UnidosUS launched the Campaign for Equal Opportunity, a milestone fundraising effort to celebrate our 50th anniversary, history of leadership, and ensure our vision of a stronger America where everyone, including Latinos, have an equal opportunity to succeed. Thanks to your generous investments, we raised more than $56 million, 12% over our $50 million goal!
Since the campaign kicked off, we have mobilized your investments to begin fulfilling our vision through three ambitious goals: to define a new Latino narrative, to scale our work, and to elevate Latino leaders.
Define the New Latino Narrative
For generations, Latinos have been integral to our nation’s growth and have a stake in its present and future. Regrettably, however, the 2016 election cycle popularized dangerous rhetoric that demonized immigrants and Latinos, diminished our contributions to American society, and continues to negatively impact policy and laws, representation in the media, and contributed to negative social interactions.
UnidosUS is committed to leading the way in defining a new narrative that showcases our legacy of contributions to U.S. culture, society, and the economy and serves as a counter to the toxic narrative about the Latino community.
To initiate this narrative effort and ground it in an evidence-based foundation, we collected data on perceptions of Latinos in the U.S. Using that research, we are refining our messaging and calls-to-action, for non-Latinos, to promote an accurate image of how Hispanics influence the American story. Currently UnidosUS is conducting message testing and surveys with Hattaway Communications. This will result in institutional messaging that will help drive the new Latino Narrative.
This narrative work will extend to our partners and allies across sectors – corporate, media, academia, funders, and others – who will serve as multipliers and promotors of accurate representations of Latinos.
America doesn’t know who we are?
UnidosUS worked with national firms including NORC at the University of Chicago and Hattaway Communications to conduct rigorous research and polling. Our work with NORC, a non-partisan research institution, centered around a new poll of non-Latinos in America. Two major takeaways emerged from this study.
- 49% of non-Latinos reported that they haven’t formed strong opinions about how Latinos are shaping American culture. This suggests there is room to influence Americans’ attitudes about Latinos’ roles as contributors and a source of strength for the nation.
- 52% of Americans view Latinos’ political influence as “just about the right amount,” while 35% think Latinos have too little influence. This presents an opportunity to educate the public on the reality that Latinos hold far fewer political offices and decision-making roles relative to their proportion of the population.
This evidence-based data demonstrates the need to educate America’s non-Latino population on the major contributions Hispanics make across the spectrum of everyday life through economic impact, citizenship, military service, and civic participation, among others.
Scale Our Work for Maximum Impact
Since our founding, we have reached millions of people through culturally-competent, language-appropriate programs tailored to meet Latinos’ needs and help improve opportunities for realizing their American Dream.
Campaign resources have been invested to help strengthen our evaluation efforts to identify successful methods and practices, and determine what allows for scaling our programs for maximum reach without sacrificing our high standards of quality. This will allow us to have even deeper and broader impact on the lives of Latino families who, especially in this critical time of COVID-19.
UnidosUS partnered with the Center on Research and Evaluation at Southern Methodist University to develop a program that standardizes our evaluation methods across our issue areas. In addition, we studied how we can support the evaluation capabilities of our nationwide Affiliate network to ensure that collectively, we achieve greater impact both locally and nationally.
Elevate Latino Leaders
Hand in hand with our decades of program and policy work impacting Latino families has been our priority to cultivate, nurture, and spotlight Latino leadership. UnidosUS is deeply committed to ensuring Latinos are part of decision-making and agenda-setting on the issues that impact our families and move our country forward. Under this Campaign, we committed to even more intentional strategies to developing Latino leadership.
In upcoming issues of Unidos Impact, we’ll share more about how we’re kicking up the long-standing leadership programs for our Affiliates, nonprofit and young leaders. We also look forward to sharing details of new efforts launched in 2021. Earlier this year UnidosUS led the launch of Proyecto 20%, a coalition initiative advocating for the federal government to reflect the diversity and contributions of the country’s Latino population in the nearly 4,000 political appointments to be filled by President Biden. Also, with the increasing commitments to advance diversity and equity from companies across the country, UnidosUS will be defining its role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all professional sectors, and how we can support the development and advancement of Latino corporate leaders who are civic-minded and purpose-driven.
The racial justice and pandemic crises of 2020 have shined a glaring light on the challenges confronting the Latino community. These are the challenges the Campaign for Equal Opportunity is tackling.
As we continue to navigate through this tumultuous time, the importance of the Campaign’s goals is consistently reinforced; they are vital in the fight for our future, for racial justice, and for a healthy and thriving country and Latino community.
Thank you for playing an invaluable role in helping us achieve progress toward our vision!