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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

     

    Contact:
    Julian Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812

     

    NEW PRESENTERS INCLUDE DANNY TREJO, MICHAEL TREVINO, LAUREN VÉLEZ, AND TRISTAN WILDS

    PITBULL TO PERFORM “RAIN OVER ME,” “PAUSE,” AND “SHAKE SENORA,” AND GLORIA ESTEFAN TO PERFORM SPECIAL RENDITION OF “WEPA”

    NBC to televise prime-time special, co-hosted by Eva Longoria and George Lopez, airing on Friday, September 16 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT

     

    NEW YORK—Bolstering the packed all-star lineup, NCLR is pleased to announce that Pitbull and Gloria Estefan will perform at the 2011 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) ALMA Awards®. Danny Trejo, Michael Trevino, Lauren Vélez, and Tristan Wilds will also join the long list of stars who will present at the only English-language Latino awards show on television.

    These stars join Jessica Alba, Maria Celeste Arraras, Jake T. Austin, Benjamin Bratt, Maria Canals-Barrera, Cote de Pablo, David Henrie, Eva La Rue, Mario Lopez, Oscar Nuñez, Michael Peña, Aubrey Plaza, and Naya Rivera as presenters for the show, which also will feature a live performance by Demi Lovato. The one-hour prime-time special airs on Friday, September 16 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT on NBC.

    The NCLR ALMA Awards show is dedicated to honoring the spirit and accomplishments of some of the most prolific Latinos in the entertainment industry, spanning music, television, and film. Co-hosted by Eva Longoria and George Lopez, the telecast will celebrate the entertainers who have upheld and promoted a socially proactive image of Hispanic culture in today’s media.

    The executive producers of the ALMA Awards are Bob Bain, Eva Longoria, and Janet Murguía. NBCUniversal and its parent company Comcast, which have had a national partnership with NCLR since 2006, play an instrumental role as creative partners and investors in the production of the awards show. In addition, PepsiCo is this year’s Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Target, McDonald’s, State Farm, Chevrolet, Comcast, AT&T, Bank of America, and Prudential.

    Photos with Eva Longoria, George Lopez, and the show logo are available at NBC Media Village: www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/nbcentertainment/2011nclralmaawards/photos.

    To use these photos at no cost, please register for a login on Media Village by clicking the “Register” tab in the top right corner and following the instructions.

    Promos and EPK: Please use the link below to access the EPK for the NCLR ALMA Awards.
    Eva Longoria and George Lopez
    Behind the Scenes Footage

    http://nbc.epk.tv/view/#/campaign/2011-nclr-alma-awards/

    For additional information, including announcements about the presenters and performers at this year’s ceremony, please visit www.almaawards.com or follow the show on Twitter at #almaawards. For embeddable clips and full episodes from NBC shows, please visit NBC.com’s official show site: www.nbc.com/shows.

    MEDIA CONTACTS

    For NBC:
    Sharon Pannozzo, NBC Entertainment Publicity, (212) 664-5152

    For the NCLR ALMA Awards:
    Jennifer Price-Keith, The Lippin Group, (323) 965-1990, jprice@lippingroup.com,
    or Julian Teixeira, Director of Communications, NCLR, (202) 776-1812, jteixeira@nclr.org

     

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    For the Comer Bien blog series, NCLR has asked several of our partners and Affiliates to reflect on the issues raised by families in the video vignettes. Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and our Affiliate, La Clínica del Pueblo of Washington, DC, one of five organizations with whom NCLR partnered for the Comer Bien video and storybanking project.

    By Alicia Wilson, Executive Director, La Clínica del Pueblo

    The patients who walk through the doors of La Clínica del Pueblo every day have many mountains to climb. Most of our patients are Limited English Proficient (LEP) and work two or three low-wage jobs. Many are supporting two families—one here and one back in their home country. A large percentage of our patients lack health insurance. Without the support of a community health center, some of those mountains might just seem too high for folks to overcome.

    In our health center, we understand where our patients are coming from and use this cultural competency to help our patients reach healthier outcomes. This is especially challenging and complex in the areas of nutrition and obesity. We see that tight schedules force hardworking parents to have quick meals and feed their children cheap food, regardless of its nutritional value. Although Latino immigrants may be accustomed to easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables back in their home countries, in the U.S. they often lack time and adequate resources to cook a healthy meal for their families. Every day in our clinic we see children who are suffering the consequences of malnutrition and are obese. We also see the interrelation between nutrition, obesity, and chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Our task is to help patients understand the role that nutrition plays in their health and to connect them with all possible resources to improve their outcomes—and even better, to prevent the onset of chronic illnesses.

    Rosa, featured in the video, is mom to one of La Clínica’s youngest patients with obesity problems. Dr. Kolko, her family physician, has been a key ally in helping her understand her son’s nutritional needs and how to modify his diet. This counseling is provided with an understanding of Rosa’s limited time and resources. Rosa is fortunate that the economic challenges she faces to nourish her baby boy are somewhat alleviated with the help of WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. At La Clínica we help our patients navigate the complexities of the system. Our entitlement workers are able to assist eligible patients to enroll in and receive WIC, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, and other social services. In addition to this, Rosa receives supportive services from a network of health care professionals who help the whole family adopt healthier nutrition habits.

    At La Clínica del Pueblo, a Federally Qualified Health Center, we strive to provide health care services of the highest quality which are culturally competent for immigrant families, regardless of their ability to pay. We understand and relate to the barriers that Latinos face and help them navigate through their medical complexities. Access to comprehensive health services is essential for families to stay healthy, and often it is the first step to tackling their obesity and nutrition challenges. Once in our doors, patients encounter a support network of promotores, providers, educators, and counselors, ready to help people of all ages take control of their health and engage in healthy lifestyle activities.

    Sadly, a significant portion of La Clínica’s adult patients suffer from chronic illnesses related to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. In response, La Clínica has launched several initiatives to support patients in achieving healthier lifestyles, such as aerobics classes, stress reduction groups, and a support group targeting diabetics, called the Club de Pacientes, the Patient’s Club. For example, José and Marina, featured in Comer Bien’s Vignette 3: Eating Well, are two former participants of this program who were able to control their diabetes and overweight problems. Patients are educated and empowered to develop disease-management strategies and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Through peer-led fitness and nutrition classes and one-on-one counseling sessions completely in Spanish, the Club de Pacientes helps dozens of Latinos each year control their diabetes. Over the last year, 89% of the participating diabetic patients reduced their A1C levels overall, while 66% reduced their levels by a whole percentage point.

    The path toward healthy nutrition is a challenging yet rewarding one. La Clínica’s holistic model engages providers, health educators, and medical case managers in tracking patients’ health and adapting treatment to fit their health and wellness needs. This guarantees that children have the resources they need for a healthier future and that parents like Rosa and grandparents like José and Marina know how to adopt healthy choices into their routines. By providing services that are culturally appropriate and recognizing the barriers that Latinos face, we are able to help nourish Latino children and teach the whole family how to eat well, comer bien.

