live on and continue to influence and inspire us daily. Gathered at Roberto's ofrenda, we sang Las Mañanitas and reflected on impact that Roberto's passion for education and social justice had on our community and the many other lives that Roberto touched. Click on the image below to view a video of the gathering.
Feliz Cumplanos Roberto 2014
(Click on the image above to view a video of us singing Las Mañanitas.)
The dilapidated school building that we occupied almost 42 years ago under Roberto's leadership is now a thriving cultural hub and beacon of hope for the community. We know Roberto would be proud to see the growth we are experiencing every year, and we thank you for your support in making it all possible. ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Roberto!

Please also remember to register for our annual Building the Beloved Community Gala on September
27th if you haven't already! This event is not only our biggest fundraiser of the year, it also honors Roberto's legacy as we present Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships to outstanding community leaders and high school students. Visit the event web page to learn more about tickets, volunteering, sponsorship, advertising, and more. Mil gracias, and I hope to see you there!


Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.

Escaping Abuse and Finding a Home Through ECDLR's Homeless Assistance Program

For the past five years, alternating periods of violence at home and homelessness had left Carmen’s* life in disarray. After her eldest son graduated high school, she finally fled home for the last time with her 14-year-old son, who was born with a disability. Unfortunately, years of physical violence caused Carmen to suffer a massive stroke, leaving her with little control over her facial muscles and speech.

Facing homelessness again and fighting her physical impairment, Carmen suffered from serious depression. She made her way into a shelter, where the family was referred to El Centro de la Raza’s Homeless Assistance Program. Carmen’s Case Manager, Virginia, worked hard on getting this family housed, a major challenge given rising market rents. After working with several landlords, Virginia finally found one who was willing to charge rent that she could afford, and worked with Carmen to ensure that she was able to make her monthly payments.

Today, Carmen is maintaining permanent housing and payments on bills. Her health and medication are under control. She receives SNAP food assistance, and her son is attending a school with a program suited to his needs. Carmen will soon be attending our Employment Program and Financial Literacy workshops to build more skills for self-sufficiency
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our participants.

Donate now to ensure that families like Carmen's continue to have access to life-saving assistance in times of need.
El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

Arco Iris and Viento Graduates Ready for Kindergarten and Beyond!

JMCDC Graduation Collage

On Thursday, June
27th, 85 students graduated from our José Martí Child Development Center's Arco Iris and Viento classes! Families and friends gathered at El Centro de la Raza to celebrate these young students' successful completion of the program with cake, dancing, and singing. These students have worked diligently to prepare themselves for kindergarten, successfully meeting standards outlined in our program's unique, bilingual and multicultural curriculum. They will be entering Highline and Seattle Public Schools in the fall, prepared with the skills and confidence they need to help them excel throughout their academic careers. ¡Felicidades a todos nuestros estudiantes!

With 85 students graduating from our JMCDC program this year, we are now enrolling students ages 3-4 for the summer and fall. Families may be eligible for a free half-day of preschool through the income-based ECEAP or StepAhead programs or a full day with subsidies. For more information or to enroll, please contact us at (206) 957-4619 or jmcdc@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Kids and Teens Eat Free All Summer at
El Centro de la Raza!

summer food service
El Centro de la Raza is proud to announce that we have been chosen as a site for the City of Seattle's Summer Food Service Program again this year! The program provides no-cost breakfast, lunch, and snacks to children and teens ages 1-18 and is open now through August 30, 2014. Click here for more detailed information about our site schedule.

Many children rely on free and reduced meal lunches at school for their daily nutrition, and as a result are often left stranded during summer break. The Summer Food Service Program began in the early 1970's in an effort to keep children healthy and fed during the summer and has grown immensely since then. The Summer Food Service Program is open to all children and teens and requires no application. Just show up at El Centro de la Raza's Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park and enjoy a free meal in the sun!

Click here to learn more about the program, and click here to find more summer meal sites throughout the City of Seattle.


Tamale Class Hosts Special Visitors from the Gates Foundation

Gates Foundation Tamale Class 2014
(Friends from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation learn how to make tamales from our Master Tamalera Jamie Piña Bautista.)

On Friday, June
20th, El Centro de la Raza had the opportunity to host representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a unique team-building exercise! Our friends from the Gates Foundation attended our famous Tamale Making Class and learned how to work together to create a delicious Mexican specialty. All of the proceeds from their class fees go directly towards our Senior Wellness & Nutrition program. Mil gracias Teresa Gonzales, Cindy Harris, Sandra Hearn, Tiffany Taylor, and Ann Holstrom for supporting us and choosing our cultural cooking classes for your group activitiy!

To learn more about private classes for your group of friends, colleagues, or family, contact development@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 957-4611. For information and tickets to our regularly scheduled cooking classes, visit our ticketing page here.


Comcast Digital Connectors Program Now Accepting Applications!

Digital Connectors 2014
(2014 Comcast Digital Connectors graduates show off their computers and certificates.)

