UnidosUS Honors Affiliates for Local Efforts to Empower Latino Families

WASHINGTON, DC—At the National Affiliate Luncheon held today at the 2018 UnidosUS Annual Conference in Washington, DC, UnidosUS recognized two community-based organizations that belong to the UnidosUS Affiliate Network for their outstanding efforts to empower and assist Latino families. This year’s awardees are Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) in Philadelphia and Latino Leadership, Inc. in Orlando.

“We applaud these exemplary organizations and their innovative approach to aiding their communities. We are honoring APM for its tireless work in transforming nearly every aspect of the lives of Latino families in Philadelphia. And we are recognizing Latino Leadership for coming to the swift and necessary aid of Puerto Rican citizens who fled the devastation Hurricane Maria brought to the island. In two very different ways, these Affiliates show our community at its best: giving each other a helping hand during times of critical need,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.

Presented annually, the UnidosUS Family Strengthening Awards honor UnidosUS Affiliates for their commitment to bolstering the success and strength of the Hispanic community through a combination of programs and services. Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award to further their work in the community and their partnership with UnidosUS.

APM was founded in 1970 by a group of Puerto Rican Vietnam veterans who returned from the war and found that their own community in Philadelphia was in need. The name Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (Association of Puerto Ricans on the Move) reflects the spirit of activism and emerging political consciousness of the Puerto Rican community. The organization has evolved to become a multiservice agency dedicated to positively transforming the lives of Hispanic families in and around Philadelphia.

Through their Family Stability Programs, APM works with families to increase stability and ensure access to safe and affordable housing, health care, substance abuse treatment and other resources. Along with support services for families and individuals, APM is dedicated to serving their community and responding to its needs.

“APM is humbled to receive UnidoUS Family Strengthening Award for our work in helping Hurricane Maria evacuee families coming from Puerto Rico to stabilize their lives and get back to normality in Philadelphia. It is our mission to help families reach their highest potential; getting the chance to help this wave of evacuees has been a total labor of love and it is very rewarding to see these families back on their feet. This award will help us serve many more families,” said Nilda Ruiz, President and CEO of Asociación Puertorriqueños En Marcha, Inc (APM).

Latino Leadership is Central Florida’s most established grassroots organization committed to fostering the integration of the Hispanic community into mainstream America. The organization’s main goal is to empower people by facilitating access to available resources that will lead to success.

Through their programs focusing on educational advancement, leadership development and economic development, Latino Leadership works to create a strong and thriving community. Latino Leadership serves thousands of families a year while they transition to a new community and look to improve their quality of life. Since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico, Latino Leadership has helped more than 8,500 displaced families by providing immediate emergency relief services. Latino Leadership is made up of a team of dedicated changemakers who are committed to the advancement of the Latino community in Central Florida.

“Latino Leadership is honored to receive the 2018 UnidosUS Family-Strengthening Award for our work assisting Puerto Rican families with their most pressing needs. For 18 years, our organization has been committed to fostering the integration of the Hispanic community into mainstream America. After Hurricane Maria ravished the island of Puerto Rico, we established the Puerto Rico Family Response Center, in partnership with the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as a humanitarian response to help alleviate the suffering of families impacted by the natural disaster. Through this initiative, Latino Leadership has helped more than 9,100 displaced families by providing emergency relief services. The PRFRC serves as a one-stop shop for new arrivals as they transition to their new community in Central Florida. We look forward to continuing to develop initiatives along with UnidosUS to provide new and better services to our community,” said Marucci Guzmán, Latino Leadership Executive Director.