    To find out whether you, a family member, friend, or neighbor qualifies for the WIC program mentioned in this video and blog, ask your trusted health care provider for more information or visit the USDA website to locate your state agency’s toll-free hotline.  


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    By Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President, Programs, NCLR and Lucille Davy, Senior Advisor to the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute

    Where goals and consistency in education are concerned, the past two years have brought positive developments. For the first time, education standards across the majority of states will provide our young people, parents, and teachers with a clear understanding of what students need to know in order to be successful at the end of high school, regardless of where they live. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) because they are clearer and higher than most state standards and are designed to make sure that students are ready to meet the demands of college and the 21st century workplace.

    We are strong supporters of the CCSS because we see the promise that they hold. However, while having high expectations for students is one thing – helping them reach those expectations is another. That is why we must work together to ensure that states and leaders are being thoughtful and proactive in providing supports that will help teachers and students reach these new standards.

    Providing professional development opportunities that help teachers learn the new standards and developing curriculum and classroom tools that match the standards are just a few of the important steps states must take to make sure that the process of implementing new standards goes smoothly. Over the coming months, it will be important for parents to take action and find out what their states are doing and make sure that the work being done takes into consideration the needs of all children.

    To help parents figure out what questions to ask and how to be part of the process, please find below some examples of the work already being done by states working to put their new standards in place.

    California is working to provide educators, practitioners, policymakers and parents with meaningful information on the standards through its state website and by presenting at over 40 conferences and workshops. It has commissioned review of electronically-available learning resources and is preparing to create new curriculum frameworks.

    Kentucky carefully mapped out the similarities and differences between the old and new standards. This exercise helps teachers understand the new standards by comparing them to what they have been teaching and helps them identify the necessary curriculum materials needed to effectively teach to the new standards.

    Indiana is working to prepare incoming teachers to teach to the new standards when they enter the classroom. For example, Indiana was the first state to align its teacher preparation standards to the CCSS and require that state colleges incorporate them into their teacher pre-service preparation programs.

    Utah has made early strides in making sure that teachers and principals are working together to reach the new standards by establishing the Utah Common Core Academy. This academy brings together teachers and principals to make sure their collective thinking is brought to important tasks, such as developing curriculum around the new standards.

    Massachusetts has begun helping school districts develop curriculum and is providing professional development opportunities for teachers. They have also started incorporating the CCSS into their state tests, the MCAS, and will begin using those tests in the 2012-2013 school year.

    While the timelines and approaches states are adopting in order to implement their new standards may vary, what must remain constant is the involvement of parents and communities in making sure that their students are receiving the support necessary to reach higher expectations.

    Additional Resources:
    To learn more about the Common Core State Standards and the early work of states, check out the Hunt Institute’s piece in this month’s GOVERNING Magazine: http://www.governing.com/papers/Impacting-the-Future.html

    To see a short, animated video on the development of the Common Core State Standards go to: http://www.hunt-institute.org/knowledge-library/articles/2011-9-1/common-core-state-standards-a-new-foundation-for-student-success/
     


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    By Janet Murguía, President & CEO, NCLR, Marc Morial, President, National Urban League, and Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

    In this era of budget slashing, some cuts just don’t make sense, particularly when they push families further away from achieving the American Dream of homeownership and threaten our nation’s economic and job stability. A primary example of this is when Congress eliminated $88 million to fund the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Counseling Program, which advises and educates people about first-time homeownership, mortgages, and foreclosure prevention. This essential program is fundamental to keeping people out of poverty, and providing protection to homeowners, particularly those in communities of color.

    The Housing Counseling Program is a critical lifeline for future homeowners and Americans facing foreclosure, assisting more than 11 million households since 2006 and ensuring that families keep a roof over their heads. In 2010 alone, HUD invested $75 million in the program, which was leveraged to create jobs, preserve home values, and prevent foreclosures, resulting in nearly $29 billion in measurable economic benefit. Despite the program’s success in making positive economic gains, Congress eliminated HUD funding for organizations that provide housing counseling assistance.

    Now, the millions of Americans left without any guidance are more vulnerable to predatory practices. Research shows that borrowers who receive counseling before they buy a home are less likely to default, and, according to a recent study by The Urban Institute, homeowners who work with counselors—such as those employed with HUD funding—are less likely to default on their mortgage and more likely to get a modification on their loan that enables them to keep their home.

    At a time when the housing market is still in a shambles and HUD funding cuts threaten counselors’ jobs, nonprofit organizations are coming together to preserve the housing counseling infrastructure. The Alliance for Stabilizing Our Communities (ASOC), a partnership between the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the National Urban League (NUL), and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), is working to replace the eliminated HUD money, ensuring that their communities don’t fall behind, and creating innovations toward a sustainable future for housing counseling.

    In 2009, Bank of America helped seed ASOC’s creation by providing start-up funds for the multiethnic collaboration. With the HUD funding crisis hitting hard in communities around the country, additional investment is required. Recently, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) gave emergency funding of $500,000 to ASOC to avert the layoff of hundreds of local housing counselors. OSF issued a challenge to other philanthropic partners and financial institutions to support ASOC and other organizations that have lost HUD funding. Wells Fargo has already met this challenge, recently announcing $1.25 million in grants to nonprofits that are trying to save housing counselors’ jobs and provide access to reliable, independent sources of information in vulnerable communities across the country.

    This support is a good start toward preserving vital counseling services, but the housing market has not yet rebounded, and our country can’t afford to put more people out of work. Groups like ASOC will help America’s growing minority communities keep their homes, reduce mortgage delinquencies, and assist in rebuilding our country’s wealth. Our proposal aligns with the President’s call for investments in housing and neighborhoods. Congress missed a key opportunity to demonstrate leadership in this time of economic crisis when a House Appropriations subcommittee passed the HUD budget without a single dollar for the counseling program. Such inaction runs the risk of putting American families in even greater financial trouble. 


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    By Janet Murgía, President & CEO, NCLR, Marc Morial, President, National Urban League, and Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

    In this era of budget slashing, some cuts just don’t make sense, particularly when they push families further away from achieving the American Dream of homeownership and threaten our nation’s economic and job stability. A primary example of this is when Congress eliminated $88 million to fund the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Counseling Program, which advises and educates people about first-time homeownership, mortgages, and foreclosure prevention. This essential program is fundamental to keeping people out of poverty, and providing protection to homeowners, particularly those in communities of color.

    The Housing Counseling Program is a critical lifeline for future homeowners and Americans facing foreclosure, assisting more than 11 million households since 2006 and ensuring that families keep a roof over their heads. In 2010 alone, HUD invested $75 million in the program, which was leveraged to create jobs, preserve home values, and prevent foreclosures, resulting in nearly $29 billion in measurable economic benefit. Despite the program’s success in making positive economic gains, Congress eliminated HUD funding for organizations that provide housing counseling assistance.

