Aliento

We at Aliento believe in transforming trauma into hope and action! Aliento is a community organization that is undocumented and youth-led. We are directly impacted people and allies who are invested in the well being, emotional healing, and leadership development of those impacted by the inequalities of lacking an immigration status.

The Problem

Aliento was founded in the summer of 2016 to co-create spaces of healing and empowerment for children, youth, and migrant families.

There are 5.5 million children nation-wide that lived in a mixed states family and close to 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who experience high levels of anxiety and stress. Many of them sit in our K-12 classrooms & colleges. Arizona is the sixth largest state of undocumented immigrants and there are 28,000 DACA beneficiaries and only 7% of undocumented students obtain a higher education.

At Aliento, we are aware of the negative outcomes that our youth face when dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety and the need of combating those. We need to ensure that our youth regardless of immigration status have opportunities where they can use their resiliency and become active protagonists of their future.

At Aliento, we firmly believe that the people most impacted by anti-immigrant policies are capable of achieving their full potential, but they need to be at the forefront of leading the solutions.

In order to make this a reality, impacted communities need to feel empower and develop their innovative skills to form coalitions with other key stakeholders that want to see our youth reach their full potential and provide creative solutions.

The Solution

Aliento offers arts & healing workshops to address the constant fear of family separation. Trained facilitators co-create healing spaces to help children, youth, and adults express and process their emotions through art and other coping mechanisms. The goal is to encourage participants to share stories and use different types of art and storytelling to create a sense of community and to improve mental health while regaining and restoring sense of agency.

Aliento offers two types of trainings to immigrants: Community organizing and leadership skills development to help its members and volunteers become civically engaged, including participating in and leading the organization’ advocacy activities. Depending on the outcome of the ongoing Dream Act debate, Aliento may also organize workshops to help DACA youth apply for a new status or take steps to reduce the impact of losing DACA.

We organize Allies Trainings to help educators, people of faith, and other allies to create more welcoming environments. Participants learn about: The challenges immigrant families face in the current environment; Specific actions they can take to support immigrants, including participating in Aliento’s programs and campaigns; How to encourage their friends to offer similar support; and Community resources and programs that are available to support immigrants.

Aliento’s advocacy activities are carried primarily in Mesa and Phoenix, AZ and focus primarily on educating elected officials and other policymakers about issues affecting immigrant youth and their families. We also engage at the federal level through our campaign #vote4dream to pass pro-dreamer federal legislation.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Aliento

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