As our nation continues to increase it’s awareness of this topic,our At the Table conversations revealed that that Inclusion and Equity are also on the minds of many individuals in Lancaster County. Our feedback surveys show that there is a local desire to reduce divisions and increase multicultural awareness and respect in our community. We will continue to work with individuals and organizations locally as well as look across the country for inspiration about what is working in other communities that we may want to introduce here. Over time, the Community Foundation has worked in the Inclusion and Equity arena by supporting the projects below:
Tec Centro – a Bilingual Job Training Center. We are proud to be one of the inaugural partners supporting the Spanish American Civic Association’s Tec Centro. An innovative bilingual job training center, Tec Centro serves local Spanish speakers in high level training for a variety of professions including culinary, construction and healthcare.
YWCA – Racial Justice Institute – Delivered by national experts in partnership with YWCA Lancaster, this intense program helps participants to examine the subtle ways racism permeates our society and look at what can be done to counteract them through a series of anti-racism skill building exercises.
7th Ward Project – A person-to-person storytelling initiative in the 7th Ward neighborhood of Lancaster City. A group of longtime neighborhood residents has taken it upon themselves to capture the history, happenings, lessons and tales of families and individuals whose lives have shaped the fabric of this integral part of our community. The stories will be shared locally and archived as a community resource.
Latino Study – Latinos in Lancaster County – When originally commissioned and funded in part by the Community Foundation, the goal of this first-of-its-kind local study was to offer a profile of the Latino community in Lancaster County with the idea that the findings would eventually lead to systems change that would benefit the community.
What emerged was a comprehensive telling of the story of the Latino community including the first written history of the first Latinos that came to Lancaster County in the 1940s. What also emerged was five very clear barriers that Latino people face which continue to impede their progress in becoming a part of the Lancaster community.
Today, the results of this study continue to provide direction and inspiration for impact across Lancaster County including, but not limited to: The Latino Empowerment Project, the creation of Tec Centro, the advocacy of Adelante Latino Education Committee and more.