¡Vengan Todos a Cinco de Mayo! April eNews
 eNews-Header 4
April 29, 2014
Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration that has long been misunderstood in the United States. The celebration as we know it has its roots in the Chicano Awareness Movement more than four decades ago, when Chicano students sought an event to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride. Students decided on Cinco de Mayo because of its historic significance and because an event in May gave them time to organize students throughout the school year. Cinco de Mayo commemorates a monumentous victory for the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862 when a severely undermanned and underequipped Mexican army defeated the French army, which was considered a military powerhouse at the time.

So it is important to realize that Cinco de Mayo is not about cerveza, tequila, and crazy parties, it is about remembering an event in Mexican history that symbolizes resistance against oppression, and it is about celebrating Mexican culture. This celebration empowers our "Comunidad Mexicana"  to be proud about our cultural heritage and history with traditional clothing, music, dancing, and food. Here at El Centro de la Raza, our Cinco de Mayo celebration is not only a fun-filled event, it is also an important way to build community as we spread awareness of Mexican history and foster appreciation for cultural diversity.

I invite you, your familia, and your amigos to come out and join us for our 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration! The event will take place on Saturday, May 3rd from 3-8 p.m. and is free to the public. We are very excited for this community event and to build unity by sharing the beauty and creativity of Mexican culture. This year we are honored to have many local performers join us for the event such as Seattle Fandango Project, Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin, Irma La Jalisciense, Ramiro Guzman-Imitador, and DJ Alejandro Calderon. We are also lucky this year to have ESPN Deportes broadcasting live from our Cinco de Mayo event, along with the Seahawks’ one and only mascot, Blitz! So spread the word, and make sure you join us for our 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration to enjoy the fiesta!


Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word about our great new cooking classes!
El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

Estela Ortega Visits the Nation's Capitol for Meaningful Fast

Estela in DC 3  

On April 7th Estela Ortega traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in a 48-hour fast for comprehensive immigration reform. Estela joined over 105 other women, many undocumented, in the fast and rally which was part of the national movement called We Belong Together. Estela says she and the group of women were "fasting to feed the courage of Congress and President Obama, to stand up for what they know is right, and pass comprehensive immigration reform."

Youth Job Readiness Students Present Beautiful Mural to El Centro de la Raza Community

YJRT Mural Collage(Left: Close-up image of mural, Right: YJRT students pose with their masterpiece)

Last week during El Centro de la Raza's weekly charla, staff and community members were pleasantly surprised by a special presentation put together by a group of bright young students from the Youth Job Readiness and Training program (YJRT).  The YJRT program provides ELL students (English Language Learners) with employment skills to prepare them for the future. The program incorporates group projects and internships to apply and strengthen learned skills.

The presentation that the group prepared was the culmination of their year of learning and growing through the YJRT program, and showcased the group project that is part of their curriculum. They chose to focus their project on immigration as it relates to their lives and the lives of Latino students everywhere. With the guidance of YJRT coordinators Cristina Jimenez and Janet Stafford, the youth came together to create something truly beautiful and symbolic to share with the El Centro de la Raza community.

After presenting the video, photography, and publication portions of their group project, the students unveiled a mural that they worked together to create, and presented it as a gift to El Centro de la Raza and the community. The mural is entitled Contra Nuestras Proprias Barreras, Spanish for “Against Our Own Barriers” and is full of imagery that symbolizes their cultural heritage, their struggles as immigrants, and their dreams for better futures. Detailed descriptions of each symbol in the mural can be found in the publication that the students created, which also describes their project, tells their stories, and demonstrates their creativity.
Click here to view the students' publication.
Click here to make a gift, and ensure that programs like Youth Job Readiness Training continue to make lasting impacts on the lives of countless bright young students in our community.


El Centro de la Raza/Rainbow Haven Community at the 2014 Neighborhood Summit

2014 Neighborhood Summit
(Rainbow Haven community members with Mayor Ed Murray at 2014 Neighborhood Summit)

When Mayor Ed Murray was elected, he promised to work closer with communities to solve issues and one of the ways he planned to do that was by holding a Seattle Neighborhood Summit. True to his word, Mayor Murray hosted the 2014 Neighborhood Summit on April 5th at Seattle Center. El Centro de la Raza and Rainbow Haven community members attended the event to make their voices heard. The summit was meant to bring communities together in order to collaborate and share ideas on how to better serve all communities in Seattle, and our delegation left Seattle Center that day feeling a little bit better about the futures of our communities.

El Centro de la Raza Youth Attend HB 1079 Conference at UW Tacoma

HB 1079 Conference
(ECLDR youth group on campus at the University of Washington, Tacoma)

On April 5th, El Centro de la Raza’s youth services staff took a group of students to the 3rd Annual Beyond HB 1079 Conference at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. The conference consisted of student-led workshops, panels, and interactive discussions meant to provide attendees with information and resources for empowering and advocating for undocumented youth to earn college degrees. The conference was relevant to El Centro de la Raza youth not only because many of our students are undocumented and have college aspirations, but also because some of the cofounders of the annual conference are former participants of our College Readiness programs.

