El Centro de la Raza - May eNews
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May 14, 2015

Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Our 10th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Jefferson Community Center was a great success. Over 1,200 community members and 85 volunteers joined El Centro de la Raza in celebrating and sharing our cultural heritage! Together, we enjoyed delicious food, entertainment, local venders, children's activities and a desfile cultural. 

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Teens and children from Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin
 perfoming at our Cinco de Mayo event!

Many people celebrate Cinco de Mayo not knowing what it is really about and using it as a day to party. In actuality, Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate our culture and demand civil rights for Chicanos/ Mexicanos/Latinos in this country. It is an American celebration as it was born in the United States in 1862 by those living in California. They held the first Cinco de Mayo celebration interpreting the victory against the French at The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, as a victory for freedom and democracy. Cinco de Mayo symbolizes what we have gone through as Chicanos or Latinos, our families trying to overcome, trying to do better, trying to be part of this country, working hard to give their children a chance at a better life.  

Cinco de Mayo Kids
Our Youth Job Readiness high school students created fun activites and games that the children enjoyed out in the beautiful sunshine! 

A special thank you goes out to our in-kind donors Pepsi Beverages Company, Sysco, Safeway, and Charlie’s Produce for help making the food service a success, as well as our entertainment: Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin, 4 en la Mira, Alex Luengas, Rolando Martinez, Duo Finelli, Club Veros, Chief Sealth International's Mariachi Las Aguilas, and Latin Dance Group, our supporters: City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Jefferson Community Center, Sysco, ACT Theater, Zipcar, Eterna Studios, Graciela Ayala, Don Francisco Calderon, Elena Chernock, Raquel Garcia, Cristina Jimenez, Miguel Maestas, Ruby Montes De Oca, Jenna Ptaschinski, Don Paco Reyes, Youth Job Readiness students, El Centro de la Raza staff and all our awesome volunteers who helped make everything possible. Mil gracias to all who attended. We hope to see you again next year! 

Estela Ortega
Executive Director

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

El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

Día Del Niño at El Centro de la Raza

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Children in El Centro de la Raza's Jose Marti Child Development Center wait to listen to a bilingual story shared by Tania of the Seattle Public Library. 

Universal Children’s Day (Día Del Niño) was established as a day of brother/sisterhood and understanding among all children around the world, to promote children’s welfare, and to call attention to the inalienable needs and rights of children and how we must support them. On this day teachers often organize festivities for their students. In some schools lessons are suspended for the day, and they organize games, music, and the children bring in their favorite foods to share with others. 

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Cea Tonali Danza Azteca group shared a special presentation for the children. 
El Centro de la Raza’s Jose Marti Child Development Center celebrated International Children’s Day on Thursday, April 30, by holding a “tardeada” or afternoon/evening celebration. Parents were encouraged to bring food as part of a potluck dinner, and El Centro provided enchiladas. As part of the festivities we were fortunate to have community members provide cultural music and entertainment for the children’s enjoyment: Tania of the Seattle Public Library shared a bilingual story time, Mary K. McNeill sang social justice songs with the children, the Cea Tonali Danza Azteca group shared a special presentation, and the students of the Youth Job Readiness Program provided fun games and entertainment for the children as part of their year-end project.
Thank you to everyone involved for helping show our children that they are important and valued members of society, now and as the future of our community and world.

Be a Part of History with Roberto Maestas

This past Tuesday, there was a celebration to honor the book release of Gang of Four: Four Leaders. Four Communities. One Friendship co-authored by Bob Santos and Gary Iwamoto. The event honored the Gang of Four, Bernie Whitebear, Larry Gossett, Roberto Maestas, and Bob Santos who dedicated their time, labor, and love to fighting for minority rights and social justice. The Seattle Mayor and City Council now procliam May 12th "Gang of Four Day". 

Gang of Four Book Launch Event 3
Gang of Four: Four Leaders. Four Communities. One Friendship co-authored by Bob Santos and Gary Iwamoto.

A great way to be a part of history and honor Roberto Maestas is to help us build a community Brick by Brick! From El Centro de la Raza’s beginning, Roberto Maestas had a dream of creating a community that fully embodied the values of a world free from poverty, racism, and social inequality guided by Dr. King's vision of the "Beloved Community." 

Buy a plaza brick and help us build affordable homes at Plaza Roberto Maestas. Buying a brick or making a donation will help complete construction on Plaza Roberto Maestas and help to provide housing that’s affordable for working families, quality early childhood education, a community that honors all cultures, and a chance at economic self-sufficiency. Your brick and your unique message will become a permanent part of the central plaza – the heart of Plaza Roberto Maestas. Buy a brick and be a part of history at El Centro de la Raza. Help us realize our shared vision of the Beloved Community. Click here for more information or order your brick now.

