Created by Jenn Rosen, Solutions Specialist
The Latino community is the largest ethnic group in the United States, making up more than 18% of the total population. And, according to the Pew Research Center, the racially and ethnically diverse community is the second fastest growing group in the country. With that size and momentum comes opportunity. The stories in this collection, all of which were either supported by Solution Journalism Network’s Renewing Democracy Initiative or produced by a partnering media outlet, highlight responses that are built on a rich history of community organizing and civic participation in U.S. Latino communities, including solutions to violations against the Voting Rights Act and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on Latino communities in the U.S.
Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker about Latino and Hispanic studies.
- What are some reasons that the Latino population has historically had comparatively low voter turnout rates?
- Why were Latino communities hit especially hard by the COVID19 pandemic?
- What are the benefits of providing culturally-relevant foods at food pantries?
- This collection focuses on solutions that support and enfranchise Latino communities by acknowledging the specific needs and struggles of those communities. Identify a community and their challenges in your region and create a new collection demonstrating possible solutions to their needs.
- Community organizers and election workers explain that the long history of disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and ignorance of their community's issues leave many Latino voters disinclined to participate in democratic processes (and language barriers at the polls further compounded the issue). Seeking out face-to-face contact with voters and reminding them that voting is for all eligible citizens - not just college-educated white adults - is a crucial step in increasing turn-out. Connecting voting and registration with Hispanic cultural activities has also been a successful path into increasing participation among this growing demographic.
- Many Latinos were less likely to have jobs that could be done remotely and more likely to work in the industries dubbed “essential” during the pandemic, such as meatpacking. They are also more likely to live in intergenerational/multigenerational households (making it more difficult to maintain safe distance at home) and, because Latino households typically earn 46% less than non-Hispanic white households, could rarely afford to miss work when they did become sick.
- Culturally responsive food pantries increase the physical and psychological wellbeing of diverse communities while also reducing food waste. Community organizer Roxana Pardo Garcia explained that "traditional food helps remind members of the Latinx community that they aren’t alone." When Latino community members understand the ingredients provided by food banks, they are more likely to actually cook with them, which both increases the health of families who need the support and reduces the amount of food that spoils or goes to waste in area food pantries.
- Answers will vary; learn more about creating a collection here.