by Efrain Nieves
One of the most important Latino youth groups, ASPIRA has shut its doors in Connecticut. Co-founder of the state Chapter Alma Maya states “The community, I don’t think, believed the problems were so serious, well, on Monday, they got serious” (ctpost.com).
Born and raised in CT, I can’t begin to stress the importance of community groups in the state. The Latino and Black communities are overlooked and much of the state’s afterschool programs have either been terminated or become victims of financial cuts. For example, in 2007 the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) ” cite[d] the outdated state education aid formula as short changing Bridgeport schools by more than $20 million a year” (bcacct.org) causing cuts that affected 500 Bridgeport children.
There are many Latino communities with no voice who are at a disadvantage because the lack of awareness from Latinos leaders. We should always remember that if Latinos in Connecticut need a voice, leaders there as well as in New York, New Jersey and across the country, should unite, and give them that voice.
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