Seattle's May Day March and Rally

May Day March

El Centro de la Raza staff and community members marching for comprehensive immigration reform and worker's rights!

At El Centro de la Raza, May 1st marks an annual march and rally for social justice. It is estimated that almost 5,000 people from many diverse interest groups and organizations gathered to march for different causes, including immigrant and worker's rights. El Centro de la Raza had a strong showing, as we brought community members and staff with us to the rally for comprehensive immigration reform. Mil gracias to all those who came out to support El Centro de la Raza and joined us in our fight for social justice. Read more here

GiveBIG 2015 Results

Our community’s largest giving day of the year was a huge success! Overall, #GiveBIG raised a total of $16.3 million to support numerous nonprofit organizations in Seattle. Click here to view Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG 2015 totals.


With your help, this year El Centro de la Raza raised $6,245 for the children, seniors, and families in our programs and $1,350 for Plaza Roberto Maestas for a grand total of $7,595! These donations will be partially matched by The Seattle Foundation’s generous “stretch pool.” Thanks to all of those who were a part of GiveBIG 2015, you truly give El Centro de la Raza life and exemplify what it means to be a community champion! 

If you didn't get a chance to give, you can still make a difference by donating through our website or buying a brick to help build affordable housing!


5th Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award
Nominations now being accepted

RFM Legacy Award 2

Roberto Maestas’ life was dedicated to building Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity. 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 Fifth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award recognizes 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.
El Centro de la Raza will celebrate awardees and their contributions by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice.  Award recipients will be recognized at El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at The Seattle Westin.
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 26, 2015 at 5:00pm Pacific Time. Please see application hereE-mail applications to: execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org.


2015 Tax Prep Season Results!

The 2015 United Way Free Tax Prep results are in! At El Centro de la Raza alone we were able to serve 695 clients. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we brought $1,013,595 back to the community in tax refunds. Totals for King County as a whole reached an all-time high, as 19,900 returns were prepared, to bring $27 million in tax returns back to the community. Mil gracias to United Way and the many volunteers throughout King County who made all of this possible! 
If you are still in need of some follow-up support, you can email freetax@uwkc.org with questions.

Regístrese Ahora / Register Now

Save the Date: 2015 Gala!

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  • What: Reception, dinner, raffles, silent auction, Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards, scholarship presentations, and live auction!
  • Where: The Westin Seattle 1900 5th Ave, Seattle, WA, 98101
  • When: Saturday, September 26th @ 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Who: All are invited to join. Tell your family, friends, co-workers, and business partners! Earlybird tickets are $120 each, purchase yours now!

Become a Sponsor: More information on sponsorship levels and benefits can be found here.

Become a Table Ambassador: Recruit friends, family, and co-workers to fill your table and help us reach our fundraising goal! Register here.

Purchase an Ad in the Catalog: Promote your business or organization while supporting a meaningful event by purchasing an advertisement in our program booklet!

Donate an Auction Item: Help us have a successful event by donating an attractive item to be sold in our auction!

Volunteer: Volunteers are always needed for assistance before, during, and after the event. Sign up now!

For more information, contact our Events Coordinator at (206) 957-4649 or events@elcentrodelaraza.org.


Sign Up for Cooking Classes Today!

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El Centro de la Raza has expanded its 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. Follow this link to view fees for specific classes. Please help us improve our cooking classes by telling us what you want! Click here to take our quick 7 question survey. 

Make sure to check out the Seattle Weekly article about our cooking classes! Mil gracias Seattle Weekly and Brown Paper Tickets for helping us raise over $50,000 for our Senior Nutrition & Wellness Program. 

Upcoming cooking classes:

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

New ORCA Lift Reduced Fare Program

Our Frances Martinez Community Service Center has a new transit fare program! The new reduced fare for riders on the Link Light Rail and King County Metro busses will be $1.50 per ride. The new fares went into effect on March 1, 2015 and will be available to adults who have incomes that are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Click here to learn more about the changes. El Centro de la Raza will be one of the agencies partnering with King County Metro to verify program eligibility. If eligible, stop by El Centro de la Raza with proof of income to receive a special low fare ORCA card to be used for King County Metro and the Link Light Rail. For more information about our Human and Emergency Services check out our website or call us at (206) 973-4405. See information in Spanish.


