Tag: community

May 8, 2019

*Español Abajo*

On the first Sunday of May, tens of thousands of folks celebrated a day of community and festivity together at the May Day Parade in Minneapolis. This year the parade and ceremony were centered around the theme BELOVED COMMUNITY. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s annual May Day Parade has been a vibrant example of art as community building in the Twin Cities area for 45 years. For many in Minnesota, the MayDay Parade is a time to celebrate the coming warmth with hand-built puppets and masks (some over 10 feet tall), music and performance in the street. But the essence of the parade is rooted in the local community and contemporary issues, concerns and visions for a better world.

Throughout the month of April, CLUES organized several activities where more than 50 people, including students from ESL programs, Elders and Youth, participated in the creation of big banners that were exhibited in the parade. “Strike, Abolish, Embody, Rise, Shelter and Learn” were the values highlighted in the banners painted by CLUES, which were part of a performance in which a wall was symbolically destroyed and a house was built in its place.

“We are building walls of hope, of love. We are all part of one community, creating houses and parks,” said Aaron Johnson-Ortiz, Latino Arts and Cultural Engagement Liaison from CLUES. “In addition to the wall, we also have a giant heart, which symbolizes the heart of the community.”

The city felt intimate, overflowing with goodwill and spring fever. People were everywhere – on rooftops and on lawns, toting babies in backpacks and toddlers in wagons, or sitting knee to knee along on the curbs. Everybody greeted neighbors from near and far with a “Happy MayDay!” At CLUES we want to thank Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), Inquilinxs Unidxs and all the volunteers that participated in the creation of the banners and at the Parade!

El primer domingo de mayo, decenas de miles de personas celebraron juntos un día de comunidad y fiesta en el desfile del Primero de Mayo en Minneapolis. Este año el desfile y la ceremonia se centraron en el tema COMUNIDAD AMADA. El desfile anual del Primero de Mayo organizado por el Teatro de Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask ha sido un vibrante ejemplo de arte como acción de comunidad comunitario en el área de las Ciudades Gemelas  durante 45 años. Para muchos en Minnesota, el desfile del Primero de Mayo es un momento para celebrar la llegada del calor con marionetas y máscaras hechas a mano (algunas de más de 10 pies de altura), música y actuaciones en la calle. Pero la esencia del desfile está enraizada en la comunidad local y en temas, preocupaciones y visiones contemporáneas para un mundo mejor.

A lo largo del mes de abril, CLUES organizó varias actividades donde más de 50 personas, incluyendo estudiantes de los programas de ESL, Ancianos y Jóvenes, participaron en la creación de grandes pancartas que se exhibieron en el desfile. “Huelga, Abolición, Encarnación, Levantamiento, Refugio y Aprendizaje” fueron los valores destacados en las pancartas pintadas por CLUES que formaban parte de una representación donde simbólicamente se destruyó un muro y se construía en su lugar una casa. “Estamos construyendo muros de esperanza, de amor. Somos parte de una comunidad que crea casas y parques,” dijo Aaron Johnson-Ortiz, Enlace para la Participación Cultural y Artística Latina de CLUES. “Además del muro, también tenemos un corazón gigante, que simboliza el corazón de la comunidad”.

La ciudad se sintió íntima, desbordante de buena voluntad y fiebre primaveral. La gente estaba en todas partes: en los tejados y en el césped, cargando a los bebés en mochilas y a los niños pequeños en carretas, o sentados de rodillas en las aceras. Todos saludaron a los vecinos de cerca y de lejos con un “¡Feliz Día de Mayo!”

¡En CLUES queremos agradecer al Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), a Inquilinxs Unidxs y a todos los voluntarios que participaron en la creación de las banderas y en el desfile!

Posted in CLUES Blog by Jessica Pleguezuelos | Tags: , , , , , ,
April 24, 2019

CLUES plays a fundamental role in helping empower the Latino community for civic action and engagement. In difficult times, like the ones we are facing today, CLUES is committed to supporting and empowering the Latino community, providing backing for common-sense and evidence-based policy solutions, and reminding policymakers of the issues faced by our participants and communities.

CLUES is now expanding in its influence for transformational Latino community development work. We have done tremendous work around Health and Wellness, Economic Development, Educational Enrichment and Cultural Development. All of our work is done with a holistic approach, looking at the systems involved and at what changes are needed for the organization and for the community as a whole.

While we provide transactional services like individual coaching or helping someone build a family budget, our future is moving to include transformational changes for the community via engagement and advocacy with local governments, counties and the state.

We are working toward using our institutional influence to collaborate with others and make change happen. As part of that work, we are looking to our clients, patients and the community at large to see how we can provide a platform and interventions that are timely in moving our community into to socio-economic mobility.

Our goals to foster socio-economic mobility also include civic and community engagement. Our work is not only focused registering people to vote, but also providing the platforms for our participants, youth and parents to engage in conversation and actions that can impact solutions to the issues that affect them most. For example, the impact of housing and school challenges in the livelihood or wellbeing of their children. We have the capacity to provide the spaces where people can feel safe, where they shape their own agenda rather than it being imposed on them, and where communities of color are included and represented individually with all the unique strengths and knowledge they bring to the table.

We invite you to learn more about some of our most recent advocacy efforts:

Making sure everyone counts

CLUES President Ruby Lee was a guest on Conversations with Al McFarlane to discuss CLUES’ vision regarding our presence in the community and how we are invoking transformational change for all Latinos in Minnesota.


CLUES participants and staff advocate in Washington DC

A group of participants from CLUES’ youth programs attended the UnidosUS Changemakers Summit in Washington, DC, and advocated with their legislators for issues that matter to our community.


Minnesota House of Representatives

CLUES President Ruby Lee and staff presented on the impact of CLUES Workforce Development programs to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Watch this informational video to learn more about CLUES’ transformational workforce trainings and wraparound supports.


Supporting the development of Latino entrepreneurship

CLUES as a member of NALCAB headed to Capitol Hill to speak with the Hispanic Caucus’ Representatives on the importance of small business entrepreneurship.

As we work to grow our community development work, CLUES will continue our efforts to advocate for the Latino community, reinforcing their capacity to influence public policies and create a better future for themselves and all Minnesotans.

Posted in CLUES Blog by Jessica Pleguezuelos | Tags: , , , ,