Un pueblo unido jamás será vencido! Latinos & giving back on 9/11 on !Ahora Si! (English/Spanish)

10 09 2009

!Ahora Si! – Austin American-Statesman’s Spanish newspaper just published an opinion piece I wrote for 9/11 United We Serve and Latinos giving back. Si Se Puede, right? Check it out…

Un pueblo Unido, jamas sera vencidoahorasi

“Un pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido,” We all know the rallying cry; it’s part of our history, our culture – it’s what gives us the ganas to fight for our rights, opportunities and our freedoms. It’s as old as Latin American revolutions to ‘Yes We can’ campaigns of today. We know it, a lot of us live it and we need to not only continue the mantra but take action!

And we must because our community needs our help. We have families living in poverty, managing two or more jobs and trying to put food on the table; our workers are earning non-livable wages; our kids aren’t prepared for school and dropping out; families are living with out health insurance and benefits. Yes, these are daunting problems but what we have in common is our Si Se Puede attitudes, ganas y el pueblo unido! It is for these reasons; we’ve been able to overcome many obstacles in our history.

Today is no different, in fact, we might have tougher battles to fight but we can do it if we come together as a community. We can make things better for our families, neighbors and generations to come. We can reach out to our neighbors & stay connected and we can volunteer and inspire our friends & family members to give back. As director of community engagement at United Way, I’ve seen what Latinos can do when they give back. We started with VIVIR UNIDOS this summer and can continue with United We Serve – Austin.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have announced a nationwide service initiative, United We Serve, spanning 81 days, culminating with a National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. These 81 days will be the beginning of a sustained, collaborative, and focused effort to meet community needs and make service a way of life for everyone.

So why don’t you join me! Answer the call – Help your community & become a volunteer! At United Way, we have volunteer projects and trainings that will help you get started. Call 2-1-1 or go to www.vivirunidos.org.

Help make Austin, un pueblo unido!

By Armando Rayo

Director, Community Engagement

Hands On Central Texas – United Way Capital Area

Opinión: Si te conviertes en voluntario, serás la solución

Picture 4

“Un pueblo unido jamás será vencido”. Todos hemos escuchado la consigna, es parte de nuestra historia y cultura.

Es lo que nos da las ganas de luchar por nuestros derechos, oportunidades y libertades. Ha sido tan popular durante las revoluciones latinoamericanas como las campañas de hoy y su “Sí se puede”. La conocemos, muchos la vivimos y ahora sólo falta pasar del dicho a los hechos.

Debemos actuar porque nuestra comunidad necesita de nuestra ayuda. Tenemos familias que viven en la pobreza y que trabajan dos o tres turnos para poner comida en la mesa. Nuestros trabajadores ganan sueldos que no alcanzan para cubrir las necesidades básicas. Nuestros hijos no están preparados para la escuela y desertan.

Hay familias que no tienen seguro de salud ni beneficios laborales. Cierto, estos problemas graves ¡pero tenemos en común la actitud positiva del “sí se puede”, las ganas y el pueblo unido! Es por esto que hemos logrado sobrepasar muchos obstáculos en nuestra historia.

Hoy no es muy distinto. De hecho, quizá tendremos que luchar batallas más duras pero podremos hacerlo si logramos unirnos como una comunidad.

Podemos aliviar la situación de nuestras familias, vecinos y futuras generaciones. Podemos conectarnos con nuestros vecinos y podemos convertirnos en voluntarios e inspirar a nuestros amigos y parientes a devolverle una mano a la comunidad.

Como director de participación comunitaria de United Way, he visto lo que los latinos pueden hacer cuando trabajar por el prójimo. Empezamos con “Vivir Juntos” este verano y continuaremos con “Juntos Servimos” (o “United We Serve” en inglés) en Austin.

El presidente Barack Obama y la primera dama Michelle Obama anunciaron una iniciativa de servicio nacional, “Juntos Servimos”, que durará 81 días y terminará con un Día Nacional de Servicio y el 11 de septiembre.

Estos 81 días son el comienzo de un esfuerzo sostenido, colaborativo y focalizado para satisfacer las necesidades de la comunidad y hacer del servicio una forma de vida para todos.

¿Por qué no te nos unes? ¡Atiende la llamada, ayuda a tu comunidad y ofrécete como voluntario! En United Way tenemos proyectos de voluntariado y capacitación que te permitirán empezar este camino. Llama al 2-1-1 o visita www.vivirunidos.org.

¡Ayuda a que Austin sea un pueblo unido!

Armando Rayo es director de Participación Comunitaria, Vivir Unidos – United Way Capital Area





Community Engagement Toolbox at the National Conference for Service & Volunteering

16 06 2009

The newest buzz words/phrases around the world of service and volunteerism is Community Engagement. So what is Community Engagement? Well, this is one of those terms each community defines for themselves. It’s volunteering, community involvement, giving back, capacity building, asset mapping, all of it put together. It’s a way to engage the new volunteer or public citizen in civic action!

I’ve been working on a Community Engagement framework for the last 2-3 years.  I define Community Engagement as a set of tools we use to open doors for people to become engaged in communities from volunteering and leading to organizing block parties to advocating for community issues.

I’ve been working on these tools, concepts and the framework for the last 6 months with the help of six amazing Public Innovators, and now I have the opportunity to present it as a workshop at the National Conference for Volunteering & Service in San Francisco!

ncvs

I’m really excited about presenting the Community Engagement Toolbox at the conference and hope it helps Hands On Network affiliates and nonprofits working to engage communities in creating change.  Check out the workshop description and if you’re going the conference, come check it out!

Community Engagement Toolbox

Community engagement is the process of building partnerships and working collaboratively with diverse groups of people to create change in communities. The Community Engagement Toolbox is a set of resources that can help you get started on the road to engaging communities in creating change. Learn the guiding principles (authenticity, innovation & collaboration) & key concepts (volunteerism, advocacy, dialogue, education & leadership) & programming that can be implemented in all communities.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1:30 – 3:00pm

Mascone West, Room 3001

You can find the workshop in the Nonprofit Workshop Track.

toolbox

Muchisimas gracias to my public innovators for all their help!

Paula Vaughan

Diane Miller

Jose Martinez

Rod Reyna

Tommy Darwin

Steven Fearing

Adelante!

Mando








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