    Now, the millions of Americans left without any guidance are more vulnerable to predatory practices. Research shows that borrowers who receive counseling before they buy a home are less likely to default, and, according to a recent study by The Urban Institute, homeowners who work with counselors—such as those employed with HUD funding—are less likely to default on their mortgage and more likely to get a modification on their loan that enables them to keep their home.

    At a time when the housing market is still in a shambles and HUD funding cuts threaten counselors’ jobs, nonprofit organizations are coming together to preserve the housing counseling infrastructure. The Alliance for Stabilizing Our Communities (ASOC), a partnership between the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the National Urban League (NUL), and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), is working to replace the eliminated HUD money, ensuring that their communities don’t fall behind, and creating innovations toward a sustainable future for housing counseling.

    In 2009, Bank of America helped seed ASOC’s creation by providing start-up funds for the multiethnic collaboration. With the HUD funding crisis hitting hard in communities around the country, additional investment is required. Recently, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) gave emergency funding of $500,000 to ASOC to avert the layoff of hundreds of local housing counselors. OSF issued a challenge to other philanthropic partners and financial institutions to support ASOC and other organizations that have lost HUD funding. Wells Fargo has already met this challenge, recently announcing $1.25 million in grants to nonprofits that are trying to save housing counselors’ jobs and provide access to reliable, independent sources of information in vulnerable communities across the country.

    This support is a good start toward preserving vital counseling services, but the housing market has not yet rebounded, and our country can’t afford to put more people out of work. Groups like ASOC will help America’s growing minority communities keep their homes, reduce mortgage delinquencies, and assist in rebuilding our country’s wealth. Our proposal aligns with the President’s call for investments in housing and neighborhoods. Congress missed a key opportunity to demonstrate leadership in this time of economic crisis when a House Appropriations subcommittee passed the HUD budget without a single dollar for the counseling program. Such inaction runs the risk of putting American families in even greater financial trouble. 


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  • 09/11/11--02:19: The Space Between
  • This Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. That fateful day forever changed America in so many profound ways, not the least of which is our entry into a war with Afghanistan, the longest war in our country’s history.

    For the past few years, NCLR has participated in the USA Network’s Characters Unite campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to promote tolerance and fight discrimination. To mark this solemn anniversary, the USA Network will air—commercial-free—the film The Space Between, at 9/8C. Read the synopsis below and watch the trailer below. And be sure to tune in on Sunday as part of your own recognition of the September 11 anniversary.

    Synopsis

    The Space Between is part of USA Network’s Characters Unite public service campaign dedicated to combating prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance.

    Lonely flight attendant Montine McLeod (Academy-Award Winner® Melissa Leo) and Omar Hassan (Anthony Keyvan), a ten-year-old Pakistani-American boy traveling alone, are on a plane that is grounded in Longview, Texas on the morning of September 11, 2001. When Montine learns that the boy’s father works in the World Trade Center, she decides to drive the boy home to his uncertain future in New York City.

    As they journey across America’s vast heartland in the hours and days immediately following the terrorist attacks, Montine and Omar help each other discover the importance of tolerance, redemption, and hope.

    The Space Between was produced, written, and directed by Travis Fine.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Julian Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812



    Co-hosted by Eva Longoria and George Lopez, with live performances by Gloria Estefan, International Superstar Pitbull and the Zumba Dancers, and Demi Lovato

    Celebrity appearances by Jessica Alba, Antonio Banderas, Maria Celeste Arraras, Jake T. Austin, Benjamin Bratt, Maria Canals Barrera, Madison De La Garza, David Henrie, Eva La Rue, Mario Lopez, Oscar Nuñez, Michael Peña, Aubrey Plaza, Danny Trejo, Michael Trevino, Lauren Velez, Tristan Wilds, Marcia Cross, Cote de Pablo, Felicity Huffman, Naya Rivera, Adam Rodriguez

    LOS ANGELES—The 2011 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) ALMA Awards taped a star-studded event on Saturday, September 10 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, delivering the biggest night on television showcasing Latinos. The awards program will air this Friday, September 16, 8:00–9:00 p.m. EDT on NBC.

    The NCLR ALMA Awards show is dedicated to honoring the spirit and accomplishments of some of the most prolific Latinos in the entertainment industry, spanning music, television, and film. Co-hosted by Eva Longoria and George Lopez, the telecast celebrated the entertainers who have upheld and promoted a fair, positive, and accurate image of Hispanic culture in today’s media.

    The executive producers of the NCLR ALMA Awards are Bob Bain, Eva Longoria, and Janet Murguía. NBCUniversal and its parent company, Comcast, which has had a national partnership with NCLR since 2006, played a key role as creative partners and investors in the production of the awards show.

    PepsiCo was this year’s Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Target, McDonald’s, State Farm, Chevrolet, and Comcast.

    For additional information please visit www.almaawards.com.

    Photos, show clips, and EPK are available at NBC’s Media Village at NBCUmv.com. Additional photos are available at GettyImages.com

    The list of winners:

    Favorite Movie
    A Better Life

    Favorite Movie Actor
    Antonio Banderas
    You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

    Favorite Movie Actress—Drama/Adventure
    Jessica Alba
    Machete

    Favorite Movie Actress—Comedy/Musical
    Alexa Vega
    From Prada to Nada

    Favorite TV Series
    Desperate Housewives (ABC)

    Favorite TV Actor—Leading Role
    Adam Rodriguez
    CSI: Miami (CBS)

    Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Drama
    Cote de Pablo
    NCIS (CBS)

    Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Comedy
    Demi Lovato
    Sonny with a Chance (Disney Channel)

    Favorite TV Actress—Supporting Role
    Maria Canals-Barrera
    Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney Channel)

    Favorite TV Actor—Supporting Role
    Rico Rodriguez
    Modern Family (ABC)

    Favorite TV Reality, Variety, or Comedy Personality or Act
    George Lopez
    Lopez Tonight (TBS)

    Favorite Male Music Artist
    Pitbull

    Favorite Female Music Artist
    Naya Rivera

    Outstanding Career Achievement (Documentarian)
    Raymond Telles

    Outstanding Career Achievement (Writer)
    Cynthia Cidre

    Outstanding Career Achievement (Director)
    Gregory Nava

    Special Achievement
    The Harvest

    The 2011 PepsiCo ALMA Adelante Award
    AltaMed Health Services Corporation

    MEDIA CONTACTS
    For NBC:

    Sharon Pannozzo, NBC Entertainment Publicity, (212) 664-5152

    For the NCLR ALMA Awards:
    Jennifer Price-Keith, The Lippin Group, (323) 965-1990, jprice@lippingroup.com,
    Julian Teixeira, Director of Communications, NCLR, (202) 776-1812, jteixeira@nclr.org.

