The Latino Community Coalition started meeting regularly in 2006 as a place for Latino professionals and service providers to share resources and opportunities benefiting their Latino client base. For many years, these monthly meetings were a place for newcomers to Grand Rapids or to nonprofit work could come to get connected to other Latinos. Job opportunities and events were shared weekly with anyone who signed up to receive them.
The LCC has expanded its mission to take a more proactive approach to shape the future of Latinos in West Michigan. In September, 2016, we held our inaugural Latino Placemaking speaker series, and in August 2017, our first candidate forum. Our speaker series is now an annual event and we have held more forums with candidates for a variety of office. We continue to use our monthly luncheons to create platforms for Latino professionals to connect and collaborate.
As one of the Latino voices in West Michigan, we look to the community to shape how we advocate for our collective priorities. Today, the LCC is influential in key decisions taking place related to diversity, equity, and inclusion of the Latino community in West Michigan. We are accountability partners, walking alongside organizations and institutions to improve the quality of service for our community. We believe in the power and potential of our community, and we are proud to work for their advancement.