Strength in Unity is a coalition of non-profit organizations in Illinois advocating for a health agenda that effectively responds to the needs of diverse Latinos, particularly LGBTQ immigrants and youth.
Strength in Unity's mission is to improve access to health and other supportive services that LGBTQ Latinos and LGBTQ immigrants face through work in three fronts. First, establishing inclusive organizational policies; second, implementing them through capacity building; and third, jointly developing an inclusive health advocacy and policy agenda.
Our founding partner organizations are: The Association of Latino Men for Action, Corazón Community Services, Latinos Progresando, Salud Latina/Latino Health, and The AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Areas of concern:
The coalition's efforts respond to the anti-gay stigma that prevents gay and bisexual men from being healthy and from accessing prevention and care services.
The coalition's efforts respond to many health and wellness concerns of LGBTQ Latinos and Latinas and pays particular attention to the ways in which these populations, particularly immigrants, experience compounded barriers to access health care and related services.
The coalition's efforts respond to the high-rates of HIV/AIDS among gay/bisexual Latino men, particularly among immigrants and youth, as well as the high number of Latinos tested late and the number of Latinos living with HIV without access to adequate care.
The coalition's efforts respond to a general trend among policymakers to perceive issues affecting the Latino community as separate and apart from issues affecting the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities.
Areas of Intervention
In order to improve access to health and other supportive services that LGBTQ Latinos and LGBTQ immigrants face, the coalition will establish inclusive organizational policies, implement them through capacity building, and jointly develop an advocacy and policy health agenda that prioritizes LGBTQ Latino immigrants and LGBTQ Latinos in Illinois.
With regard to needs mapping, the coalition carries out a series of research activities, including in-depth interviews with the target population, focus groups with key stakeholders, establishes collaborations with universities and researchers, takes part in state and local policy-setting committees, carries out a continuous review of current research, among other activities.
With regard to agency policy-setting, the coalition will engage the governing boards and senior staff of the coalition partners to adopt anti-homophobia institutional policies and services—including anti-homophobia education and immigrant-rights institutional policies. The coalition will also forge collaborative agreements for inclusive services tailored for LGBTQ Latino immigrants.
With regard to training, the coalition will develop curricula for Latino organizations to be inclusive of LGBTQ issues and concerns; and for LGBTQ organizations to be inclusive of Latino issues and concerns, including the wellbeing of LGBTQ non-citizens.
With regard to policy advocacy, the coalition will develop an inclusive advocacy agenda responding to the health and wellness needs of diverse Latinos and seek to align the advocacy agendas of the partner organizations.
As the name of the coalition emphasizes, each of the partner organizations’ will contribute strategic areas of expertise to effectively advance a Latino health and wellness agenda inclusive of sexual minorities. Our founding partner organizations are: The Association of Latino Men for Action, Corazón Community Services, Latinos Progresando, Salud Latina/Latino Health, and The AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Immigrant and LGBTQ Rights Forums:
Feb 16 and Feb 23, 2006
Fact sheet: Why immigration
is a struggle for the LGBTQ community
Call for internships: Become an intern in Advocacy and Policy with Strength in Unity