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    In week two of our "Spotlight on Education Excellence," we examine Early Childhood Education. Click here for more information about our Early Childhood Education programs and policies.

    Hispanics account for an increasingly large population in the United States, but our unequal access to and enrollment in quality education leads to a disproportionate achievement gap. This gap is especially apparent when it comes to early childhood education (ECE). Although Latino children make up the majority of children under the age of five, they continue to have a lower enrollment in ECE programs. In 2009, only 50% of Hispanics under five were enrolled in a center-based program, compared to 60% of White and 62% of Black children. A low enrollment in high-quality ECE programs is even greater for young Latinos living in poverty. Our country’s future economic growth depends on providing an education for this emerging group.

    Recognizing the need for programs to develop children’s education readiness skills, and cultivate their culture and language, NCLR developed the Core Qualities for Successful Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs.  After extensive meetings and planning sessions with a team of ECE researchers, specialists, and practitioners, NCLR researchers created this tool kit to provide an overview of the system and a best practices guide to offering culturally appropriate services for Latino and dual language learner (DLL) children. This resource will benefit children and families, as well as the programs that serve them and the communities in which they live. The Core Qualities focus on eight areas:

    • High expectations and high supports
    • Collaborative leadership
    • Cultural competence
    • Bilingualism and biliteracy
    • Sustained meaningful relationships
    • Family engagement and community collaboration
    • Continuous performance-based assessments
    • Relationships with institutions of higher education

    This tool kit addresses quality in program services to remedy the cultural and academic disconnect that many Latino children and families experience when transitioning into kindergarten or public schools. NCLR is committed to an accountability system that strengthens its ECE model and contributes to the field’s understanding of the issues specific to Latino and DLL children and families. Core Qualities is a valuable resource for the Latino community that will help bridge the gap between education and the incorporation of language and culture for programs serving young Latino children.


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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo, NCLR
    (305) 573-7329
     


    Enrique Cortez, LSR
    (202) 525-7411



    Miami forum will address concerns of seniors as part of the ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! campaign

    MIAMI—As concern grows over potential cuts to the financial safety net for America’s seniors and disabled, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR), and AARP will host a town hall on Social Security and its importance to Latino families and the state of Florida. The Spanish-language forum will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the Dade County Auditorium, located at 2901 W. Flagler St. in Miami. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature Mayor Tomas Regalado and speakers from NCLR, AARP, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and others.

    Social Security is widely recognized as a successful, efficient public program that serves as a powerful safety net for Americans who cannot work because of age or disability. However, it has come under attack under the guise of deficit reduction, despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one dime to the federal deficit and will remain financially solvent without any changes until 2036.

    Latino seniors are particularly vulnerable to the most recent proposed cuts and changes to Social Security. Although the program keeps millions of seniors out of poverty, the average yearly Social Security benefit for Hispanic seniors is only $12,213 for men and only $9,536 for women. These benefits represent at least 90% of the income for more than half of Latino seniors; cuts to the program could be disastrous.

    In Miami-Dade County, Social Security contributes more than $4.1 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to more than 371,000 residents, including 256,000 retirees, 42,935 disabled workers, and 25,570 children. Social Security serves over 3.7 million residents of Florida and prevents 1,070,000 of them from living in poverty. The Miami forum is the third in a series being held across the country as part of the Latinos and Social Security ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! campaign. In addition to experts on this issue, Latino seniors at the event will be available for interviews.

     

    MEDIA ADVISORY

     

    WHAT:         Spanish-language town hall on Social Security and its importance to keeping Florida’s Latino seniors and disabled workers out of
                       poverty. This event is free and open to the public.

    WHO:          Tomas Regalado, Mayor, City of Miami
                       Cristina Martin Firvida, Director of Financial Security and Consumer Affairs, AARP
                       Hector Sanchez, Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), and member of LSR Coalition
                       Leticia Miranda, Associate Director, Economic and Employment Policy Project, NCLR

    WHEN:        Wednesday, September 21, 2011
                       10:00 a.m. EDT

    WHERE:      Miami-Dade County Auditorium
                       2901 W. Flagler Street
                       Miami, FL 33135
                       (free parking available)

    Space is limited. To RSVP for this event or to get more information, please contact Camila Gallardo at (305) 573-7329 or cgallardo@mydemocracia.org.

    For more information about NCLR, visit www.nclr.org or www.nclr.org/socialsecurity.

    For more information about AARP, visit www.aarp.org.

    For more information about LSR, visit www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA:

    Contacto:
    Camila Gallardo, NCLR
    (305) 573-7329


    Enrique Cortez, LSR
    (202) 525-7411
     


    Foro en Miami de la campaña nacional ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta! discutirá el futuro del Seguro Social y la amenaza de posibles recortes

    MIAMI—En respuesta a la creciente amenaza de posibles recortes al programa del Seguro Social, un programa conjunto, que provee una red de seguridad financiera a muchos ancianos y personas discapacitadas en el país, NCLR (El Consejo Nacional de la Raza), Latinos por un Retiro Seguro (LSR) y AARP llevarán a cabo un foro abierto sobre la importancia del programa para miles de familias hispanas y para el estado de la Florida. El foro, que será conducido en español, comenzará a las 10:00am el miércoles, 21 de septiembre, en el Dade County Auditorium, ubicado en 2901 W. Flagler St. en Miami. El evento es gratuito y abierto al público, y contará con la participación del Alcalde Tomas Regalado, y panelistas de NCLR, AARP, y el Consejo Laboral para el Desarrollo Latino Americano, como también otros expertos en el tema.

    El Seguro Social es reconocido como un programa público exitoso y eficiente que sirve para proveer ayuda esencial para muchas personas de este país que no pueden trabajar por su edad o su discapacidad. A pesar de que el programa no ha contribuido ni en un centavo al déficit nacional y en su estado actual será financieramente solvente hasta el año 2036, el programa ha sido atacado bajo el pretexto de reducir el déficit.

    Los hispanos de mayor edad son particularmente vulnerables a los propuestos recortes y a los cambios al programa del Seguro Social. A pesar de que el programa evita que millones de estas personas caigan en la pobreza, el beneficio promedio para las personas hispanas de la mayor edad es solamente $12,213 para los hombres, y $9,536 para las mujeres. Para la mitad de nuestra población hispana, este ingreso representa un promedio mínimo del 90% de su ingreso total, lo que indica que cualquier recorte podría tener consecuencias devastadoras.

    En el condado de Miami-Dade, el programa del Seguro Social contribuye más de 4.1 mil millones de dólares anuales a la economía local a través de los beneficios que paga a más de 371,000 residentes, incluyendo 256,000 jubilados y 42,935 personas discapacitadas. El Seguro Social ayuda a más de 3.7 millones de residentes del estado de la Florida y evita que 1,070,000 individuos vivan en la pobreza en nuestro estado. El foro a llevarse a cabo en Miami es el tercero de una serie de foros que se realizan en este país como parte de la campaña ‘Latinos y el Seguro Social ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!’

