Frank I. Sanchez Award
Somos Un Pueblo Unido
At its May 8th meeting, the Board of The Needmor Fund selected Somos Un Pueblo Unido as the recipient of this year’s Frank I. Sanchez Award. Established at the time of Frank’s retirement 2017, this award recognizes an exceptional community organization with a documented history of improving lives in low- and moderate-income communities, while also promoting a social justice agenda and enhancing the practice of democracy. Additional criteria include: demonstrable growth in membership; a structured approach to leadership development; aggregation of power with allies; an integrated voter engagement strategy; and, a history of policy wins that have secured concrete benefits for members and their communities.
Founded in Sante Fe in 1995, Somos has grown into a statewide immigrants’ rights organization with over 3,500 members. Led by veteran organizer Marcela Diaz, the organization’s approach to power building employs a multi-pronged strategy that includes: community organizing, direct action, strategic litigation, intensive leadership development, voter engagement, and grassroots policy advocacy. From fighting to increase the state minimum wage to defending the right to driver licenses, the campaigns led by Somos over the past decade have won significant policy reforms that have benefited immigrant communities throughout the state.
The relationship between Somos and Needmor dates back almost 15 years, during which it was considered one of the strongest organizations in our Southwest Cluster. Given this history, the Board and staff of Needmor are especially pleased to honor Somos Un Pueblo Unido for its steadfast commitment to organizing and building power to protect the dignity and rights of all people regardless of national origin or citizenship status.