Voces Unidas of Boulder County is a grassroots collaborative developing equitable support systems in the St. Vrain Valley School District through mobilization of undocumented youth and allies. We envision our undocumented youth and their families as fully recognized, integrated members of an equitable community. Our programs are bridges, connecting immigrant youth and families to educational, mentorship and wellness services in Boulder County. We work in collaboration with organizations that recognize systemic injustice, racial oppression and resulting systemic inequities in mental health, academic achievement and the well-being of immigrant youth. With our partners we create holistic solutions for healthier and more resilient communities.
Immigrant communities are impacted by systemic oppression limiting academic opportunity, professional growth, health and mental wellness. Trusted support systems are lacking in schools and immigrant youth often have internalized oppression of their identity and culture. The immigrant community is forced to navigate a difficult system and there is the need for the youth to connect to those who understand their struggles. To address these inequities, Voces Unidas has established three programs.
- The Undocu-Ally Program provides training for SVVSD teachers, counsellors and staff on resources and approaches for supporting immigrant youth.
- The Undocu-Wellness Program uses racial, cultural and social justice framework to create a space for immigrant youth to discuss themselves and their experiences, cultural identity and mentorship. Participants co-create a space to develop coping strategies, build community and magnify their resilience.
- The Undocu-Peer Program uplifts, guides and further develops the leadership skills of young immigrant adults by creating leadership roles as mentors to high school youth, presenters to educators and community members, and as resource navigators.
Additional resources: Covid19 Impact on Latinos and Immigrants: Latinas, Trailblazers of the Current Latino Reality (July 2021 (Latino Community Foundation of CO)
Voces Unidas is operated by:
- Citlalli Vazquez, Voces Unidas Program Coordinator
- Jeny Padilla, Philanthropiece Fellow in Latinx Leadership & Immigrant Rights
Voces Unidas is guided by by an Executive Committee which is comprised of dedicated community members who bring their professional and lived-experience to the work of cultivating the initiative, including:
- Jeny Padilla, Philanthropiece Foundation
- Josh Stallings, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
- Laura Soto, Philanthropiece Foundation
- Maria Gordillo Villa, Immigrant Legal Clinic of Boulder County
- Pam Malzbender, Zonta Club
Additional consultants and advisors greatly support the development and work of Voces Unidas, including:
- Maya Sol Dansie, MAYAMOTION Healing PLLC
- Violeta Chapin, University of Colorado Law School
Voces Unidas of Boulder County is grateful for additional support by:
- Longmont Community Foundation, Contributions by Xilix and VaporTech via the Community Fund program
- Community Foundation Boulder County, Community Trust Grant
- Denver Foundation, LatinasGive! Denver Collective Giving Fund