HB 1079 was approved in 2003, and allows undocumented students who have lived in Washington State for three years to be considered legal residents, so that they may receive in-state college tuition rates. This has helped make college much more affordable and accessible to undocumented students, especially with the recent passage of the Washington DREAM Act, which will allow undocumented students to apply for state financial aid.

Digital Connectors Students Learn About Careers in Information Technology

Digital Connectors Collage 

(Students from ECDLR's Digital Connectors Program have fun while touring the City of Seattle's IT Department)

Earlier this month, high school students from El Centro de la Raza's Comcast Digital Connectors program had the unique opportunity to take a personal tour of the City of Seattle's Department of Information Technology (IT). On the tour, students learned about the various forms of technology utilized by the City of Seattle and the careers in IT that the City offers. This included an up-close look at the Emergency Operation Center, a visit to Seattle Channel (a city-run TV station), and first-hand advice and knowledge from IT professionals.

The trip to the City's IT department was very relevant for the students, as they have been engaging in IT related training and activities throughout their time in the program.
The Comcast Digital Connectors (CDC) program is a youth development program that focuses on digital literacy where students become proficient in basic computer skills, applications, use of the Internet, and even hardware skills. CDC engages teens and young adults (ages 14-21) in leadership development, digital education, life skills management and community service.

Please consider making a gift to El Centro de la Raza, so that our bright young students can continue to develop useful skills and build a path to a successful future.

Save the Date/Reserva la Fecha

Come Celebrate Día de los Niños at El Centro de la Raza's New Park!

On Wednesday, April 30th, 2014, El Centro de la Raza will be celebrating Children's Day/Día de los Niños with children's activities and a ribbon cutting ceremony for our newly renovated Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park and César Chávez Demonstration Garden from 10-11 a.m. Refreshments provided, please RSVP to development@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 957-4611 for planning purposes.

children in park with thank you 

Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park is named in honor of Santos Rodriguez, a 12-year-old boy from Dallas, Texas whose tragic death is a reminder that our fight for racial equality is far from over. Santos was killed in 1973 by a police officer who had arrested Santos and his 13-year-old brother under wrongful suspicion of robbing $8.00 from a soda machine. The story of Santos Rodriguez reminds us all of the importance to respect, love, care for, and protect all of the children of the world. Click here to view park hours, click here for a more detailed story about Santos Rodriguez.

For more information or to RSVP, contact us at (206) 957-4611 or development@elcentrodelaraza.org.


Join Us for Cinco de Mayo 2014!

cinco de mayo front image

El Centro de la Raza’s 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration is fast approaching! This event is free to the public and will take place on May 3rd, 2014 from 3-8 p.m. at El Centro de la Raza. We expect at least 800 people from Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Our Cinco de Mayo event will include a "Desfile Cultural” or cultural fashion show where we invite children, youth, families, and community members to participate by wearing their traditional clothing to celebrate our cultures. Contact Hilda or Enrique if you would like to participate: (206) 957-4619 or jmadminasst@elcentrodelaraza.org.
  • We are looking for help with set-up, greeting, ticket sales, children’s activities, and more! Please contact Alexia Klatt, Volunteer Coordinator, at (206) 957-4602 or volunteer@elcentrodelaraza.org to sign up!

Click here to view the 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo event flyer.

March With Us! 2014 May Day March and Rally

Join the El Centro de la Raza community on Thursday, May 1st for the annual May Day March for immigrant and worker's rights! The event is organized by El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition. The rally starts at Judkins Park at 3:00 p.m., click here for more information in Spanish and English.

May Day March and Rally MAY 1 2013 (52) 2
(El Centro de la Raza community at the 2013 May Day March/Rally)

Support El Centro de la Raza During This Year's Give BIG Event!

GiveBIG_Seattle_Cityscape with Logo 2 

GiveBIG is back! Support El Centro de la Raza and tell your friends about The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG. Start now by following us on Twitter and stay tuned for details! https://twitter.com/elcentro72.

Give BIG is coming up next week on Tuesday, May 6th, so get ready to help us have our most successful day of giving yet! With your help we can raise essential funds to keep food in the food bank, empower youth to graduate high school and attend college, and help homeless families find shelter. Mark your calendars for Give BIG 2014 on May 6th! Click here to learn more about the Give BIG campaign.

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 Applcation for State Financial Aid) allows non-citizens to apply for student financial aid in Washington State. Many colleges also require additional applications with seperate 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.

Are You Passionate About Social Justice? Consider Applying to Lutheran Volunteer Corps

The Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) is a one-year national volunteer service program. It is for people who want to explore their spirituality while working for social justice, living in intentional community with other volunteers, and practicing sustainability in all aspects of their lives. LVC unites full-time stipended Volunteers with financial supporters, non-profit organizations and ministries to work for peace with justice across the nation in positions such as community organizing, direct service, indirect service, advocacy, and public policy.

