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CRECIENDO JUNTOS – GROWING TOGETHER


Introduction

Census data confirms the anecdotal evidence – Central Virginia is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of Latino/Hispanic households, and this has challenged service providers in the areas of education, health, housing, and public safety, among many others. At the same time, area businesses, consumers, and residents have seen the positive benefits from the presence of new Latino/Hispano workers, customers, businesses, and neighbors. Many individuals and organizations in the region want to ensure that the immigrant and non-immigrant communities continue to integrate, grow together, and celebrate the diversity of talents, experiences, and histories that all residents bring to the entire community. In May 2005, the Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA), a regional non-profit based in Charlottesville, Virginia, organized a meeting to explore ongoing efforts to better understand the needs and interests of the growing Latino/Hispanic community. Members of the Latino/Hispanic community and representatives from area governmental, non-profit, and faith-based organizations attended. 

The result of this first meeting was the formation of “Creciendo Juntos - Growing Together” (CJ). CJ’s mission statement reads: “We are a network of organizations and people working to support and strengthen the Charlottesville regional community through the integration and development of its Latino/Hispanic members.” CJ’s goals include:

Providing education, information and resources for service providers working with Latinos.

Improving access and availability of services for Latino residents.

Providing community education and raise awareness of the contributions of local Latinos.

A power point presentation from April 2007 provides a glimpse of what CJ looked like two years after its founding. Since then, well over 100 different agencies and other institutions have become regularly involved with CJ, as represented by the 200+ agency staff members and individuals that have participated in CJ meetings and activities. Many members are bilingual (English/Spanish) and are directly involved with members of the Latino/Hispanic community because of their nationality and/or work. Participating organizations represent various sectors of society, including: health, housing, communications media, business, legal, the University of Virginia, local and regional planning, public safety, education, public transportation, social services, churches, chambers of commerce, and real estate, among others. The CJ listserv, which circulates CJ’s weekly email bulletin to almost 1000 recipients, circulates information for, from and about these service providers and to the local media.

In addition to attending plenary sessions on a monthly basis, some CJ members attend monthly working groups focusing on social, health, legal, housing, and other issues; organize forums, health events, help fairs, and other activities for Latinos; and network and partner with service providers working with Latinos locally, in Richmond, Harrisonburg, and elsewhere. CJ also has an Executive Committee, comprised of volunteers, which meets monthly to move the network forward.

CJ exists as a network dedicated to building knowledge, sharing information, and seeking ways to collaborate and integrate across cultural divides. We hope that you find this website informative and useful, and that you will seek a way to participate in this effort.


SUPPORT CJ’S WORK

Creciendo Juntos (CJ) operates completely on generous volunteer labor and donations from groups and individuals interested in its important work of informing the greater Charlottesville area about our local Latino population, supporting those who work with them, and enhancing Latino integration and access to our community.

There are many ways to get involved with CJ. For some ideas, visit http://www.cj-network.org/get_inv.html or contact CJ’s Program Coordinator at cj.cville@gmail.com

CJ is sponsored by the Piedmont Housing Alliance. PHA is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1983 to address affordable housing and other local community development needs. Donations to CJ, ranging in size from $25 up to several thousand dollars, are made through PHA, and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donations can be made online at http://www.piedmonthousingalliance.org/index.php?pageId=198 Checks may be sent to: Piedmont Housing Alliance, ATTN: CJ Donation, 111 Monticello Avenue, Suite 104, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Please contact Peter Loach if you have any questions about making a donation to CJ: peterl@piedmonthousing.org or (434) 817-2436 x116.


PARTICIPANTS

In addition to the ever-growing number of organizations participating in Creciendo Juntos – Growing Together, the network also includes many individuals who have lived in Latin America, are Latino/Hispanic, or for another reason are interested in our activities.

For a list of participating organizations, click here.


CJ WEEKLY ALERTS

Distributed on Tuesdays, the CJ Weekly Alert is an email notifying recipients of upcoming meetings, resources or answers related to Plenary presentations and discussions, CJ website updates, community announcements, and other information related to learning about or improving services to our local Spanish-language community.

To use the Alert, send your information, no later than noon on the Friday before the Alert is circulated, to cj.cville@gmail.com

To subscribe to the Alert, send your email address to cj.cville@gmail.com

Click here to review the Alert archive.