Forum yields pledges for Latino
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 20, 2004 12:00 AM
A new effort to better serve Latinos got a boost Thursday with pledges of
financial and other support of issues ranging from education to health care.
A one-day forum in Phoenix brought together about 100 participants from
non-profit groups, government agencies and other organizations. It was the first
step by the new Arizona Hispanics in Partnership to address the needs of the
Valley's burgeoning Latino population.
The Arizona Community Foundation, a collective of about 700 charitable funds,
pledged minigrants of about $1,000 to organizations to better serve Latinos. ACF
and others committed to pooling funds to draw matching funds from other sources.
This year, a survey by organizers of the Arizona Hispanics group listed six
concerns: immigration; medical and behavioral health care; civil rights; early
childhood education and child care; workforce development; and K-12
education with a focus on drop-out rates.
Participants said there are no easy answers.
Those discussing early childhood education and child care noted myriad
challenges, such as how best to reach parents, how to produce information early
in both English and Spanish, and how to duplicate successful programs.
Gov. Janet Napolitano addressed the crowd and stressed the need to invest in
education, uphold new reforms for Child Protective Services and address fears
that she said are driving anti-immigrant sentiments.