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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.

Values

  • 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

Objectives

  • 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.

History

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.

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