Through our advocacy efforts, ILI is poised to become the leader in all policy relevant to the issues affecting Latino communities throughout Indiana. Community empowerment and success begins with developing a well-articulated voice, and our advocacy efforts strive to form and deliver a fresh Latino perspective that serves as a solid voice on issues of importance for our community, not only in areas of Health and Education, but also on topics such as a Immigration, Economic Development and Mass Transit.
While we work diligently to develop our advocacy efforts on all issues of importance, our strategic objectives include the following:
- ILI will serve as the convener of Latino networks and organizations statewide.
- Educate community leaders and government officials on issues of importance to the Indiana Latino communities.
- Community Outreach & Education- ILI will strive to educate community members on issues of importance to the Latino Community (Education, Health, Immigration, Economic Development, etc.).
As we work to increase our advocacy initiatives to encompass a variety of issues of importance to the Indiana Latino communities, such as Education, Health, Immigration, Economic Development, it is important to note some of the past and current advocacy efforts of ILI.
Over the years, ILI has worked hard to promote tobacco control as a priority issue for the Indiana Latino community. Through Tobacco Control advocacy, we have been able to influence the Governor’s Commission on Latino Affairs to include Tobacco in its Work Plan, thereby assuring that tobacco as the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the country is an essential element of the Commission’s work. Equally important has been the increased visible presence of the Latino community in educating the State Legislators and local elected officials and community stakeholders about health and health care issues, with a focus on tobacco prevention and cessation. For example, ILI and Latino community members have actively written letters and visited elected and appointed officials in order to demonstrate a visible voice of Latino constituents with a focus on the dangers of exposure to second hand smoke and to promote the sustainability of tobacco outreach programs. Due to our Tobacco Control advocacy efforts, Latinos now see the value of having their concerns heard before public officials and public health coalitions and associations, as these representatives and groups are now supporting investments in tobacco control and smoke free policies in Indianapolis, Carmel, Westfield, Lawrence, South Bend, West Lafayette and Lowell, among other Indiana cities and towns.
The Indiana Latino Institute Education Program advocates to identify, address, empower and resolve difficult issues and remove barriers to Latino student’ school success work directly with schools, higher education institutions, policy makers, community leaders, families, and youth. These efforts have resulted in increasing high school and college graduation rates in Indiana. In addition, ILI helps students to access education-related support services, promotes programs to help students stay engaged and on track to graduate and encourages educational opportunities for parents to better navigate the U.S. education system.