Unidos Bridging Community is a mission supported by FBC. Started in 2012, spearheaded by Sally Godard, with a small group of Latinos and non-Latinos, Unidos’ mission is to build bridges of understanding, support and advocacy between Latinos and non-Latinos in Yamhill County.
This past year has been very productive for Unidos. We launched aLERT, Law Enforcement Relations Team, which is building a relationship between Latinos and the McMinnville Police Department and Yamhill County Sheriff office. Our well-attended November Forum with Latino community members and the McMinnville PD prompted a valuable discussion. In 2016, we’ll assist the Mac PD with Cultural Awareness training and a spring workshop on Families and Gang Issues.
Another program we started this year, in cooperation with Dayton schools, Chemeketa, and the OSU Extension Service, is Juntos, a college preparation program that works with Latino students and their families to explore the opportunities for higher education. The program begins with a six week course and continues with a student club and monthly family gatherings.
A third program we launched this year was the new Latino Advocacy Coalition. LAC meets monthly and brings representatives of more than 40 businesses, educational units, non-profits, and government agencies to communicate and collaborate on activities and services that benefit the Latino communities. Unidos provides the leadership and administrative support of this invaluable networking of creative thinkers and do-ers.
Unidos, along with Lutheran Community Services, continues to conducts three 12-session series of citizenship classes a year for those who want to change their legal immigrant status from permanent resident to citizen. Teachers and assistants are all volunteers who take joy in helping prepare our neighbors to become voting citizens.
Unidos asks you to get involved. All of our programs are dependent on volunteers. Choose a program that excites you and ask me how you can participate. Financial donations are required for Unidos to do its work. To donate, please send a check to Unidos Bridging Community, 3300 NW Hill Rd. McMinnville 97128. Follow us on Facebook. For more information contact Janet Langenwalter, Unidos Board Member