HRC Blog

HRC and ya es hora ¡Ciudadanía! Coalition Workshops

This post is by Hyacinth Alvaran, HRC Diversity Program Associate.

Throughout the months of September and October, HRC steering committee leaders in San Diego, Las Vegas, and New York worked in coalition with local and national organizations to help over 600 Latino/a legal permanent residents apply for U.S. citizenship.

September is a National Month of Citizenship, and HRC is a partner in the ya es hora ¡Ciudadanía! civic engagement campaign in order to build stronger relationships with a rapidly-growing community who shares many of the LGBT community’s struggles and dreams.

In the words of Pete Webb, a member of our Board of Governors for our Greater New York steering committee, “Coalition-building and working with others for equality are pivotal steps in our work and mission as a civil rights organization.”

On October 15th, our HRC Greater New York steering committee partnered with Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, CUNY Citizenship Now! and NALEO Educational Fund to help 150 people apply for citizenship.

In Las Vegas on September 24th, over 150 volunteers and 20 organizations, including HRC, helped over 360 people apply for citizenship, and provided advice and resources to over 200 more who had questions about the naturalization process. An HRC volunteer was deeply moved by his experience. He spoke with utmost sincerity about his newfound respect for citizenship, having been born a U.S. citizen and never having thought about the significant steps that it takes to work and study hard in order to obtain citizenship.

And in San Diego on September 10th, over 100 volunteers and 11 organizations including HRC helped over 100 people apply for citizenship, and provided advice and resources to over 100 more who had questions about the naturalization process. 

According to Caroline Theiss-Aird, the Vice Moderator for Pilgrim United Church of Christ, where the San Diego citizenship workshop was held, “It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we work together in pursuit of a common goal.  Best of all is the knowledge that over 200 people in our community are that much closer to being fellow citizens.”
 
A big thanks goes out to HRC’s national and local partners in ya es hora! These achievements would not have been possible without them: Mi Familia Vota Education Fund; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); the NALEO Educational Fund; the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Spanish-language media companies Entravision Communications, impreMedia, and Univision Communications Inc.; Councilmember Julissa Ferreras; CUNY Citizenship Now!; Caesars Entertainment; AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) Nevada Chapter; ASI Conference Systems; COLAVE (Colombian Association of Las Vegas); El Tiempo, Univision 15 Las Vegas; Univision Radio; Las Vegas Meetings by Caesars Entertainment; Latin Chamber of Commerce; SEIU Nevada; Wells Fargo; ACC (Asian Chamber of Commerce); Chihuahua Sin Fronteras; Democracia USA; Dream Big Vegas; Dom Pedro II Brazilian Foundation; Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional Inc.; Equality Alliance of San Diego County; Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort; Human Rights Campaign; JOB (Justice Overcoming Boundaries); NALEO Educational Fund; Pilgrim United Church of Christ; San Dieguito Adult School; State Farm Insurance; Univision San Diego; UURISE (Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education); and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
 
Please visit Ya Es Hora for more information or visit HRC.org to learn more about HRC's participation.
 

Photo credits: Listed from top to bottom

  • Photo 1) Britni Jackson with NALEO Educational Fund Julissa Gutierrez Photo by Marilyn Abalos
  • Photo 2) Volunteers processing citizenship applications. Photo By Marilyn Abalos
  • Photo 3) San Diego citizenship workshop on September 10th
  • Photo 4) San Diego citizenship workshop on September 10th
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