Libertad Con Dignidad

The Libertad con Dignidad campaign offers programs and actions dedicated to the advancement of liberty and justice for our immigrant communities. After more than a decade of extreme immigration enforcement and the ongoing failures of our nation’s legal system, immigrant communities are reeling in uncertainty and fear. Recent activity among authorities — including the joint efforts of the local authorities, FBI and ICE — has resulted in the increased detention and deportation of members of our community.  This enforcement occurs in the forms of raids and increased militarization of our borders. As any contact with law enforcement places them at risk for deportation, crime, domestic violence and problems within the community remain unreported.  The potential of deportation creates an environment of fear and distrust of the authorities amongst the community.  In conjunction with local issues such as gentrification, decrease of funds for education, the suppression of youth and the economic inequities within the city of Los Angeles, immigrant families and communities have become a critically vulnerable population.  Families are often separated due to deportation, and children are left without parents, leaving them vulnerable to the foster care system, the streets and potentially the same problems that their parents were faced with.

Homes Unidos works to bridge these gaps and unite families torn apart by deportation.  We work to broaden our community justice agenda by bringing families together through; Family Support, Advocacy and education through our Know You Rights workshops. Libertad con Dignidad (Liberty with Dignity), has been engaging with the local community around gentrification/redevelopment and immigrant rights to address policies that will affect our neighborhood.  Our members participate in local advisory committees, such as the MacArthur Park Advisory Committee to speak on the over-policing of the park and how the park could best serve the needs of the community.  Homies Unidos is part of the Los Angeles City Council’s ad hoc committee on gangs, composed of gang intervention workers to create and propose new models and definitions of gang prevention and intervention. Libertad con Dignidad would not exist without its members who are a combination of families, college students and youth who are either immigrants themselves or have family who are immigrants who are affected by immigrant detention and deportation.  They drive the mission of Libertad con Dignidad, are active participants in our policy advocacy efforts, and several have been trained to give Know Your Rights presentations as part of leadership development. Our work with the detainees and the inhumane treatment of those in detention includes sharing a current packet of Country Conditions and policy advocacy.

Youth Leadership Training Based on over a decade of this work, Homies Unidos has developed two cornerstone programs: our Epiphany Project and Libertad con Dignidad (Liberty with Dignity).  Together, these two interlinked programs create an opportunity for at-risk or gang-involved youth and their immigrant families to take control of their lives and neighborhoods and influence policy, particularly as regards the criminal justice and immigration systems. Graduates of the Epiphany Project once they are trained through the Youth Leadership course they participated in our Libertad con Dignidad program, which takes the work of our Epiphany Project to the next level of advocacy for social justice. Example of our work with youth:

•           Know Your Rights workshops in local high schools.

•           Interns from both high schools and colleges are trained in leading policy campaigns and Know Your Rights workshops.

•           Youth are trained in the creation of media and communications materials with tools such as Microsoft Publisher, Facebook, Myspace and YouTube.

•           We have created an Art Program in which we will use art as a tool for recruiting young women and men to use their artistic talent in expressing the issues that affects them and their community.

Libertad con Dignidad seeks to make every voice heard. We believe that the issue of immigrants rights that should be dealt with accordingly. We strongly believe that individuals have a right to live a life free of violence and persecution. For more information regarding Libertad con Dignidad please contact Melinda Isordia or call 213-383-7484. Download application due June 17 for summer 2015 training.