Event Title

Nurturing a Community of Trust and Resilience: Coalition Building and Faith-Based Organizing at El Centro

Presenter Information

Rachel Leader, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 343

Start Date

4-28-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 2:50 PM

Abtract

This project is a field-based ethnography that researches El Centro de Servicios Sociales, a social services non-profit serving primarily the Puerto Rican and Mexican low-income residents in Lorain, Ohio. El Centro’s mission is committed to providing a wide range of supportive services to those most in need. Services offered include a food pantry, ESOL and citizenship-test classes, interpretation services, and tax and housing assistance. One of El Centro’s most significant partnerships is with the Lorain Ohio Immigrant Rights Association (LOIRA), an unauthorized immigrant rights group offering resources, trainings, and community support to its membership. Not only are many El Centro employees involved in LOIRA leadership, but LOIRA is deeply intertwined and inseparable from the mission and daily organizing of El Centro. Because the Latinx community in Lorain has developed into one of the most politically mobilized outside of a major city, this research will locate El Centro within a larger history of immigrant rights organizing in Lorain County. Finally, this ethnography examines how El Centro plays a leading role in developing grassroots power in Lorain and fulfilling its mission of community engagement and outreach through its contracted services and close partnership with LOIRA.

Keywords:

field-based research, community engagement, Lorain

Notes

Community-Engaged Research Panel
Session I, Panel 6 - Lorain | County
Moderator: Gina Pérez, Professor of Comparative American Studies

Major

Comparative American Studies

Advisor(s)

Gina Pérez, Comparative American Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Gina Pérez, Comparative American Studies

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Apr 28th, 1:30 PM Apr 28th, 2:50 PM

Nurturing a Community of Trust and Resilience: Coalition Building and Faith-Based Organizing at El Centro

King Building 343

This project is a field-based ethnography that researches El Centro de Servicios Sociales, a social services non-profit serving primarily the Puerto Rican and Mexican low-income residents in Lorain, Ohio. El Centro’s mission is committed to providing a wide range of supportive services to those most in need. Services offered include a food pantry, ESOL and citizenship-test classes, interpretation services, and tax and housing assistance. One of El Centro’s most significant partnerships is with the Lorain Ohio Immigrant Rights Association (LOIRA), an unauthorized immigrant rights group offering resources, trainings, and community support to its membership. Not only are many El Centro employees involved in LOIRA leadership, but LOIRA is deeply intertwined and inseparable from the mission and daily organizing of El Centro. Because the Latinx community in Lorain has developed into one of the most politically mobilized outside of a major city, this research will locate El Centro within a larger history of immigrant rights organizing in Lorain County. Finally, this ethnography examines how El Centro plays a leading role in developing grassroots power in Lorain and fulfilling its mission of community engagement and outreach through its contracted services and close partnership with LOIRA.