For the third year in a row, El Centro de la Raza has been approved to host the Comcast Digital Connectors Program, and we are now accepting applications! This unique program works with students ages 14-21 to teach computer software and hardware skills, an introduction to Cisco networking and mobile technologies, and life skills to prepare them for careers in Information Technology.

This program has grown every year since its inception, and students who successfully complete the program receive a personal laptop computer from program funders Comcast! The program begins in September of 2014 and will end in June of 2015.

For applications and more information, contact Alex Bautista at abautista@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 957-4620.


Creating the Parks System that Seattle Deserves

Mark your calendars for August
5th, official voting day Proposition 1, an important measure to protect our parks. Seattle has one of the greatest park systems in America, but for years we've neglected this extraordinary legacy. Daily maintenance has been reduced at nearly every park and community center, and as the current parks levy expires, it is time to establish stable, dedicated funding for our parks. Proposition 1 will address a wide variety of parks needs, including protecting wildlife habitats and other open spaces in the city and creating funding for over $267 million worth of work that has been piling up for years.

Click here to learn more about the details of this new funding measure, and to get involved in promoting Proposition 1 and the health of our parks for years to come.

Regístrese Ahora / Register Now

El Centro de la Raza’s 2014 Building the Beloved Community Gala

Register Now for our Annual Fundraising Gala:

  • Saturday, September 27th, 2014
  • Washington State Convention Center
  • 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Reception, Dinner, Silent Auction & Live Auction

Join us on September 27th to:

  • Raise vital funds for El Centro de la Raza’s 44 programs and services 
  • Celebrate with the winners of the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships
    • Click here to view the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Application form.

buy a ticket buttonbe a sponsor button 2table ambassador buttondonate item button

I can't make it to the event, but I'd like to donate.

Sign Up for Our New Cooking Classes Today!


Learn how to cook traditional cultural dishes, and support your community at the same time!

El Centro de la Raza is excited to announce that we are expanding our popular Tamale Making Classes to include a wider variety of cooking classes! Learn how to cook our favorite dishes, share in our culture, and meet new people at the same time. Class fees vary and directly support our Senior Nutrition and Wellness Program. Classes are held on select Saturdays at El Centro de la Raza. Follow this link to view fees for specific classes:
Upcoming cooking classes:

Click here to purchase tickets for cooking classes. For more information e-mail development@elcentrodelaraza.org or call (206) 957-4611.

Register Now for Summer Spanish Classes
Come to El Centro de la Raza and learn or improve your Spanish skills in a fun and interactive community-based setting. Classes fill up quickly, so now is the time to enroll! Summer Quarter classes begin on July 22nd, and we are offering Beginner to Intermediate level classes (class offerings subject to change due to enrollment).
  • Summer Quarter: July 22nd  - September 25th
    • Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuition is $300 per quarter.
  • All proceeds from course fees go to support our 44 services and programs.
  • Classes are taught by professional Spanish speakers with a focus on one-on-one conversational development.
  • Enroll now and spread the word!
For more information or to register for classes, contact (206) 957-4605 or execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Auction Item Highlights 7.7.14

State Financial Aid for DREAMers, Apply NOW!

Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, a new state law will expand eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to non-citizens who meet the program's income and eligibility requirements in addition to all three residency criteria listed below.
  • Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED.
  • Have lived in Washington for three years prior to earning the high school diploma or equivalent and continuously since.
  • Sign an affidavit to file an application to become a resident of the United States when eligible to apply.
The free web-based WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) allows non-citizens to apply for student financial aid in Washington State. Many colleges also require additional applications with separate deadlines, so make sure to check with your college for specific dates! Click here to access the WASFA application, and click here for detailed instructions that will guide you through the application.

El Centro de la Raza Offering Financial Education Classes

Bring your financial questions, and we'll be sure to cover the topics that are most important to you, from getting affordable car loans to preparing yourself financially to buy a house! At the end of the workshop you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a financial counselor, as well as receive a certificate of attendance making you eligible for a $100 incentive! Click here for dates and more detailed, bilingual information.

Free Bilingual Legal Clinics at El Centro de la Raza

Need legal assistance but can't afford it? Mil gracias to Schroeter Goldmark & Bender and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington for graciously providing free legal clinics in 2014, on the second Wednesday of every month. We are excited to be hosting these bilingual clinics here at El Centro de la Raza! Click here for more detailed, bilingual information.

Become a Knowledgeable Homeowner at Our Homebuyer Education Workshops

El Centro de la Raza's Homeownership Center is holding a series of monthly Homebuyer Education Workshops. These classes will give you an overview of the home buying process and will be led by fully bilingual volunteers and staff. Click here for more detailed, bilingual information.

To make a contribution to El Centro de la Raza and help us continue programs like Homebuyer and Financial Education classes, click here or call (206) 957-4652.

Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

From Hiroshima to Hope in Need of Volunteers

From Hiroshima to Hope is an annual Lantern Lighting Ceremony on Greenlake in North Seattle. Lanterns are lit and floated onto the lake in remembrance of the victims of Hiroshima/Nagasaki and all victims of war violence around the world. This ceremony is meant to promote peace and unity among all people. This year's event is on August 6th from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and is currently in need of volunteers to help make it a success. There are many shifts and a variety of volunteer tasks available from greeters and peace keepers to set-up and clean-up, but the most needed positions are boat and lantern crew, which will prepare lanterns and make sure they get back to shore.

For more information about this event and volunteer opportunities, contact Fred at (206) 453-4471 or Shirley at fhthvolunteers@gmail.com

Proyecto Saber Graduate Releases New Book

Gabriel Morales is a Gang Specialist with extensive experience working with juvenile and adult offenders for over 30 years. He has taught Gang I.D. and Management to thousands of criminal justice workers, and also was the Founder and a past Advisor for the International Latino Gang Investigators Association.

Clearly, Gabe does outstanding work in our communities, working to raise awareness and prevention of gangs and gang violence, but what makes him special to El Centro de la Raza (ECDLR) are his roots. Raised in Seattle in the 1970's, Gabe was a one of the earliest graduates of the Proyecto Saber program that partners with ECDLR's Youth Services. We are proud to have been a part of Gabe's early development as a young student and would encourage you to read his new book Gangster's Paradise: Gangs in the Pacific Northwest
. It offers an in-depth look at gangs in our region and also covers prevention and intervention. Click here to learn more or to purchase the book.

Save 60% on Your Electric Bill This Year

seattle city light

Having trouble paying your electric bills? You may qualify for Seattle City Light's Utility Discount Program, which offers free home energy visits to help you maximize your discount, as well as assistance with other utilities such as water, sewage, and garbage. Visit Seattle City Light's website to see if you qualify for the discount program. To apply, call (206) 684-3417 or email
SCL_RateAssistance@seattle.gov. Applications are available online in seven different languages.

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In This Issue:

JMCDC Graduates are Ready for Kindergarten and Beyond!

Free Meals for Kids and Teens!

Special Tamale Class Guests from Gates Foundation

Digital Connectors Now Open to Applicants for 2014-2015

Help Preserve Our Outstanding Parks System

Auction Item Sneak Peek!

Summer Spanish Classes Open for Enrollment

From Hiroshima to Hope in Need of Volunteers

Proyecto Saber Graduate Releases New Book

Spanish Classes Ad Ashley

Tamale Class Ad 2

Events Calendar:

July 19: Tamale Class
August 7: Café con El Centro de la Raza
August 16: Tamale Class

Mil Gracias Summer Funders:

City of Seattle Human Services Department
Selected as Summer Food Service Site; Free Summer Meals for Youth

Building the Beloved Community Gala Sponsors:

Clear Channel

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Ben Bridge Jewler

Catholic Community Services
Heritage Bank
Molina Healthcare
Seattle City Light
Washington Education Association

Kantor Taylor
Plaza Bank
PNW Carpenters
Seattle Education Association
Seattle Children's Hospital

SEIU Local 6
Sprague Israel Giles
Union Bank
United Healthcare
United Way
Washington Federal
Watson McDonnell
Washington Community Reinvestment Association

Cafe Ad 2


News Roundup:

North Seattle students rap about gender wage gap
"Here Comes the Neighborhood" by Brett Hamil

A wealthy entrepreneur's case for raising the minimum wage
NCLR's call to action on refugee children at U.S. border

Board of Directors:

Ramon Soliz, President
Roxana Amaral, Vice President
 Pablo Mendoza, Treasurer
Victoria Kill, Secretary

Madrienne Salgado, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon
Juan Cotto
Cristina Garcia
Dorry Elias-Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Jeff Middelton
Alexandra Narvaez
Bianka Sanchez
Urbano Santos
Ofelia Alanis Torres

Room Rental Ad

Parking Lot Ad

Programs and Services:

Basic Healthcare Enrollment
Bebes! Infant Mortality Prevention
Café con El Centro
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
COMCAST Digital Connectors
Community Meeting Space
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
Employment Assistance
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
Homeless Assistance
Hope for Youth Poetry & Civil Rights History Classes
HUD Housing Counseling
Immigrant / Human / Civil Rights Social
Justice Advocacy

José Martí Child Development Center
Latino Hot Meal Program
Legal Clinic Site
Local, State, National & International
Coalition Building

Luis Alfonso Velásquez Flores
After School Program

Parent-Child Home Program
Plaza Roberto Maestas
Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park
Senior Nutrition & Wellness
Smoking Cessation
Tax Prep Site
Transit Oriented Parking
Veteran’s Services
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training

Youth Violence Prevention

GoodShop Ad

Bartells Ad

Community Action Agency • United Way Agency • Affiliate of National Council of La Raza
www.elcentrodelaraza.org 501(c)3 Nonprofit Tax ID: 91-0899927

Contact Us | 2524 16th Avenue South - Seattle, WA 98144 | 206-957-4652 | donor@elcentrodelaraza.org | www.elcentrodelaraza.org

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