El Centro de la Raza hosts four LVC Volunteers in the following positions that are still open for the 2014-2015 year.
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Events Coordinator
  • Communications & Donations Coordinator
  • Emergency Food Coordinator
Application information may be found at http://lutheranvolunteercorps.org/index.cfm/apply-today.

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

Save the Date for our Annual Fundraising Gala:

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

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.

Fourth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Now Open for Nominations

maestas legacy award

Roberto’s life was dedicated to building the “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity, and he deeply believed that poverty, racism and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so.
In honor of Roberto and his legacy the Fourth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award will recognize two individuals, a woman and a man, who have exemplified Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism and social inequity.
Legacy Award applicants can self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Recipients are asked to participate in a video interview and attend El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala.
Deadline for application submission is Monday, June 9, 2014 at 5:00pm. Click here for more information and to view the application.

Join Our Auction Item Procurement Committee!

On September 27th, 2014, El Centro de la Raza will hold its annual Building the Beloved Community Gala. To make this event a success, we are looking for volunteers to join our procurement committee. The procurement committee solicits donated items, gift certificates, or services from businesses to sell in our silent or live auction. If you’re creative, out-going, and full of ideas, we’d love to have you join us.

Procurement Committee meetings take place the last Tuesday of each month at 6:45 p.m. For more information, contact Anne Pfeifle, Events Coordinator at events@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 957-4649.

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 these featured classes: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/13781.

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

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

Lewis Park Natural Area Improvement Project

geenspace levy logo

Residents of Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods will get the opportunity to weigh in on proposed changes to a natural space in their community next Tuesday, April
th. All are invited to attend the public meeting about the Lewis Park Natural Area in North Beacon Hill to learn about the proposed plans for improvement of the area, and to provide input to Seattle Parks and Recreation regarding the space and the project. The funding for the proposed project is provided by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund.
  • What: Public meeting regarding Lewis Park Natural Area project
  • When: Tuesday, April 29th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Jefferson Community Center - 3801 Beacon Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98108
For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/lewis_park/ or contact (206) 233-7921 or garrett.farrell@seattle.gov.

César Chávez Biographical Film Showing for Limited Time in Columbia City

Starting Friday May 2nd, the Ark Lodge Cinemas in Columbia City will be screening 'Cesar Chavez' the film for a limited time. El Centro de la Raza is excited to work with Ark Lodge to promote this biographical film, as we feel it is important to finally have a prominent Latino leader depicted in a major Hollywood production. The film will show every night from May 2nd to May 8th at 7:00p.m.

Ark Lodge Cinemas is located at 4816 Rainier Ave South, Seattle, WA 98118. Click here for more information, and click here to purchase tickets.


Beautify Your Garden at the Master Gardeners Plant Sale

The King County Master Gardeners Foundation is an organization that supports and promotes the WSU Extension Master Gardener Program. Coming up on
May 3rd and 4th the Master Gardeners Foundation will be having a plant sale. You pick it, you plant it! El Centro de la Raza's own Master Gardener Mick Duggan will be at the sale to answer any gardening questions, stop by and say hi! Details are below. For more information about the Master Gardeners, visit their website here. 

  • When: May 3rd 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and May 4th 10 a.m.-3 p.m
  • Where: Center for Urban Horticulture - 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105

For more information about the event, view the event flyer here.

Fresh Fruits & Veggies for Low Income Seniors

Help us spread the word that applications are now available for the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with $40 checks that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs throughout King County. Applications are available on the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program webpage and must be submitted by May 15th, 2014. All applicants will receive mail notification of their status on or before July 1st.

Click here for more information, and click here to access the online application in ten different languages.

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.

Social Media Links:
Like what we do?
Then "like" us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter for live updates on news and events!

In This Issue:

Estela Visits Washington, D.C. for a Meaningful Hunger Strike

Youth Job Readiness Students Present Special Gift to Community

El Centro de la Raza & Community Members at Neighborhood Summit

Youth Group Attends Immigration Conference at UW

Comcast Digital Connectors Youth Visit City's IT Department

Join Us for Día de los Niños and Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Be a Part of Cinco de Mayo 2014!

2014 Legacy Awards Now Open for Nominations

¡Marcha con nosotros para justicia social! March with us for social justice!

Give Your Input on Proposed Changes in Beacon Hill

Fruits & Veggies for Low-Income Seniors

Get Ready to Support El Centro de la Raza on Give BIG!

State Financial Aid for DREAMers, Apply NOW!

Spanish Classes Ad Ashley

Tamale Class Ad 2Mil Gracias April Funders:

Harvest Foundation
$10,000 for Senior Congregate Program

Events Calendar:

Cafe Ad 2


News Roundup:

Study shows economic & equity outcomes of a $15/hr minimum wage
Voters reject Proposition 1; bus cuts coming soon

Immigration activists ramp up pressure on Obama
DREAMer leaves U.S. by choice, ends up at Harvard

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

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!