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Funded Projects

Iowa West Foundation
Evidence-Based Community Development: Demographic Change and Latinos' Economic Impact in the Heartland
Grant Period - 09/01/2011 - 06/30/2012

The goals of this project are twofold: 1) To produce a two-part series of credible and language-accessible socio-demographic and economic impact reports about the Latino population in Southwest Iowa and the six counties that makes up the core of the Iowa-Nebraska metropolitan area and 2) To design a bilingual (English-Spanish) dissemination and community education plan in order to assist all community stakeholders with the analysis about funding, policy and programmatic decisions. At the end of this project we will have distributed findings to area representatives of the local, state and federal governments, including schools and other community stakeholders identified during the project.

“Support to Critical Issues Confronting Latino Community across the State”
Grant Period – (Nov 2011 - Present).

This project will partially support the following objectives: 1) to update the 2008 report on the Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Immigrants in Nebraska based on the newest census data and consider the changes brought about by the current economic crisis; 2) funding under objective # 1 will support activities such as: translation, printing, and supplies, dissemination through a re-designed website and social media, preparation of bilingual briefs, and capacity-building workshops to grassroots and ‘grasstops’ organizations.  The reports are distributed among hundreds of policy-makers, community agencies and scholars; 3) first phase in the development of much needed assessments of critical issues and potential opportunities confronting the Latino community across the state.  These include: a) the “precarization” of work and legal rights in the aftermath of the economic crisis and restrictionist public policies, b) health and educational disparities, c) Linguistic barriers to participation and d) the potential contribution of the Latino population to sustainable development in urban and rural settings and to healthy food practices.  Funding will support activities such as convening outside experts to assist us with the design of these assessment tools; and 4) on-going support to community organizations requesting assistance and partnerships in the development of responses to rapidly-changing events, opportunities and forces affecting the Latino and other minority and economically-disadvantaged populations in our region. Support would be directed toward the training and hiring of student and other part-time workers or interns who can assist with these projects.

Mammel Foundation
Community Capacity Building and Advocacy Collaboration with Local Organizations
Grant Period – 12/01/2010-06/30/2012

This project has three following objectives. 1) Capacity-building and training in a variety of areas carried out in partnership with UNO/OLLAS, local and Latin American community partners (civic engagement, community-based research, leadership skills, immigration and development.) 2) Program and policy-relevant publications. These include OLLAS Reports and Socio-Demographic Data Series produced by the OLLAS staff; a web-based inventory of community organizations which is periodically updated by the staff to promote grassroots network building; scholarship information; reference materials; and power-point training presentations. We strive to produce as many as possible of our products in Spanish and English and disseminate tools for leadership training in both languages so the trained can become trainers. 3) Advocacy and partnerships. OLLAS is represented within non-governmental organizations. We testify in the legislature, give media interviews, and participate in ad hoc permanent committees and write policy and opinion pieces whenever critical issues demand it. We maintain up-to-date bilingual community lists compiled during our workshops and constantly inform them of urgent issues. Students and interns participate in these efforts as well. Staff prepares all necessary material.    

Gender, Youth and Civic Engagement with Local Immigration and Community Development Organizations
Grant Period – 4/1/2010 - 04/01/2011

The goal of this project is to continue to meet the constant demand from community organizations requesting OLLAS collaboration, and to produce reports that inform community work. The series of workshops focus on gender youth and civic engagement related to local immigration and community development  policies. We partner with local workers with local organizations to offer capacity-building and educational workshops to more than 100 Latino workers and leaders and producing at least two OLLAS Reports that will serve to inform policies and community work.

Ford Foundation
Transnational Impact of Migrant Organizations in New Destinations
Grant Period – 9/1/2007–8/31/2009

The overarching goals of this project are twofold. First, we seek to fill a major void in our knowledge about the development of migrant-run organizations in new U.S. destinations whose scope of action and impact may be increasingly transnational.  Second, we seek to assist these organizations in addressing major public policy issues in conjunction with the sending, transit, and receiving communities that make up their transnational networks. The project focuses specifically on Nebraska and Iowa, two prototypical “new destination” heartland states. Innovative project methodologies and findings are expected to generate important insights and new questions that can inform similar efforts beyond the Great Plains region.  We will work closely with selected Latino/Latin American migrant organizations and institutional partners, nationally and across borders, and during key phases of the project. 
See Also: Community Organizations
See Also: Civic Engagement Legislative Training Workshops
"Los proyectos de leyes en la legislatura de Nebraska (2009-2010): Impactos en la comunidad latina y Nebraska" (16 de febrero del 2009)

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Latin American Migrants: Civic and Political Participation in Binational Context
Grant Period – 8/7/2007–1/31/2008

The objectives of the project were to understand and investigate the role of Latin American immigrant integration into the United States through civic and political participation. This project consisted of three main components: research and case studies of several mid-sized cities around the United States through interviews and focus groups. The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) acted as coordinator in Omaha, Nebraska. National research coordinators (Jonathan Fox, UC Santa Cruz and Xóchitl Bada, Notre Dame) selected Charlotte, NC, Dallas, TX, Albuquerque, NM, Fresno, CA, and Las Vegas, NV as additional research sites.

W. K. Kellogg Foundation (subcontracted with Nebraska Appleseed)
Rural People, Rural Policy
Grant Period 4/1/2006–5/19/2008

The purpose of this grant was to organize and equip, in partnership with the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, a state-based network of scholars, community organizations, and other stakeholders to engage in educational, capacity-building, and leadership programs aimed at improving the lives of rural communities and their residents. Our specific focus was on communities that have experienced significant demographic changes and also on the new immigrant, especially Latino, population now residing and working in those communities.

Both organizations (OLLAS and Nebraska Appleseed) participated in the Midwest/Great Plains regional network.