50 for 50 – Indiana Latino Institute
Indiana Latino Institute
Supporting Indiana’s Latino community through advocacy, leadership development, and community programming
The Indiana Latino Institute was originally established in 2001 as a statewide effort to help Latino-serving organizations improve their health programs. But over time, the non-profit recognized a need for more cultural services for Latino Hoosiers.
According to the U.S. Census, Latinos represent the largest ethnic group in the United States—and remain one of the most rapidly growing populations across the country. Indiana is certainly no exception with over half a million Hoosiers identifying as Hispanic or Latino. That’s why the Indiana Latino Institute strives to support the state’s growing Latino community through advocacy, leadership development and community programming.
The Indiana Latino Institute (ILI) was originally established in 2001 as a statewide effort to help Latino-serving organizations improve their health programs. But over time, the non-profit recognized a need for more cultural services for Latino Hoosiers, such as workforce development and college prep coaching. Now, ILI stands as the oldest statewide organization of its kind and a true advocate for education and leadership in the Latino community.
For more than two decades, their programming has improved educational attainment and workforce preparedness in Latino Hoosiers, while increasing access to career opportunities across the state. But ILI also works and advocates tirelessly for systemic change.
Their vision is to serve as “a trusted voice and a catalyst for change” here in Indiana by advocating for the community and representing the Latino perspective on important policy issues.
The ILI Legislative Breakfast is an opportunity for local leaders to convene with state legislators and discuss the challenges facing Indiana’s Latino community. ILI hosts this event to provide an open platform for bipartisan discussion, where leaders can work together to improve the lives of Latino Hoosiers.
Meanwhile, the ILI Education Summit helps Latino high school students prepare for the future. This event gives students the opportunity to learn about college admissions, explore potential career paths and meet with representatives from local universities. They also host financial aid workshops to help students understand the FAFSA and start securing scholarships.
Since 2012, the ILI Education Summit has helped 16,000 high schoolers get ready for college, and this is the second year hosting the Summit in 3 locations: in Evansville, Indianapolis, and South Bend. More than 3,500 Latino students will attend the three events this year.
Through events like these, ILI helps cultivate a thriving Latino community here in Indiana—a community that proudly leads the way forward for the next generation of Hoosiers. They empower Latinos to pursue their passions and connect emerging leaders with a network of supportive professionals. But most importantly, they showcase the beautiful culture and diversity that Latinos bring to Indiana.
Last year, the Indiana Latino Institute hosted the first-ever “Shining a Light” event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Crowds filled the streets of Monument Circle to commemorate the holiday and witness a one-of-a-kind projection show on the AES building. This projection celebrated the history of Latino Hoosiers, the countries their ancestors came from, and their many contributions to the local community.
“Latino Hoosiers have and continue to enrich Indiana’s diverse cultural fabric,” said ILI President and CEO Marlene Dotson. “During Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor our Latino ancestors for paving our path, celebrate our community’s accomplishments today, and recommit ourselves to expanding educational and economic opportunities for tomorrow’s generation to thrive. Indiana’s future is brighter with Latino Hoosiers embedded in our state’s fabric. Join us in our month-long celebration!”
Our 50th anniversary is a time to celebrate how The Center has grown since our start in 1973 – but it’s also a time to honor those who contributed to our mission of a more global Indiana.
Check back weekly to meet feature fifty individuals, groups and organizations that have helped the Hoosier state become the global hub it is today.
Celebrating the past 50 years of a global Indiana
Since 1973, The International Center has served Indiana as a catalyst for international growth and as a guide to the world’s cultural landscape.
Telephone: (317) 955-5150
Fax: (317) 955-5160
The International Center
One Indiana Square, Suite 2000
Indianapolis, IN 46204 U.S.A
Keep up with the work of The International Center by reading our blog posts.
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