The Chicano Federation has a long history of standing up for the community. In the 1960’s the country’s Civil Rights Movement gave birth to the Chicano Movement and inspired the creation of the Chicano Federation which was officially incorporated in 1969. What began as a Latino advocacy organization, now has grown to provide services based on the emerging needs of the community.
Written by: Lupe Flores – Director of Engagement & Impact
Through the decades, the Federation has worn many hats which have contributed to the growth and development of San Diego County. In 1969 the Federation legally challenged the city in a redistricting case which led to the creation of District 8. This community included majority Latino neighbors and the creation of the district ensured better representation in policymaking. In 1970 Chicano Federation led protests challenging the plan to build a California Highway Patrol Substation in the heart of Barrio Logan- an already over-policed community. After months of demonstrations, the unity and power of the community won, and Chicano Park was built. The years after saw witnessed some of the toughest times against our Latino community. Chicano Federation, more than ever, had to stand up against police brutality, attacks on immigrants, bilingual education, and job discrimination. While times have changed, the commitment of Chicano Federation to put community first has never wavered.
Chicano Federation of San Diego County is a leading nonprofit in the region and has worked towards the benefit of all San Diegans since 1969. Chicano Federation programs and services address San Diego’s most critical needs by offering subsidized care for infants and toddlers, early childhood education at a preschool in Barrio Logan, healthy meals for over 7,500 children a month, 300 units of affordable housing at nine apartment buildings in Barrio Logan, City Heights, and South Park neighborhoods of San Diego, and a workforce development program that has helped hundreds of women of color start family childcare homes across San Diego County. Chicano Federation also undertakes extensive civic engagement, outreach and advocacy projects, such as voter registration campaigns, Census participation, and coalition building related to COVID-19 prevention. Our advocacy leadership has resulted in millions of dollars being invested in our most impacted communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the onset of the pandemic, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected working Latino families in San Diego County. While the COVID-19 pandemic was disruptive to many sectors, it was especially disruptive to early care and education, a sector in which Chicano Federation has worked for over thirty years. Our various programs work with thousands of family childcare homes across San Diego County. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many family childcare providers began to close their businesses permanently for various reasons, including the fear of being exposed to COVID-19. In addition, families who regularly utilized childcare homes suddenly found themselves out of work and with many needs to support their families. Stemming from the results of a community engagement survey, we also analyzed the needs of the Latino community outside of the childcare sector.
The strong partnerships forged prior to the COVID-19 pandemic positioned Chicano Federation to meet San Diego’s varied and evolving needs during the pandemic and through the recovery. To ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic, Chicano Federation has expanded its services so that all those who come through our doors can be connected to the resources and information they need. In being a trusted partner to the community, we have crafted strategic and innovative ways of delivering holistic services to the community, such as our supply distributions, the grand opening of our community resource center, and much more. Through our community engagement, we seek to increase awareness of safety practices to safely recover had they been affected by COVID-19 and increase knowledge of resources and services to meet other needs.
In an effort to continue supporting the Latinx community in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to host our regular supply distributions in which we serve over 400 families from across San Diego County each event. Participating families received children’s toys, books, grocery store gift cards, PPE, diapers, groceries, and much more. Support our upcoming holiday distribution and bring some relief and joy to families this holiday season!
Cox is proud to support the work that The Chicano Federation is doing to uplift the community.