Forty-three members of Arkansas United Community Coalition spent four days in Arizona, learning from two sister organizations there.
The coalition trains Arkansas immigrants to lead community-building efforts. Now, they plan to use the skills and lessons learned last week, here in Northwest Arkansas. Group members say they were struck by the way the Latino community in Arizona worked together.
"Seeing the passion their community has, it's like an already known kind of skill that they have to work together in unity and that's something that I would really like to see here in Arkansas, for the immigrant community to come together and be as unified as they are," says Michel Rangel, AUCC organizer and program assistant. "I think one of the main take aways is that the immigrant community does have very sincere value to Arkansas and that instead of fighting the value that it has that we should welcome it and embrace it and be an embracing state to the new immigrant population."
The coalition plans to hold activities over the coming weeks to better engage immigrants in our area, and get them to the polls to vote in November.
To see our original report, as the group left for Arizona, click here.