We have been working with our Affiliates to show the stories of a diverse and strong America. As part of this Rise Above initiative and to celebrate their 35th anniversary, Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) launched a blog series highlighting their history in South Florida’s Broward County.
The region saw an influx of Cubans displaced displaced during the Mariela boatlift in 1980. HUF’s history points back to this event and goes through the current work that they do to provide members of the community with essential services. This includes English classes and one-on-one tax assistance to ensure that they are able to maximize their refund.
In one blog post, HUF’s founder Maria Sanjuan notes that when the organization was founded, there were a lot of stereotypes and prejudice about Latinos in Broward County.
One of the stereotypes was that they didn’t have any desire to learn English—but when HUF started offering ESL classes, they quickly proved their critics wrong. “All they needed was a tool!” Sanjuan writes.
HUF’s clients come from 25 different countries, and 40% of them are non-Hispanic. In order to work with them, HUF employees use four different languages in their programs.
HUF has highlighted the diversity of their clients in a Facebook series that touches on the founding of the organization. The series features HUF staff explaining how the diversity of their families, friends, and neighborhoods inspired them to engage in service that benefits their community.
The Rise Above campaign is focused on strengthening the ties that bind us as a country by promoting a positive vision of our nation’s shared future. It is this diversity that helps our country work together to solve problems.