Arkansas United Community Coalition is proud to announce the launch of the third year of its cornerstone “Change Agents (Agentes de Cambio)” training program! To date, 52 Arkansas immigrants and their allies, across 13 communities, in all five regions of the state, have accepted the challenge to bring about positive change in Arkansas, will you help us recruit our next generation of Arkansas immigrant organizers?
AUCC believes that Arkansas immigrants have both the opportunity and responsibility to be proactive members of their communities, supporting their communities in achieving their full potential. However, the reality is that many Arkansas immigrants come from countries where they did not have a voice in the decisions that affected them — a mind-set that has followed them to their new homes here in the Natural state. AUCC’s Change Agents program strives to dispel this myth, both amongst immigrants and their communities, through practical, skills-based trainings and guided opportunities to apply their learning. By unleashing the potential of interested individuals, Change Agents aims to demonstrate that immigrants and their allies, each doing what they can, have the capacity to bring positive developments to their communities and address challenges that impact everyone. To be eligible for this nine-month personal development program, you have to identify as an immigrant (ie, Latino, Asian, African, European, etc.) or an immigrant ally, have an interest in the “community organizing” model of leadership, and commit to the program requirements. Our youngest Change Agent was 12 years old, and our maturest graduate was 65, demonstrating that there is no ideal age for taking on the work of helping your community!
What does the Change Agents program look like? In 2013, our Change Agents:
- participated in two targeted trainings on Organizing 101;
- traveled to Colorado to learn organizing best practices from the established immigrant organization the Colorado Immigrant and Refugee Coalition;
- completed over 1,000 community surveys to asses local immigrant interests;
- facilitated nine “Vision, Commitment and Action” workshops aimed at prioritizing immigrant needs; and
- developed and implemented, with volunteer cadres, community-building projects of their choosing, including: Latino higher education assessment surveys with Northwest Arkansas high school seniors; the first Latino town hall in Jonesboro with their Mayor; the first Latino community forum with the Fort Smith Police Chief; and the launch of the state campaign “Arkansas Keeping Families Together”, which culminated in both an advocacy trip for 80 Arkansans with all six members of their congressional delegation as well as immigration reform rallies in Dardanelle, Rogers and Little Rock, engaging on the streets more than 900 immigration reform supporters and allies.
If you want to become a part of this inspirational group of Arkansans or know someone who does, please apply today! The application deadline is 5:00PM on Friday, April 25. For additional information, please contact us director@arkansascoalition.