    Además de los expertos panelistas, la prensa tendrá oportunidad de entrevistar a los participantes.

     

    AVISO DE PRENSA

     

    QUÉ:                  Reunión municipal acerca del Seguro Social y su papel importante de mantener a las personas latinas de la mayor edad y a
                              los trabajadores hispanos con discapacidades del estado de la Florida que viven en un nivel de pobreza.

    QUIÉNES:          Tomas Regalado, Alcalde, Ciudad de Miami
                               Cristina Martin Firvida, Directora de servicios financieros y de asuntos consumidores. AARP
                               Héctor Sánchez, Director Ejecutivo, Consejo Laboral para el Desarrollo Latino Americano (LCLAA), y miembro de la coalición LSR.
                               Leticia Miranda, Subdirectora, Proyecto sobre la Política Economica y Empleo, NCLR

    CUÁNDO:           Miércoles, 21 de septiembre del 2011
                              10:00 a.m.

    DÓNDE:             Miami-Dade County Auditorium
                              2901 W. Flagler Street
                              Miami, FL 33135
                              (Estacionamiento gratuito)

    El cupo es limitado. Para reservar su asiento u obtener más información, llame al: (305) 573-7329 o comuníquese con: cgallardo@mydemocracia.org.

    Para más información sobre NCLR, visite: www.nclr.org or www.nclr.org/socialsecurity.

    Para más información sobre AARP, visite: www.aarp.org.

    Para más información sobre LSR, visite: www.latinosforasecureretirement.org.

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    PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:
    Julián Teixeira
    (202) 776-1812

     

    Eva Longoria y George López serán los co-presentadores de la entrega de premios, en la que habrán interpretaciones en vivo de Gloria Estefan, Pitbull —una superestrella internacional—con Bailarines de Zumba, y Demi Lovato

    Aparición de celebridades: Jessica Alba, Antonio Banderas, María Celeste Arrarás, Jake T. Austin, Benjamin Bratt, María Canals Barrera, Madison De La Garza, David Henrie, Eva La Rue, Mario López, Oscar Núñez, Michael Peña, Aubrey Plaza, Danny Trejo, Michael Trevino, Lauren Vélez, Tristán Wilds, Marcia Cross, Cote de Pablo, Felicity Huffman, Naya Rivera, Adam Rodríguez

     

    LOS ANGELES— Los premios ALMA® 2011 del NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza), fue un evento estelar grabado el sábado 10 de septiembre en el Auditorio Cívico de Santa Mónica, y dio lugar a la noche más importante en la televisión dedicada al talento artístico latino. El programa de la entrega de premios se transmitirá en NBC este viernes 16 de septiembre de 8:00 a 9:00 PM tiempo estándar del este (EDT).


    El espectáculo de los premios ALMA del NCLR está dedicado a honrar el espíritu y los logros de algunos de los latinos más prolíficos de la industria del entretenimiento, la música, la televisión y el cine. Los co-presentadores fueron Eva Longoria y George López, y la transmisión televisiva honró a los artistas que han mantenido y promovido una imagen justa, positiva y precisa de la cultura hispana en los medios de comunicación de hoy.

    Los productores ejecutivos de los premios ALMA del NCLR fueron Bob Bain, Eva Longoria y Janet Murguía. NBCUniversal y su compañía matriz, Comcast, que han apoyado a nivel nacional al NCLR desde 2006, tuvieron un papel clave como socios creativos e inversores en la producción del programa de la entrega de los premios.

    PepsiCo. fue el patrocinador presentador de este año. Otros patrocinadores fueron Target, McDonald’s, State Farm, Chevrolet y Comcast.

    Para obtener información adicional, por favor visite www.almaawards.com.

    Fotografías, clips del programa y EPK están disponibles en NBC Media Village: NBCUmv.com. Para fotografías adicionales visite GettyImages.com

    Lista de los ganadores:

    Película favorita
    A Better Life

    Actor de cine favorito
    Antonio Banderas
    You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

    Actriz de cine favorita—drama/aventura
    Jessica Alba
    Machete

    Actriz de cine favorita —comedia/musical
    Alexa Vega
    From Prada to Nada

    Serie de televisión favorita
    Desperate Housewives (ABC)

    Actor de televisión favorito—papel protagónico
    Adam Rodríguez
    CSI: Miami (CBS)

    Actriz de televisión favorita —papel protagónico en drama
    Cote de Pablo
    NCIS (CBS)

    Actriz de televisión favorita —papel protagónico en comedia
    Demi Lovato
    Sonny with a Chance (Disney Channel)

    Actriz de televisión favorita —papel secundario
    María Canals-Barrera
    Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney Channel)

    Actor de televisión favorito—papel secundario
    Rico Rodríguez
    Modern Family (ABC)

    Personalidad o actuación favorita de reality show, variedad o comedia
    George López
    López Tonight (TBS)

    Artista musical favorito
    Pitbull

    Artista musical favorita
    Naya Rivera

    Excepcional trayectoria profesional (Documentalista)
    Raymond Telles

    Excepcional trayectoria profesional (Escritora)
    Cynthia Cidre

    Excepcional trayectoria profesional (Director)
    Gregory Nava

    Merito especial
    The Harvest

    Premio PepsiCo Adelante ALMA 2011
    AltaMed Health Services Corporation


    CONTACTOS PARA LOS MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN
    Para NBC:
    Sharon Pannozzo de NBC Entertainment Publicity, (212) 664-5152

    Para los premios ALMA del NCLR:
    Jennifer Price-Keith de The Lippin Group, (323) 965-1990, jprice@lippingroup.com
    Julián Teixeira, director de comunicaciones del NCLR, (202) 776-1812, jteixeira@nclr.org

     

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Joseph Rendeiro
    jrendeiro@nclr.org
    (202) 776-1566

     


    Washington, D.C.—Data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal significant increases in poverty among Latinos during 2010, reflecting the weak economic recovery and continuing unemployment crises, according to new analysis by NCLR (National Council of La Raza). These data show the need to focus sharply on policies that improve the economy and reduce joblessness while helping people most affected by unemployment weather the storm.


