HOLA Ohio selected as a finalist for the 2014 Torchlight Prize
Painesville, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2014: HOLA Ohio, a grassroots organization that focuses on community organizing, advocacy and civic engagement, was announced today as a finalist for the 2014 Torchlight Prize. The Torchlight Prize is an annual award that recognizes and rewards self-organized groups of families, friends, and neighbors from across the U.S. for their efforts to strengthen their communities.
“We are thrilled to be named as finalists and to get this recognition,” said Executive Director Veronica Dahlberg. “The people who make up HOLA are truly trailblazers, who continue to push for ways to have a stronger voice not just for themselves but for our community as a whole, inspiring everyone and commanding respect with their positive, can-do attitude and creativity.”
HOLA Ohio began as a small, informal group of northeast Ohio Latino immigrants looking for ways to protect themselves and their families from destructive policies. It has grown into a movement encompassing four chapters with hundreds of members who meet regularly to create strategies to address issues impacting their lives and to build bridges with policy makers and the greater community.
HOLA members have visited their Congressional delegations (both in-district and in Washington D.C.), local officials, law enforcement, and others to create their own successful local grassroots campaigns. Their work has resulted in changes in immigration policy, both locally and nationally, and saved many families from separation due to deportation. In the process, its members have been empowered through political education and civic engagement, after previously living in fear in the margins of society.
“Every day in communities across America, regular people come together to innovate and implement their ideas and solutions to create a better future for their communities. But, this work often happens without notice, and even more so, without celebration,” said Mia Birdsong, vice president, Family Independence Initiative. “That’s why we created the Torchlight Prize to spotlight this initiative and encourage direct investment in resident-led solutions that are already working to improve some of our country’s least-resourced communities.”
The Torchlight Prize was established by Family Independence Initiative in 2012. Each year, up to four nominated groups are chosen to receive a $10,000 prize as recognition for their work. This year’s winners will be announced in September.
For more information about HOLA Ohio, visit www.holatoday.org. For more information about 2014 Torchlight Prize, visit www.TorchlightPrize.org.