The NC Congress of Latino Organizations (aka The Latino Congress) is a statewide, membership led organization that builds power among Latino institutions and their leaders to advance social, racial and economic justice. The Latino Congress works for for the public good by coalescing training, and organizing Latinos across religious, racial, nationality, class, county and neighborhood lines.
Our membership consists of more than seventy congregations, community associations, unions and nonprofits in North Carolina representing more than 100,000 individuals.
The Latino Congress was conceived as part of the community organizing effort that generated the Latino Community Credit Union, a financial institution created after large mobilizations in response to an intense wave of violent crimes and home invasions against unbanked Latinos in Durham.
The unprecedented growth of the credit union in Durham (400 members a month), and the need for financial services across the state generated the vision for expansion. The Latino Congress was then envisioned as the statewide field of membership of the credit union. After its initial organizing drive the Latino Congress became an independent non-profit organization in 2004 with the purpose of:
- Creating a vehicle for Latinos to have a powerful voice in the decisions that affect their lives and communities by increasing participation in public life, through relational meetings, house meeting campaigns, research actions and public actions
- Developing leadership and strengthening community within and between institutions
- Building bridges across longstanding divisions that isolate communities from each other
- The building of this network involves:
- Identifying and recruiting institutions who share a passion for democracy and are led by their convictions, values, and faith to act for the public good.
- Building relationships of trust among people and institutions across the racial, denominational, economic, and geographic boundaries that divide our state.
- Strengthening member institutions by developing the skills and capacity of their leaders.
- Facilitating the formulation of a public agenda and action plan which is responsive to consensus interests of member institutions.