    Census findings include the following:


    • Latino poverty is on the rise with more than one in four Latinos living in poverty. The Hispanic poverty rate increased from 25.3 percent in 2009 to 26.6 percent in 2010; among all Americans, the rate increased from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent in 2010. Thirteen million Latinos were counted as poor in 2010, representing an increase of 893,000 since 2009. In 2010, a four-person family was considered poor if income fell below $22,314.
    • High unemployment among Latino workers is the key factor. The unemployment rate among Latino workers hovered over 12.5 percent for most of 2010, compared to approximately 8.7 percent for all workers. The Latino unemployment rate for 2011 has fallen to an average of 11.6 percent, which is in the right direction though still far above the 5 percent unemployment rate of 2006 before the recession began.
    • Poverty is higher among communities of color. In 2010, the poverty rate for Latinos was 26.6 percent, compared to 9.9 percent for Whites and 27.4 percent for Blacks.
    • Hispanic family income fell significantly between 2009 and 2010. Latino median household income fell to $37,759 in 2010, which was a statistically significant drop from its 2009 level of $38,667. The median household income also fell among White families to $54,620, among Black families to $32,068, and among Asian families to $64,308.
    • One in three Latino children lives in poverty. The Latino child poverty rate was 35.0 percent in 2010, which is an increase from 33.1 percent in 2009. There are 15.7 million poor children overall in the United States, and 5.8 million (37.4 percent) of them are Hispanic.
    • The poverty rate among Hispanic seniors fell to 18.0 percent in 2010 compared to its level in 2009 of 18.3 percent. Previous studies have shown that without Social Security, the poverty rate among Latino seniors would be approximately 50 percent.


    This is the fourth year in a row that poverty has risen, and our safety-net programs are more important than ever. Federal efforts such as unemployment insurance, tax credits to boost family income, or support to provide children access to medical care should continue to play a very significant role. Social Security’s role in reducing poverty among seniors must also continue to be supported. However, federal support for families alone is not enough. We need more effective skills training for unemployed workers, and we need a robustly growing economy to create more jobs.


    A growing economy means that people can move out of poverty. When people have jobs, they can provide for their families and purchase goods and services that can keep the economy growing. More people working also means more people are paying taxes and paying down the long-term debt. Budget cutting while the economy was still weak in 2011 has only drained the economy further and will lead to higher poverty unless we change course. The president’s renewed focus on job creation is the right priority to address today’s unemployment crises, and federal programs that help the poor and invest in the future must also be protected in the long-term budget discussions.


    NCLR is committed to fighting for more aggressive and sustained actions that are required to ensure a prosperous future for all Americans, including Latinos.


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    By Delia de la Vara, a producer of the NCLR ALMA Awards and Vice President, California Region

    Party led by Eva Longoria, with live performance by Ozomatli

    Celebrities in attendance included George Lopez, Maria Celeste Arraras, Benjamin Bratt, Kate del Castillo, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Jackie Guerrido, Eva La Rue, Gregory Nava, Lupe Ontiveros, Manny Perez, Gina Rodriguez, Alexa Vega, Lauren Velez, Lisa Vidal, Felicity Huffman, Adam Rodriguez, and David Zayas


    The 2011 NCLR ALMA Awards capped off the star-studded show taping with the official People En Español/NCLR VIP Post-Party on Saturday, September 10 at Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, California. This is the second year that People En Español and NCLR teamed up to present the official after-party to congratulate and celebrate the evening’s ALMA Awards winners.

    After an entertaining and energy-filled show, celebration of some of the most prolific Latinos in the entertainment industry moved right into the VIP Post-Party, where celebrities, industry influencers, and NCLR leadership toasted and danced the night away with the help of Grammy and ALMA Award–winning Los Angeles-based band Ozomatli. Eva Longoria, Co-Host and Executive Producer of the ALMA Awards, continued her hosting duties, welcoming celebrity guests and engaging the help of friend and Moët spokesperson Kate del Castillo in leading a champagne toast to the ALMA Awards honorees.

    The VIP Post-Party was produced by Benjamin N. Torres of The Event Division, Inc. in partnership with NCLR. Attendees were welcomed by the evening’s co-sponsors from the moment they arrived. A 2011 Chevrolet Corvette greeted guests as they walked the path of past ALMA Awards honorees, and partygoers could drop off their phone at the AT&T charging station on their way to grab a glass of Moët champagne, or a Pepsi for the night’s designated driver. It was a spectacular evening that allowed guests an opportunity to mingle, network, and dance under the stars at the beautiful Sonoma Wine Garden and the upper dining deck of Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, CA

    To join the celebration of the 2011 NCLR ALMA Awards, tune in to your local NBC stations to see the televised prime-time special, co-hosted by Eva Longoria and George Lopez, airing this Friday, September 16 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT.

    For additional information, please visit www.almaawards.com.
     


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    By Erika Beltran, Senior Policy Analyst, Education

    Ten years ago this September I started my first job as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in Houston, Texas. It was the first of day school, and for many of the children in my classroom, it was the first time that they had ever stepped foot into a formal school setting. Mothers dropped their children off and they were in tears as they left their young children to embark on their academic careers.

    That first day of school it became clear that the young children in my classroom were still grasping the complexities of being in school, not to mention the complexities of literacy and math. But what became even more evident was that those children who had gone to preschool had a huge leg up. They had an edge because they knew what to expect in school, and already knew the alphabet, how to write their names, and how to count. Those children, however, were the exception, not the rule.

    In Houston, Latino children make up 61% of the share of public school students. Similar to the rest of the United States, the vast majority of the Latino children in my classroom had not attended preschool. In fact, as our recent report Preschool Education: Delivering on the Promise for Latino Children highlights, in 2009, only 48% of Latino four-year-olds attended preschool, compared to 70% of White and 69% of Black children of the same age. This puts Hispanic children at a disadvantage as they enter into elementary education.

    This disadvantage becomes very clear early on. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that in 2009, only 17% of fourth grade Hispanic students were at or above proficiency in reading. In math, only 22% of Hispanic students were at or above proficiency. Essentially, the vast majority of Latino children are behind before they even get started. It’s no surprise that only 56% of Latino students graduate high school in four years.

    Early learning, although often overlooked, is an essential component in helping children succeed in school. For Latino children, the benefits are endless—yet, ten years after starting my career as a teacher, not much has changed. Latino children still don’t have access to high-quality preschool programs and enter school at a huge disadvantage. Policymakers have yet to devise a comprehensive approach to early learning that allows the promises of early childhood education to be fulfilled.

    NCLR has been very active in advocating for state and federal policies that expand access to high-quality early learning programs for Latino children. We are calling on policymakers to improve the quality of services for Latino children, to fund facilities development in high-poverty communities where there are limited early learning programs, and to fund programs that promote meaningful family engagement. Fortunately, recent federal proposals, like the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, incentivize states to closely examine how to better serve all children. Let’s not miss this window of opportunity to dramatically improve the education of Hispanic students across the country and help them enter school ready for success.
     


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    By Janis Bowdler, Director, Wealth-Building Policy Project, NCLR

    A strong leader at the helm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is critical to protecting our community from predatory and unsustainable loans. Yet 44 Senate Republicans had vowed to deny the CFPB a strong leader even before a nominee was selected. These Senators are actively chipping away at the very tenets that help Latino families avoid the asset-draining tactics that have resulted in their owning a mere five cents to every dollar owned by White families.

