We work with MU Extension Ambassadors and community members to build their capacity to support Latinxs in their communities by sharing resources and making connections.
We do this by:
Serving as a resource to extension specialists who are wanting to better understand and serve and make connections with the latinx community.
Alianzas works with UM Extension specialists who are focused on meeting the needs of Latinx in their local communities. These specialists serve as Alianzas Ambassadors.
Alianzas frequently provides professional development on intercultural communication and cultural competency to Alianzas Ambassadors, both 1:1 and in group settings, like the All Things Missouri Summit and the MU Extension Community Development Academy.
In addition, Alianzas staff partners with Alianzas Ambassadors and other Extension staff to enhance and host local events geared toward educating and serving the Latinx community across Missouri.
Researching successes and challenges in working with latinx families of people with disabilities
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC), knowing that Latinx families with children with special needs have been overlooked and unserved, tried to serve the Latinx community without any success for several years. MODDC approached Alianzas to assist with the Spanish translation of their 5 Year Priority Survey. Alianzas also administered the surveys and then presented some of the findings, along with Latino demographics in our state, to their Grassroots committee.
Subsequently, two non-profit Latinx parent support groups were formed–one in Independence, MO, and another in Springfield, MO. Each received a mini-grant of almost $3,000.00 SEEDS money (Supporting Education & Empowerment to Define Systems change). Using the collaboratively established information seeking methodology, the recipients conducted research on the experience of Latinx families living in Missouri to identify and reported back to the Council their findings on specific community barriers and needs as it impacts people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Alianzas staff was recently appointed to the Council as a representative of the UMKC Institute for Human Development, UCEDD.