Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Helping Our Local Latinx Community Continue to Grow & Thrive

Photo: Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group

From Mexican and Argentinian to Ecuadorian, Panamanian, and many more, our local Latinx community is diversely comprised of folks who bring their own flair to the Bluff City—and there’s an entire network of organizations who are making moves for these Memphians, to propel their collective community forward.

 

Latino Memphis

 

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“As the primary provider of services to this community, we have dedicated ourselves to the idea that every Latino Memphian should have the opportunity and resources to become an engaged and active participant in making our city great.” – Mauricio Calvo

Since its beginning in 1995, Latino Memphis has grown to be largest Latino-serving nonprofit in West Tennessee—offering services through four key programs, El Centro, Abrienda Puertas, Derechos, and Tu Voz, to assist with matters concerning health, education, community engagement, immigration services, and more. Not only has their staff dedicated themselves to being service providers for this community, but they have opportunities for others to lend a hand, whether Spanish-speaking or not.

In partnership with We Are Memphis, Latino Memphis has launched Somo Memphis, an online platform made to boost local Latinx voices and to provide vital insights and assistance in understanding and supporting the Latinx community.

 

Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group

 

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“We are never not educating someone,” Sanchez said. “Our plays are bilingual—español y inglés,” says Sanchez. “So people who speak Spanish learn their lines in English, and those who speak English get a chance to learn their lines in Spanish. We are a multicultural group made up of Colombians, Argentines, Mexicans, etc., and we’re a family-friendly theatre with everybody from mothers to sons to grandparents represented—so there are many opportunities for everyone to learn from one another and broaden their horizons.”

With a decade of operation under their belt, Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group exists as Memphis and Mississippi’s first bilingual theatre group founded by five women who wanted to share their love of theatre with the Latinx community. With a mission to bridge cultures and connections through the arts, the nonprofit organization aims to be both a resource for learning and outlet for self expression.

After a year of virtual programming, Cazateatro Theatre Group is finally set to take the stage again for their 2021-22 lineup of in-person performances and cultural festivities:

 

Su Casa Family Ministries

Su Casa Memphis has been bridging the gap between first generation Hispanic immigrants and resident Memphians since its birth in 2005 when it was developed in response to the problem of language barriers. With their two main programs, Adult English Classes and a faith-based, bilingual pre-school program for 1-4 year olds, they aid the Latino immigrant community by offering hands-on instruction to help them better connect with the greater Memphis community.

Learn more about their Adult Classes here, and online English classes here.

Learn more about their Pre-school Program here

If you’re interested in being a part of the good work they are doing, learn more about volunteer opportunities with SU Casa here or make a donation here

 

Las Americas

I’m sure we can imagine what it takes for a Latino adult to assimilate into American culture, but what about children who don’t yet have the emotional development to truly grasp their new experiences? Las Americas provides our city’s only Youth Development Center that focuses on helping Latino youth immerse themselves into their new communities.

Their presence in 13 Shelby County Schools, providing ESL tutoring, coupled with weekly outreach events, character-building programs, and more helps move their mission—”to provide a safe place for Latino youth and families to develop healthy minds, bodies and spirits for long-term success in America”—forward.

 

Multinational Ministries

 “I know the struggle some of these kids are going through with learning a new language and navigating a school system; but at the same time, they are experiencing more than what I did with social media pressuring them with what’s normal and how they aren’t,” said Erick Ramos, former Youth Director at Multinational Memphis.

As the oldest and largest refugee/immigrant ministry in Memphis, it’s no surprise that immigrants from all over the world come to Multinational Memphis in hopes of finding community and support for their transition in life. By providing safe spaces for folks to freely be themselves, and utilizing programming like English For Moms and their elementary after-school  homework help, families are able to feel that their cultures are valued and accepted—and will only add to what Memphis has to offer.

Interested in volunteering with Multinational Memphis? Because of the large number of people that MM serves, they need all the help they can get. Submit an application today to hear about their opportunities.

 

World Relief Memphis

What started as simple English classes in a two-bedroom apartment in Bartlett has transformed into one of Memphis’ welcome centers to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. World Relief Memphis has been serving people from all over the world since 2012, offering refugee resettlement, employment, legal, and language learning services. With 100+ students from over 28 countries, ranging from Venezuela to Kenya, WRM seeks to understand, respect, and empower those individuals to build upon their new-found freedoms.

Volunteers and partners are crucial to the fulfillment of World Relief’s vision for transformation in the lives of the people it serves. Learn more about how you can support their efforts here.

Mariposas Collective

Hundreds of migrant families seeking asylum pass through, and settle down, in Memphis each year—and Mariposas Collective, a grassroots group driven by loving our neighbors, provides relief in the form of meals, clothing, toys for the children, toiletries, translators, and more.

See their work outlined here, with the Daily Memphian, and the Commercial Appeal—and stay up to date on their needs by following along on their Facebook page. If you feel called to support to their efforts, make a donation here, or reach out to see if you can give your time instead as a volunteer.

 

La Prensa Latina Hispanic News

La Prensa Latina is not a nonprofit, per se, but as the Mid-South’s largest bilingual news source, its an essential part of the community. While most of us rarely have to think about how and where to access the news, others rely on multilingual media to stay in the know. Local journalism does the important work of connecting and engaging people with their neighborhoods and cities, and La Prensa is an important part of that effort here in Memphis. You can check out their news updates here, and see each E-Edition of their paper here.

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