    At the top of the Senators’ list is replacing the leadership position of a CFPB director with a ruling committee. Having to wait for decision-by-committee would greatly impair the bureau’s ability to nimbly respond when coming to the aid of consumers. For this reason, NCLR is fighting to ensure that former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is confirmed as the CFPB director and watchdog.

    Cordray has a record of fair and sensible enforcement against dubious financial actors. As Ohio Attorney General he took the big banks and mortgage servicers to task and shed light on their extensive trail of fraudulent “robosigned” documents. He will hold lenders accountable and will be a critical ally for Latino families who commonly are targets of tricks and deception buried in the fine print of mortgages, credit cards, and money transfers. We have joined allies from the nonprofit and business communities to endorse Cordray’s nomination. He is a leader who will overcome opponents’ attempts to maintain the status quo in the financial markets.

    Earlier this week, Twitter lit up with support for Cordray during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. While individuals are often crowded out by industry lobbyists and remain an afterthought for many decision-makers, we invite you to participate in this urgent push to confirm Cordray as the CFPB director so that borrowers can get a fair shake. Join us by asking your senators to move beyond today’s partisan hostilities and fight for strong CFPB leadership. 

    This was first published to Univision News tumblr.


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    To support the improvement of services to Latino children and families, NCLR facilitated the exchange of best practices among a number of organizations providing early childhood education (ECE) services across the United States. NCLR identified Affiliate organizations to serve as models for implementing programs and practices in one of the following three concentrations:

    1. Dual-language development and integration of cultural elements

     Lead Affiliate: East Coast Migrant Head Start Project (ECMHSP)
    This organization demonstrated a well-established dual-language program in which children develop their skills through English and Spanish instruction, as well as by integrating cultural assets that facilitate not only their learning, but the active participation of family members in the instructional process.

    Participating Affiliates: Centro de la Familia de Utah, Guadalupe Centers, Inc., Gads Hill Center

    2. Family engagement

    Lead Affiliate: The Concilio
    The Concilio demonstrated an effective approach that fully engages parents and other caretakers in the learning process of their children in school and at home.

    Participating Affiliates: California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), Conexión Américas, Association House of Chicago

    3. Continuous data-driven assessment

    Lead Affiliate: Latin American Montessori Bilingual (LAMB)
    LAMB exhibited an integrated system of assessments of the performance of students, teachers, and administrators, in which findings are used to continuously adjust practice and structure to more effectively support the development of student skills.

    Participating Affiliates: MAAC Project, The Unity Council, Washington State Migrant Council

    Since the beginning of 2011, each of the three lead Affiliates hosted site visits from other organizations seeking to enhance their own practices in these areas. The site visits included classroom observations, peer exchanges, and hands-on practice of successful strategies, as well as the sharing of tools and resources designed to support successful replication. NCLR facilitated these peer visits and provided follow-up monitoring and technical assistance as the mentored organizations worked to incorporate the new strategies.

    Alongside the programmatic activities, NCLR is analyzing policy implications for the broad dissemination of best practices in these areas. Recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders with influence over professional development and program development in early childhood education will be explored and published.

    As a result of this project, NCLR:

    • Formalized a professional development peer network
    • Increased the number of organizations applying best practices
    • Increased the number of Latino children and families positively impacted by improvement in instruction and administration in mentored organizations
    • Increased awareness among federal policymakers and professional development providers of effective practices in community-based early childhood education programs for Latinos

    A series of policy briefs and a publication documenting the exchange project and essential elements for quality work in early childhood education will be published in 2012. 


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    For the Comer Bien blog series, NCLR has asked several of our partners and Affiliates to reflect on the issues raised by families in the video vignettes. Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and La Fe Preparatory School and its parent organization, our Affiliate Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, one of five organizations with whom NCLR partnered for the Comer Bien video and storybanking project.

    By Cynthia Cano, Assistant Principal, La Fe Preparatory School

    Clarissa, mother of one of our students at La Fe Preparatory School (LFPS) in El Paso, Texas, works very hard to teach her young children about healthy living. She wants her children to know how important good diet and exercise are—especially for low-income families living in one of America’s poorest urban communities and trying to prevent diabetes.

    For a child to have the best possible opportunity to reach their maximum life potential, certain areas are critical to address. If a child’s basic needs are not being met on a daily basis, then the ability to fully flourish is jeopardized. One way to target nutrition is to focus on food intake at home and at school. Health begins with access to nutritional information to the entire family. School plays a critical role by providing physical, academic, and nutritional education.

    At La Fe Preparatory School, our students participate in physical education (PE) for a minimum of one hour per day of vigorous exercise. All LFPS parents are encouraged to exercise with their children during Wellness Wednesdays. This time is set aside so that all students, staff, and parents can walk or run to music in the playground during PE. The school also emphasizes sports and fitness in its after-school program, which runs Monday through Friday. The after-school program teaches the students about living a healthy and active lifestyle through an aligned curriculum, which addresses the food pyramid, favorite family recipes that are updated with low-fat ingredients, portion control, and positive body image. All of this results in increased self-confidence for our students.

    A large percentage of the students at La Fe Preparatory School qualify for the free or reduced breakfast and lunch program. Because it can be challenging for several of the school’s families to purchase high quality, nutritious foods to prepare at home, the school feels an unwavering commitment to provide each child with the best possible breakfast and lunch choices that are prepared fresh daily. The cafeteria staff is committed to do more than just provide acceptable nutritional requirements. It has gone above and beyond to create a menu that supports our dedication to health and to serving foods that reflect the community’s culture. Food education is also key in reaching out to the school’s families. LFPS Chef Randi Marshall has set up a series of educational classes to teach and model preparation of healthy foods and recipes that are easy to reproduce at home.

    In addition, La Fe Preparatory School provides quality health-care services by partnering with the support of Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, our mother organization, and its health services. All of the students at the school are members of La Fe’s clinic network and receive full health, dental, and physical screenings twice a year. Counseling services are also available to the students and their families through this phenomenal partnership, which also includes training and workshops for the entire school community.

    The components mentioned above come together to create a unique, holistic approach to overall health and wellness. The philosophy instilled and followed by LFPS is a comprehensive, day-to-day approach that is essential to this community’s success in achieving physical, mental, and educational wellness for all.

    Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made its application package prototypes for state agencies available in 33 languages on its website, an important step in improving access for families who speak a language other than English in the home. To find out whether a child in your life is eligible for free or reduced-cost school meals, contact the child’s school at any time throughout the school year.  


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    By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

    This week marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is proud to help kick off our community's celebration with the NCLR ALMA Awards® airing tonight at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.

