The Acuerdo model is central to the Latino Policy Forum’s work across all issues. Acuerdo is the Spanish word for ‘agreement’ or ‘accord.’ Acuerdo members are community members and leaders in their fields of expertise. These working groups have one fundamental and important function: to ensure that information, policy, and advocacy on specific issues represent the Latino perspective and its community needs.

Our specific efforts in each of our issue areas include:

Education


Goal: To narrow or close the achievement gap between Latino and non-Latino students

Initiatives:

Teachers, Providers, Education Leaders
Provide recommendations and influence policy for all Illinois teachers to be culturally and linguistically responsive to students from homes where a language other than English is spoken. 
Monitor and influence the progress towards 2014 bilingual pre-K policy changes in Illinois. 


Education Funding
Support administrative and legislative changes through public policy decision-making processes; train community leaders and parents to participate in the advocacy process.
Advocate for construction, expansion, or renovation of facilities in underserved communities.


Family & Community Partnerships
Advance collective agenda on issues impacting young Latino learners with members of Early Childhood Education Acuerdo.
Extend reach of culturally relevant parent engagement programs with the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program throughout the state. 
Cross-issue
Establish/implement coordinated/consensus-built birth-to-age-eight policy agenda from a Latino perspective.
Expand the field’s knowledge base of early language and literacy development for linguistically and culturally diverse students. 
Enrich civic understanding and media coverage of Latino children and families with the New Journalism on Latino Children project. 
Impact: All Illinois Latino infants and children from birth to age eight will have access to culturally and linguistically responsive educational services, resources, and providers/teachers to ensure they are reading at or above level by third grade.

 

Economy


Goal: All individuals living in the U.S, regardless of their country of origin, are recognized as valuable and contributing members of society and have equal access to equity and prosperity

Initiatives:

Advocate for fair immigration reform (federal and state) and for local immigrant integration initiatives with community leaders of the Immigration Acuerdo
Strengthen the network of immigrant rights leaders across Illinois with a better understanding of immigration and immigration policy to promote change in local communities
Provide credible, consistent information on the ever-changing landscape of immigration reform and policy through regular communications and analysis
Impact: Latino voices and perspectives frame the debate on immigration and related reform efforts, along with increased awareness of the public and stakeholders on key immigration issues

 

Leadership


Goal: A Latino community that is strong from the inside out, with thriving organizations able to meet their missions and work in strategic alliance with one another and other groups/coalitions to accomplish larger goals

Initiatives:

Secure equitable resources for and investment in Illinois Latino communities while building power, influence, and leadership through the Illinois Latino Agenda, a strategic alliance of nearly 50 nonprofits, co-convened by the Latino Policy Forum and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Develop leadership among executive-level and emerging nonprofit leaders with the Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy, which works with cohorts of Latino nonprofit organizations and individual leaders across Illinois to move their organizations and programs to the next level of excellence and sustainability
Impact: Increased capacity of Latino-led and Latino-serving organizations and a strengthened collaborative network of Latino organizations to advocate on issues of importance to the community