Remembering Maya Angelou, Children's Day & More - May eNews
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May 29, 2014
Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Please join me in celebrating the life and legacy of the great Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away this week on May 28th at the age of 86. Dr. Angelou was a prolific writer, director, dancer, singer, and an inspirational source of wisdom. Her special ability to enlighten the people of the world through poetry, literature, and many other mediums is something to be admired and remembered forever. Dr. Angelou's courage, insight, and dedication to social justice has served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for many of the founders of El Centro de la Raza, including our beloved Roberto Maestas. I encourage you to read this article from the New York Times about Dr. Maya Angelou, and reflect on this powerful quote that Roberto was very fond of:

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Here at El Centro de la Raza, we strive to make people in our community feel welcomed, accepted, and supported. We do this by hosting events, providing services, and opening our home and our hearts to the community. From our participation in the May Day march for immigration reform, to our big Cinco de Mayo Celebration, the ribbon cutting for our new park in celebration of Universal Children's Day, and the multitude of volunteer groups that we hosted, we were very busy during the month of May working to "be the rainbow in someone's cloud," as Dr. Angelou wrote.

Mil gracias to all of you in the El Centro de la Raza community who attended our events, volunteered, or simply read our newsletter to stay up to date on what we are accomplishing together. As we move into June and welcome the longer days and the warmth of the summer, p
lease consider getting involved with El Centro de la Raza by signing up to volunteer, or signing up for one of the many classes we offer as fundraisers for our programs, including cultural cooking classes and cultural spanish classes. Mil gracias for your continued support, and remember that YOU ARE El Centro de la Raza.


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!

Student Finds Confidence and Purpose Through El Centro de la Raza's Youth Services

LFJ is currently a junior at Chief Sealth High School, is enrolled in the Chief Sealth Proyecto Saber program, and participates in El Centro de la Raza's (ECLDR) youth programs, such as Hope for Youth. When LFJ first joined Proyecto Saber and Hope for Youth, his unfamiliarity with the new classroom settings, teachers, and curiculum caused him to be disengaged and sometimes negative. However, ECDLR staff realized that this was linked to his lack of confidence and support and worked closely with LFJ to help him realize his potential. Teachers and mentors engaged LFJ in activities and projects with other students that gave him the knowledge and skills to empower himself to be proud of his ideas and confident in his abilities.

Now, the student who once sat apathetically in the back of class is a vocal contributor in discussions and excels academically as a result of the support system he has built at school and ECDLR. LFJ has even become a regular volunteer at our events such as Día de los Muertos, Las Posadas, and Fiestas Patrias. The skills, confidence, and experience that LFJ has gained are an indicator that he will have a successful transition from high school to college next year. Much like our Hope for Youth program gives students like LFJ hope for their futures, students like LFJ give El Centro de la Raza hope as well, and inspire us to keep fighting for social justice.

Donate now to ensure that students like LFJ continue to have a place to grow into confident, empowered young people.
El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

El Centro de la Raza Celebrates Universal Children's Day with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Children's Day 2014 Pics
(Left to right: children enjoy the sun at the new park, Acting Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation Christopher Williams receives a gift from El Centro de la Raza.)

On April 30th, 2014 El Centro de la Raza celebrated Universal Children’s Day and the official opening of our remodeled Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park and Cesar Chavez Demonstration Garden. Many people attended the event including 5 classes from Beacon Hill International Elementary School, 120 students from the José Martí Child Development Center, representatives from the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, and many more. The park renovation project was funded generously by 2008 Seattle Parks & Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, King County Parks, City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and the United Way of King County.

Our celebration of Universal Children’s Day served as a reminder of how important our children’s needs and rights are. This event dates back to 1954, when the U.N. General Assembly recommended that all countries observe Universal Children’s Day to promote the welfare of children everywhere. Click here to learn more about the history of Universal Children's day.

Mil gracias to our funders and volunteers who made the park and our celebration possible, as well as those who attended our celebration to honor our children, who are the future of this world.

If you are interested in having your child attend preschool, El Centro de la Raza’s José Martí Child Development Center is currently enrolling. ECEAP and Step Ahead programs for 4-year-olds begin in September. Free half-day or full time is available with subsidies. For more information or to apply please contact Maria James at or (206) 957-4637.


Save the Date/Reserva la Fecha

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 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.
Save the Date for Zipcar's "Communities With Drive" Contest!

El Centro de la Raza recently applied for a nationwide Zipcar grant contest called “Communities With Drive.” We are very excited about the opportunity to win a grand prize of $50,000 cash and over $14,000 in Zipcar credits, but we need your help to win! We need to show Zipcar that our community truly has drive and that we deserve to win the contest! El Centro de la Raza plans to use the cash prize to make our future Plaza Roberto Maestas development more pedestrian friendly and promote alternative forms of transportation that unclog roads and lessen pollution, such as car-sharing, to make our community a safer and healthier place to live. Voting for the contest winners will begin on Monday, June 9th and ends Wednesday, June 25th.


Auction Item Preview May 2014 
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 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 specific classes:
Upcoming cooking classes are listed below:

Click here to purchase tickets for cooking classes. For more information e-mail 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, contact or (206) 957-4605.

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 9th, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Click here for more information and to view the application.

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.

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

Show off Your Sustainable Home Practices!

Want to show-off the sustainability in your neighborhood? You are invited to showcase your home during an upcoming walk that starts and ends at El Centro de la Raza  on June 28th in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, as part of Beacon Rocks. Hosted by Sustainable Seattle and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/TAG, the walk will feature homes and sites that are helping keep our water clean! They are looking for homes that include one or more of the following:

  • Rain Gardens 
  • Cisterns
  • Rain Barrels
  • Compost Bins
  • Directed/Disconnected Downspouts
  • Edible Gardens
  • Permeable Pavers
  • Pervious Asphalt
  • Solar Panels
  • Zero Water Yards
  • Green Roofs

If you are interested in participating, please contact us at This walk is part of DRCC/TAG’s Rain2River program and Sustainable Seattle’s Sustainable Neighborhoods program. Visit to learn more.

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 Applications are available online in seven different languages.

Social Media Links:

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In This Issue:

Student Finds Confidence, Purpose Through Youth Programs

Universal Children's Day at El Centro de la Raza

Auction Item Sneak Peek!

Join Our Auction Procurement Committee Today

Sign Up for This Weekend's Tamale Class!

Summer Spanish Classes Open for Enrollment

2014 Legacy Awards Now Open for Nominations

State Financial Aid for DREAMers, Apply NOW!

Show Off Your Home's Sustainability!

Spanish Classes Ad Ashley

Tamale Class Ad 2

Mil Gracias May Funders:

Office of Arts and Culture 
$6,500 for Día de los Muertos Youth Ofrenda Project

Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority
$77,874 for Affordable Care Act health care enrollment program

Washington Service Corps
Hope for Youth program volunteer placement for 2014-2015

Events Calendar:

May 31: Veggie Tamale Class
June 5:
Café con El Centro
June 7: Salsa Making Class

Cafe Ad 2


News Roundup:

Seattle gets stellar rating for pedestrian safety
Gov. Inslee wants to wean state's electric utilities off coal

How American universities turned into corporations
America's immigration policy is systematically killing our future

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 501(c)3 Nonprofit Tax ID: 91-0899927

Contact Us | 2524 16th Avenue South - Seattle, WA 98144 | 206-957-4652 | |

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