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COPAL celebrates milestone for the Latino Center for Community Engagement with demolition of former O’Reilly Auto Parts

MINNEAPOLIS – On Wednesday, COPAL hosted a community celebration marking the beginning of a significant transformation in Minnesota. The demolition of the old O’Reilly Auto Parts at 2905 E Lake Street in Minneapolis signaled the initial stage in the process to build the Latino Center for Community Engagement (LCCE). The Center will become a vibrant hub for unity, celebration, and cultural exchange, embodying the rich transnational spirit of Latine communities. 

Community members and COPAL members gathered to celebrate this milestone in the construction of the LCCE. The event featured COPAL’s program, outlining the ambitious vision for this transformative center, slated for completion by October 2026. Speakers addressed the significance of this Center for the Latine community and for Lake Street as a whole. This milestone marks a pivotal moment, symbolizing the restoration of land ownership to local residents and reaffirming the historical presence of Latines along Lake Street. 

“We are already feeling the change from the previous out-of-state owners. It is refreshing and calming to know that there is a local organization, connected to and invested in our community now occupying this space,” said Katie Zobro Daniels, a neighbor of the LCCE. “Being such a tight knit community here, we are excited about how the future LCCE will add to our block and neighborhood. We are eager to see more green space and a cheerful building. Having a community center that young families in our neighborhood can participate in will continue to promote healing along the Lake Street corridor.”

“The center’s current space is small, but a larger space would increase COPAL’s ability to continue impacting more families,” said Evelyn Sanchez, a member of COPAL. “In Minnesota there are thousands of Ecuadorians who would benefit from a TPS [Temporary Protected Status] and a space in which we can continue to strengthen our abilities to contribute to society and achieve a better standard of living.”

Construction for the LCCE is set to begin in July of 2025 with an anticipated completion date of October 2026. COPAL is working to secure $12 million in funding for the project. Once finished, the LCCE will feature an array of community spaces including an art gallery, Workers’ Center and resource center, cafe, greenhouse, Radio Jornalera MN station, audiovisual studio, leasing space for partner organizations and a home-base for COPAL’s administrative operations. 

Construction for the LCCE is set to begin in July of 2025.
Francisco Segovia, Executive Director at COPAL.
The demolition was a party to share the project with the community.

COPAL Education Fund is a statewide, 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization that works to build collective power, transform systems, and create opportunities for Latines to have dignified lives in Minnesota. For more information, please visit

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