47th Anniversary Gala

SAVE THE DATE! Dear Friends, Please join us at 6:00 p.m. PST on Friday, September 25, for our 47th annual — and first virtual — gala. In one action-packed hour, you’ll laugh, learn, and listen to stories of resolve and resilience by La Raza clients and staff. REGISTER NOW As our biggest fundraising event every year, the gala sustains our life-changing work for months on end. This year we hope you and all our friends and supporters can simply share what you can in this vastly changed economy. Please register here. We really look forward to your presence! In solidarity, Amanda Alvarado Ford, Executive Director Thank you to our generous sponsors for making our gala possible, and enabling La Raza to empower our community. Stewards of Justice Warriors of Justice  Torchbearers of Justice Guardians of...

Message From the Executive Director, August 13, 2020

Dear Friends, I’m writing today from a community center close to our office, in the Mission District of San Francisco, where a hub of activity is taking place.  This morning, health professionals from UCSF are conducting free COVID tests, and community members are getting referrals to food pantry locations, housing options, unemployment benefits, and access to other basic needs.  I am offering immigration consults at my table and am glad to see several individuals today.  Public health workers, with clipboards and lists of names of people with appointments, dash from outdoor tables to lines of community members who are socially distanced and calmly waiting their turn to be attended to.   Everyone is wearing a mask, socially distancing, and being extremely careful to adhere to public health guidelines issued during the pandemic.  It is inspiring to see essential workers putting themselves in the midst of our community, meeting the need at hand.  People are helping others, and it is uplifting to see and to be a part of.  In a similar way, the legal workers who have been pursuing justice for Jenny Flores for many years are just like these essential workers.  In the early 1980’s, Los Angeles Legal Aid attorney Carlos Holguin was contacted by a well-known actor Ed Asner, who said that one of his employees had a young relative who had arrived at the U.S. border after fleeing her Latin American country of origin.  Then called INS, government  immigration officials detained the young child in a roadside motel with a fence around it in an L.A. area suburb.   When Mr. Holguin investigated, he learned INS had no...

Client Story: Escaping a Financial Predatory Hardship

Note: All client story names have been changed for privacy and safety reasons. Fernando learned in August of 2019 that he was being unjustly sued for the nonpayment of a predatory loan. Unable to afford a private attorney, Fernando turned to La Raza Centro Legal (LRCL) for their quality legal support and spanish-speaking services – all of which are provided at no cost for San Francisco Latino immigrant communities. Fernando’s story started in 2015 when he found himself in a challenging financial bind where he needed money quickly. Given the time sensitivity, he decided to apply for a loan online and within hours Fernando was able to get the money he needed. Unfortunately, the loan came at a high cost with an interest rate of 138%. It was impossible for Fernando to make the required monthly payments. To make matters even worse, Fernando’s loan was sold to one third-party debt collection agency and then to another. Almost four years after he took out the original loan, Fernando was sued. Upon receiving and reviewing Fernando’s case, LRCL’s senior law attorney recognized the predatory nature of the circumstance and took on the case immediately. With the help of LRCL’s experienced Senior Law Program staff attorney, Fernando was able to have the lawsuit completely dismissed. Fernando has been relieved of not only the unjust lawsuit, but in working with LRCL, he was relieved of much of the emotional and financial burden associated with fighting the financial predatory hardship. Unfortunately, stories of immigrant and disadvantaged communities that fall victim to predatory financial loans are rampant in the United States. LRCL is dedicated to representing...