at our best, we
always been and will
always be one nation
at our best, we
have always been
and will always
be one nation
“We need to get to know each other better, work together and understand that a better L.A. is not just a better L.A. for some.” – Martha Arévalo, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
People often say that immigrants are the future of the United States. But Martha Arévalo, executive director of Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), sees them as the present. “These are the folks who make L.A. work. They work six or seven days a week so that their children can have a better future. They contribute to social security and other programs that benefit us all.”
One in three L.A. residents is an immigrant, and the determination and entrepreneurship of these 3.5 million new Americans is key to our economic potential. Recognizing this, CARECEN promotes advocacy, organizing and legal services in Los Angeles County so that immigrants have the opportunity to thrive.
CCF is committed to ensuring immigrants from all over the world are woven into L.A.’s civic, economic and cultural fabric. This year, we gave more than $1.5 million to programs dedicated to improving the lives of new Americans. Through the Our Children Relief Fund, we supported organizations like CARECEN in providing shelter, food, medical care and legal counsel to Central American children fleeing violence and seeking refuge in the United States. We partnered with organizations like Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles to promote citizenship and with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles to implement federal programs offering work authorization and temporary relief from deportation. And through CCF’s Council on Immigrant Integration, we bring together public, private and philanthropic partners to provide leadership on immigrant integration.
Martha understands that strengthening immigrant communities is key to improving the entire county. As she points out, “If only one segment of the population is successful, then we have a really fragile city.”
2014-2015 VISION: Ensure that immigrants are full participants in the social, economic and civic life of Los Angeles County to add to our region’s strength and resilience. Awarded 35 grants totaling $1.52 million.