Welcome To COLA
The Coalición de Organizaciones Latino-Americanas (COLA) connects, strengthens and organizes communities to take action for immigrants¿ rights in Western North Carolina.
COLA strives for inclusive communities with justice, freedom, and equality for all.
- COLA believes grassroots communities have the wisdom and experience to direct their future
- COLA believes that the coalition is best guided by full participation of it’s members
- COLA believes that all people should be treated with respect and dignity
- COLA believes in equal opportunities, equal rights and in fair and just laws
- COLA believes in the strength of diversity and multi-lingual spaces
- Stop anti-immigrant laws and policies, including state-wide hate bills and police-ICE collaboration.
- Obtain equal access to drivers¿ licenses in North Carolina.
- Stop workplace abuse and mobilize for workplace justice.
Based in Asheville, COLA (Coalición de Organizaciones Latino-Americanas) formed out of a need for Latino-led organizations in rural Western North Carolina mountain counties to connect, learn from each other, and work together. The Center for Participatory Change, an organization that supports grassroots organizations in the region, realized that although they were working with several Latino organizations, it seemed these groups were not working with one another. In some cases, these groups did not even know that other regional Latino organizations existed.
In October 2002, these groups came together for the first Encuentro, or gathering. Today, COLA is a regional network connecting and strengthening organizations that empower Latino communities in Western North Carolina. To date, about 25 organizations actively participate in the coalition.
On June 2, 2012, COLA’s Council members, together with Popular Education Consultants, met to analyze COLA’s current structures and programs.
On September 10th and 11th, 2011, the Coalition of Latin-American Organizations (COLA) carried out a Strategic Workshop to envision COLA’s future based on the issues identified during the summer long Consulta Comunitaria process. The Consultas, or listening sessions, took place in Wilkesboro, Boone, Hendersonville, Franklin, Sylva, Asheville, and two focus groups (women and youth). Once the Consultas were completed, it was necessary to gather the acquired knowledge, analyze the prioritized problems, and determine the goals and actions the coalition would be trying to achieve in the short and long term.
A timeline from the August 27th Race and Racism workshop that illuminates the shared history and celebrates the resiliency of Latinos and African-Americans.
We want to share with you a report from the 2nd Annual WNC Woman’s Congress which took place on Saturday, May 21, 2011. The goals of the Congress where to create support networks, give voice and create spaces for women from our region, and strengthen new leaders.
Members and leaders of 8 community organizations from Western North Carolina (and 9 children!) got together to form a delegation to attend the 2nd United States Social Forum. In Color – photos – stories – drawings – reflections – resources – and updates from delegates!! We’ve got it all and just in time to serve as an inspiration for the new year!
HURRICANE’s 2009-2010 report, Injustice for All: The Rise of the U.S. Immigration Policing Regime, finds that the US government has built a brutal system of immigration control and policing that criminalizes immigration status, normalizes separation of families, destabilizes communities and workplaces, and fuels widespread human & civil rights violations.