Alianzas cultural academy

Alianzas hosted the "Cultural Academy" for University of Missouri Extension Specialists and community members to facilitate inclusive communities.

The mission of Alianzas is to foster inclusive communities that recognize and address the unique qualities and challenges of Hispanic/Latino residents using a community-based, collaborative learning approach.

The Greater Kansas City Hispanic Needs Assessment (GKC-HNA) encompasses qualitative and quantitative investigations to analyze the conditions and needs of the Hispanic population currently living in the Kansas City regional area. The GKC-HNA's primary objective is to assess the economic, social, educational, health, and civic conditions and needs of the Hispanic population living in the metropolitan area. The GKC-HNA will create an informative and accessible marketing product for policy makers, community organizations, educators, Hispanic families, Hispanic students, and all interested parties.

For more information:

Alianzas Cultural Academy: Alianzas hosted the "Cultural Academy" for University of Missouri Extension Specialists and community members to facilitate inclusive communities.

The Hispanic population is the fastest growing population in the United States. On January 14-16, 2009, ALIANZAS a program of the University of Missouri Extension and the University of Missouri Kansas City Institute for Human Development hosted the first Alianzas Cultural Academy  at the Guadalupe Centers, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. During this three-day training session, the participants gained knowledge about basic Spanish language skills, taught by instructors from the Spanish Academy & Cultural Institute, Lisa.Zajur from Virginia. The participants took a trolley tour and visited El Centro in Kansas City, Kansas, and Mattie Rhodes in Kansas City, Missouri, where they were informed about the programs, outreach efforts with Hispanic/Latino residents and took a tour of the facilities.

Two panel presentations also provided the participants additional cultural knowledge about outreach efforts to Hispanic residents in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The first panel consisted of representatives from the Mexican Consulate, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Guadalupe Centers, Inc. The members of this panel shared how they began their outreach efforts and talked about the current program they are working with to continue their outreach efforts. Some highlights shared by each presenter included: the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce actually started in Kansas City, and is now a National organization, and they continue their outreach efforts in entrepreneurship development with Latino populations. The Mexican Consulate began it mobile Consulate service throughout their region, which includes Missouri, Kansas and part of Oklahoma. Mexican nationals can obtain passports, consulate identifications cards, and other consulate documents during these mobile visits. We learned that in 2009, the Guadalupe Center Inc. is celebrating its 90th anniversary being the oldest registered Hispanic serving organization in the United States, so it was befitting to host the first Alianzas Cultural Academy there and the participants had an opportunity to view a short film describing the history and evaluation of the Guadalupe Centers, Inc.  

The second panel consisted of two Community Navigators that shared their personal stories about their challenges and how they overcame those when they first came to the Kansas City metropolitan area. In addition, the Community Navigators shared how they are working with Hispanic members and helping them navigate through community norms and systems that exist in the area. In addition, the Institute of Labor Studies from the University of Missouri Kansas City facilitated a presentation entitled “Immigration and Work: What is the Impact?” Participants learned about demographic shifts, employments trends, outreach efforts and advocacy in the area. A representative from the United States Census Bureau also provided the participants with demographic facts and described potential partnership efforts with the U.S. Census. More importantly, participants learned that there is not one model that works with all programs or communities. The Hispanic/Latino populations are very diverse; while the largest group is of Mexican decent, they are not all Mexicans. Each community needs to assess the community assets and needs, as they develop their outreach efforts. Identifying community leaders both informal and formal and establishing relationships are essential in developing initiatives with Hispanic residents. The class also participated in a group dinner at La Fonda El Taquito on Southwest Boulevard, which is home to the oldest Hispanic neighborhood in the Kansas City.

For more information:
      Contact: Erika Noguera, 816.235.1768
      View: Alianzas Web Site
      View: Alianzas (Alliances) Project Profile
      Partnering with: University of MIssouri Extension
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