You are invited to the “I Have a Name” Photo Exhibit Discussion


Please join us for an evening Charla (discussion) with Tom Feher, artist of the “I Have a Name” photo exhibit on Thursday, May 21st from 6:00-8:00 pm at El Centro de la Raza. Feher photographs Mexican and Central American refugees and immigrants as they travel through Oaxaca, México. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments provided. If you are unable to make it to the the discussion, you may view the exhibit from April 30-May 28, 2015 on the top floor of El Centro de la Raza. Please RSVP at (206) 957-4605 or execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Lucha Castro Book Launch Event

lucha castro book launch

Please join us for a powerful evening with lawyer and human rights activist Lucha Castro as she discusses her non-fiction graphic novel, La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico. The event, which takes place on Thursday, June 4th from 6:00-8:00 pm, is free and open to the public. Refreshments provided. Autographed copies will be for sale the night of the event. Please RSVP at (206) 957-4605 or execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org.  

Co-hosted by: Chief Sealth International High School Latina Girls Group; Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at UW; Women Who Rock; El Centro de la Raza Comadres Group
Special mil gracias to: Magdaleno Rose-Avila; Channel Foundation, Front Line Defenders 


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Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

Plant Sale at El Centro de la Raza

Mick Duggan, El Cento de la Raza’s resident master gardener is having a plant sale. He has a wide variety of plants and herbs that he is selling including epazote herbs, jalapenos, thai chili peppers, cucumbers, and a wide variety of tomatoes. Most of the starter plants begin at only $1.50. He will be selling from 2:00 – 6:00 pm every day until May 25th. Mick can be found pulling weeds and digging in the dirt in the César Chávez Demonstration Garden at El Cento de la Raza, so stop by and he will show the selections to anyone that asks him! Email him at dug_man@msn.com with any questions.

Transit Riders Delegation Meeting with City Councilmembers
The Transit Riders Delegation will be meeting with City Councilmembers Sawant, O’Brien, Licata, and Bagshaw on Wednesday, May 20th from 12:30 - 1:30 pm at Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room (600 4th Avenue, Seattle 98104) and all are welcome to attend! They will be submitting a report explaining how the city can be involved in achieving affordable transit for all. They will also address the need to expand and improve transit service and infrastructure. Click here for more information. 

El Hijo Prodigo at the theatre West of Lenin 
West of Lenin in Fremont presents El Hijo Prodigo (The Prodigal Son) directed by Mark Fullerton featuring José Amador. “El Hijo Prodigo tells the story of a man's return to his native Puerto Rico after an absence of 22 years. He is soon reunited with and beguiled by the history and culture of the island state he once called home.” You can find additional information at www.westoflenin.com. There will be performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm from May 7th - May 16th at West of Lenin (203 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103). Tickets are $15 each but if you use the code “joselive” on their brown paper ticket site then you only have to pay $5! 

ALAS May 16th 2015 Invitation Final

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

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In This Issue:

Cinco de Mayo Success

Día Del Niño

May Day March and Rally

Give BIG Results

Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Nominations

Tax Prep Results

Nuestra Comunidad

Tamale Class Ad 2

Help us improve our cooking classes by telling us what you want! Click here to take our quick 7 question survey.

Events Calendar:

May 30: Pozole Class
June 13: Tamale Class
June 27: Vegetarian Tamale Class

Mil Gracias Funders:

 $6,678 for Nuestra Historia, Nuestra Comunidad. Interpretive materials for cultural and historical points of interest 

Washington Service Corps
Two Americorps members, for Hope For Youth and Roberto Maestas Youth Leadership Institute 

King County Council
Retired Metro Transit passenger van for youth programs

Harvest Foundation
$10,000 for Senior Nutrition & Wellness Program

Cafe Ad 2


Board of Directors:

Ramon Soliz, President
Roxana Amaral, Vice President
 Pablo Mendoza, Treasurer
Victoria Kill, Secretary
Madrienne Salgado, Parliamentarian
Ofelia Alanis Torres
Francisco Calderon
Emma Catague
Juan Cotto
Norma Cuevas
Cristina Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Alexandra Narvaez
Bianka Sanchez
Urbano Santos

Room Rental Ad

Programs and Services:

Bebes! Infant Mortality Prevention
Business Opportunity Center
Café con El Centro de la Raza
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
Comadre Monthly Workshops
COMCAST Digital Connectors
Community Meeting Space
Community Organizing
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
DSHS People Point Washington Connections
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
Employment Assistance
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Families & Education Levy Case Management
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
Health Coverage Enrollment
Healthy Cooking Classes/Nuestras Comidas
Historical & Educational Presentations
Homeless Assistance
Hope for Youth Poetry & Civil Rights History Classes
HUD Housing Counseling
Immigrant / Human / Civil Rights Social
Justice Advocacy

Low-Income Transit Fare Enrollment
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
Seattle Youth Violence Prevention & Case Management
Senior Nutrition & Wellness
Senior Home Delivered Meals
Smoking Cessation
Summer Learning

Tax Prep Site
Veteran’s Services
Volunteer Opportunities
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training

GoodShop Ad

Bartells Ad

Amazon Smile


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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