Estimada comunidad, in January 2018 COPAL officially began its activities as a small yet mighty organization.
In a short period of time we secured funding to staff two full time and three part time employees and office space, facilitated citizenship classes, and ran a comprehensive electoral engagement campaign. You can take a closer look at our 2018 Impact Report in English and Español below.
We imagined building a civic organization capable of supporting members of our community to thrive. Through vision, collective experience and hard work we are well on our wayto making that dream a reality.
Early in life, as a child born in a country economically struggling and frequently enduring social conflicts due to repressive dictatorships, I learned the lesson that my survival depended on my ability to win. In my elementary catholic school at lunch, plates of food were placed on the tables. When my classmates and I arrived, we had to compete for the plate with the most food (to be clear, this was not an excess of food, but a small portion more than what was needed to survive). The game of winners and losers was enforced and reinforced at every level. It wasn’t greed, it was survival.
While attending high school and working full-time in a factory along with fellow exploited workers I gained a different social conscience. I realized that survival wasn’t about competing against my brothers and sisters, rather it was about working together.
As an adult, I learned the difference between surviving and thriving. Living a dignified life while building my families’ future, required meto solve my basic needs such as shelter, food, documents to work in the United States, fair wages, and access to health care. Oftentimes, individually these issues are insurmountable. However, throughout the course of my life, I have realized that collectively we can overcome all the barriers put in front of us. Collective consciousness and action, as opposed to individual competition has the power to transform.
COPAL was founded under the ideal of becoming a vehicle for our communities to move from surviving to thriving to build a better future for Latinx in Minnesota. After closing an amazing year full of accomplishments; COPAL will be leading and participating in several campaigns in 2019. Some of the campaigns are:
- The MN TPS-DED Alliance. Our Minnesota network, connected to a national effort, seeks to support people to obtain an extension on their work permit or to obtain permanent status. The Trump Administration ended TPS and DED programs for about 400, 000 people legally residing in the United States. Minnesota is home to about 6,000 DED-TPS recipients.
- The Citizenship Now Campaign. This national campaign is seeking to reduce the waiting time for obtaining a citizenship interview by engaging the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This issue affects about 700,000 applicants nationwide and about 15,000 in Minnesota.
- Driver’s License for All. Pass legislation that ensures access to a driver’s license for members of our communities. Thousands of immigrant families benefit from achieving this goal.
Friends, we are asking you to join us on this endeavor by giving a one-time donation or becoming a sustaining partner with a monthly gift. The possibility of building a better world rests on our own ability to see each other as deserving brothers and sisters and working together to change the systems that limits our abilities to live dignified and productive lives.
Your solidarity contribution can be made by sending a check payable to: Take Action MN/COPAL or make a secure gift online here.
If you want to know more about COPAL and about our plans for the future, or if you are interested in volunteering, please send us an email to arrange a visit.
Thank you for your gift and support to help create a better Minnesota.
Francisco Segovia and the COPAL Team
You can take a closer look at our 2018 Impact Report in English and Español below.
COPAL (Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Acción Latina) is a membership organization with a mission of uniting Latinxs in Minnesota in active grassroots communal democracy that builds racial, gender, social and economic justice across community lines. Follow our activities at Facebook, You Tube and Instagram.