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CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio) Strategy for Deeper Engagement

CLUES will activate transformational change through investments in social networks of support and social connections.

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Immigrants and immigration strengthen the fabric of who we are as a country. Yet, the impact of an anti-immigrant environment is forcing many in our community to live in the shadows and in isolation. Latinos face limited social and economic mobility in part due to lacking social connections, effective networks, and proper channels to integrate and take advantage of the opportunities.
It is our goal to make a change to the status quo and to more intentionally address fear and isolation head-on, by shifting social capital as a priority area for investment for our community. CLUES proposes to do so by creating safe spaces and informal networks of support that can serve to build relationships and a sense of belonging to help people heal and feel valued who have or are experiencing complex social, economic and emotional trauma.
This shift is a recognition of the value and need to bring broader levels of engagement to the forefront-- action cohorts and networks/ecosystems. Action cohorts will engage community as co-creators and will move individuals beyond stability to leadership and enrichment. Engagement at the network/ecosystem level will focus on impacting change within broader systems, institutions, and neighborhoods to create an environment that fosters health and wellness across the social and economic determinants of health.
In action, this may look like:
1) Individuals/Families: Individuals and families begin with individualized coaching, support, and learning that empower participants to achieve stability and connect with opportunities for wellness and prosperity.
2) Action Cohorts: Participants interested in ongoing engagement will be connected to one-another and engaged in building a collective voice to advocate for a better life for themselves. Groups will be built around mutual kinship and expected outcomes
3) Networks/Ecosystems: CLUES will accelerate change through partnerships and connecting these groups and their agendas to the larger community.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries of this project are new immigrant and low-income Latinos on the micro level and the broader Twin Cities community on a macro level.
Today’s political environment has highlighted that the Latino community is in dire need of spaces where they feel a sense of belonging, have opportunities to learn from each other, and build social capital to become successful in their lives. CLUES is committed to creating a future reality where supportive relationships and a sense of belonging help people heal who have experienced complex social, economic, and emotional trauma.
We will do this by creating a safe space and informal networks of support where people feel valued and connected, which in turn, will build reliance, hope, and empowerment for individuals and families to rescript their stories for a healthier, engaged and more prosperous future.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

CLUES Strategy for Engagement project breaks away from the status quo of how other human services programs work. Human Service agencies are often transactional in nature. An individual seeks support or has a need, the need is dealt with on an individual basis, and once the need is fulfilled, the individual often disengages from the organization offering the service.
CLUES Strategy for Engagement takes the human service model from transactional to transformational. The project will identify individuals to become part of action cohorts that will work together to solve issues that adversely affect the wellbeing of Latinos. Further deepening engagement and impact, networks and ecosystem change will engage organizations/institutions serving Latinos to collaborate with the Latino community at large. The project creates a continuum of support and impact stated simply as connecting people to people, people to place, people to process and people to policy.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

CLUES mission is to advance the capacity of Latino families and individuals to be healthy, prosperous, and engaged in their communities.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The inspiration for CLUES Strategy for Engagement was the current trauma and stresses that have impacted the U.S. Latino population in the last two years with the recent uptake in anti-immigrant rhetoric and heightened fears over deportation. In one recent health and wellness workshop in rural Minnesota, one of our participants said: “No tenemos a nadie- solo tenemos a nosotros mismos. (we have no one- we only have ourselves.)”

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

CLUES Engagement Strategy is an intersection of Peace and Prosperity--Peace, because the engagement of people in learning, connecting and making change has the potential to create more peaceful communities via understanding and taking into consideration the common good. Peace is negatively influenced by anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies occurring within Minnesota and the nation (such as ending DACA and TPS). Fear often results in dysfunctional and stunted families and communities, and we believe that this engagement project will help to allay fear, which, in turn will create families and communities that are healthy and thus more peaceful.
Prosperity is also related to our project. CLUES provides services that, ultimately, have the potential to lead to prosperity, since we promote education, finding work with a living wage, physical and mental health, and family cohesiveness and harmony.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

In developing our Engagement Strategy, CLUES has engaged both community members and partner organizations and institutions. Latino community members across the life span have been engaged in listening sessions to help formulate priority areas of work and will continue to be engaged as co-creators in our work. The engagement is at the core of the work to build networks of support and connections among community and across difference to improve wellbeing and economic mobility. Likewise, community partners, including local schools and universities, churches, cultural organizations, advocacy organizations, the Mexican consulate and health systems have been engaged in co-creating our strategy for engagement. We will continue to work closely with partners as we move into impacting the broader ecosystem.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Some of our community’s core strengths are:
• Pueblo—a sense of family or community where we are all in this together and our actions affect one another
• Orgullo Latino—pride in our culture and history; in the absence of material wealth, Latinos have cultural, family and historical richness that have the potential to impact wellbeing and prosperity
• Personalismo—a sense that personal relationships matter and are important for social connection
• Resiliency and Resourcefulness

Geographic Focus

The Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) of Minnesota, which is located in the USA.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Twenty four months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


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