    Tonight's show is not just another awards show; it is recognition of how far Latinos have come in an industry that has not always had the best record of diversity. NCLR has also long understood the power of the media and we created the ALMA Awards more than a decade ago to help tell the Latino community's story. The show celebrates the amazing variety of Hispanic talent and culture in the United States and has been an instrumental launching pad for so many emerging Latino artists, both in front of and behind the camera. The ALMAs also underscore the power of diversity, which strengthens our country and the entertainment industry as a whole.

    We believe that celebrating the stars in our community--those in front of and behind the camera, as well as the millions who work tirelessly to serve our community and their fellow Americans every single day--is a truly appropriate and meaningful way of commemorating the Latino community's most important month.

    There are so many other reasons why it's important to watch the show tonight. The Latino community has faced several challenges this year, but 2011 has also been a historic turning point for Hispanics. The Census results confirm that we are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in the country. One of every six Americans is Latino. What's even more significant is that one of every four Americans under the age of 18 is Hispanic.

    We are not only the largest ethnic group--we are the fastest-growing group of voters, the fastest-growing market, and the fastest-growing group of media consumers. With a trillion dollars' worth of financial clout, we are a formidable economic power.

    It's time for us to make the rest of the country aware of the talent and power of the Hispanic community and for us to showcase the diversity, reach, and value of Latinos in this country.

    This year we have a new home on NBC, and a breathtaking array of talent on the show, from today's emerging stars in Latino entertainment like Pitbull and Demi Lovato to legends in our community like Gloria Estefan, Benjamin Bratt, and Edward James Olmos.

    The ALMAs reaffirm the major role Latinos have in today's America and will play in the future of this nation. Through the NCLR ALMA Awards, we will help tell that story and work to make sure others do as well, but we need you, too. Text, tweet, and post on Facebook to urge your family, friends, and social media pals to watch tonight's show. And if you like what you see tonight, support our Hispanic talent--watch that TV show, go to that movie, buy that music, or attend that concert.

    If we want to see more Latinos in front of and behind the camera, we need to vote with our pocketbooks. We must support diversity in Hollywood until it reflects the diversity of our great nation.

    This was first posted on the Huffington Post.


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    As the nation anticipates the recommendations of the congressional supercommittee charged with negotiating a long-term solution for the federal budget, millions of seniors are worried about potential cuts to Social Security. Many seniors rely on Social Security because it is a vital program that helps keep them out of poverty. Statistics show that Social Security benefits make up at least 90% of the income for more than half of all Latino senior citizens. This reality makes them especially vulnerable in an economy that is already less than promising for the general population.

    In response to these possible austerity measures, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), AARP and Latinos for a Secure Retirement (LSR) have launched—“Latinos and Social Security ¡Tu Futuro Cuenta!”—a campaign to provide information about the state of the Social Security program and how potential cuts could affect Hispanic seniors and their families.

    Next week in Miami, NCLR and our other two partners will host a Social Security town hall which will address the concerns of the Latino community in Florida. The Spanish-language program—with simultaneous translation in English—will begin at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 21, at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, located at 2901 W. Flagler Street in Miami. The event is free and open to the public, and it will feature Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado as well as speakers from NCLR, AARP, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

    A look at the numbers shows just how important Social Security is to Florida residents:

    • Social Security serves over 3.7 million residents of Florida and prevents more than 1 million of them from living in poverty.
    • In Miami-Dade County, Social Security contributes more than $4.1 billion annually to the local economy by paying benefits to more than 371,000 residents.
    • The beneficiaries of Social Security include 256,000 retirees, 42,935 disabled workers, and 25,570 children.

    The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is severely underfunded, despite the vast numbers of people it serves, and this has resulted in unacceptable delays in benefit claims, the closure of several field offices, and the suspension of the annual participant benefit statement. What’s more, Social Security has not contributed one dime to the federal deficit and will remain financially solvent without any changes until 2037.

    Latinos understand well the threat of potential cuts to a program that remains a financial lifeline to millions in their community. We strongly urge the community to join us in Miami to make your voices heard on Social Security!

    For more information and to register, please visit www.nclr.org/socialsecurity. Details about the September 21 event are available in English or in Spanish.


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    By Kara D. Ryan, Senior Research Analyst, Health Policy Project, NCLR 

    A health insurance card may be your ticket in to the doctor’s office, but it may not always guarantee the care and treatment that you need. If you are Latino—or hail from another community of color—you have a greater chance of suffering from a serious health condition in your lifetime. Once you are ill, you are more likely to have poorer health outcomes.

    For example, Hispanic and Black adults are nearly two times more likely than Whites to have been diagnosed with diabetes, an often preventable and always treatable chronic disease. Even more startling: among diabetics, Hispanic and Blacks are more likely than Whites to have a foot or leg amputated and the death rate for diabetes is nearly 50% higher for Latinos than for Whites. The avoidable complications, like the troubling rates of amputations, are often the result of an inequitable health care system where people of color experience lower quality of and access to care, regardless of where they fall on the income scale.

    Driving these health disparities are economic and structural barriers that make it difficult for racial and ethnic minorities to access a full range of affordable, high-quality health care services. The increase in racially segregated living spaces means that minority neighborhoods have less infrastructure that encourages good health, too. And on top of that, everything from your sex to your sexual orientation may contribute to obstacles to good health care. Immigration and citizenship statuses are often challenges that hinder access for millions, particularly Latinos and Asian Americans; in fact, nine out of ten uninsured noncitizens are racial and ethnic minorities. If implemented properly, health care reform stands to make a considerable difference in narrowing health disparities in our communities. But there is another opportunity to build on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act and further strengthen the promise of equity.

    That’s why NCLR is thrilled by the introduction of “The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011” (HEAA), comprehensive legislation that would build on the gains of the health care reform law to improve the health and well-being of Latinos and other communities of color.

    Introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee (D–CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D–CA), and Donna Christensen (D–VI) on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus and with 68 total original cosponsors, the HEAA is supported by a broad spectrum of policymakers and advocates representing communities of color and other critical disparities populations, sending a strong message that additional tools and investments are necessary to realize the vision of health equity for all Americans.

    This legislation moves us closer to health equity by helping to integrate communities who will remain vulnerable even after health reform is fully implemented. For example, the HEAA would eliminate access barriers for immigrant families, such as the removal of the federal five-year waiting period to health and nutrition programs currently faced by legal immigrants. The bill takes a broad approach, incorporating not only strategies to improve access to care but also community-based strategies that address social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities.

    NCLR supports the HEAA and commends the Tri-Caucus for its continuing commitment to improving the health and well-being of communities of color. NCLR looks forward to working with members of Congress, organizational partners, and a network of advocates to advance policies that tackle systemic barriers to affordable quality health care and allow all Americans an equal opportunity to be healthy.

    Sign up to receive health and nutrition updates from NCLR’s health policy team and we’ll keep you posted on the latest developments, resources, and advocacy opportunities in Latino health.
     


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