Developing a Statewide Plan to Address Latino Issues in Michigan

Hosted by: The Julian Samora Research Institute, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Mar. 2011

This report summarizes the collective work done by participants at two statewide summits hosted by the Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI) at Michigan State University. The first, held in July 2009, resulted in the identification and prioritization of key issues facing Latino communities in Michigan, the second, focused on developing an implementation plan addressing the issues identified as key to Latino communities in Michigan. This report describes the key goals and related steps to achieve them in 2011 for the creation on an effective statewide organization that addresses seven priorities for Latinos in Michigan. Latinos who attended the summit recognized the importance of establishing an effective statewide organization that will serve as a mechanism to garner resources and coordinate efforts to address the challenges facing Latino communities at the levels of service delivery, policy development, and implementation. A steering committee was set up to oversee this process. Four organizational goals were identified for the upcoming year: 1) create an organizational structure, mission statement, and set of objectives that link grassroots and community-level actors across the state, allowing for networking and cohesive action on Latino issues, 2) develop a financial structure for the organization, 3) develop a code of conduct for participation in the organization, and 4) create a communications vehicle and statewide network to coordinate efforts statewide. Once these specific organizational needs are met, the organization can begin to focus on the five substantive issues identified in the 2009 meeting: a) education, b) immigrant rights, c) health and healthcare, d) civic engagement, and e) media portrayal of Latinos.

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