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October 16, 2013 by Jennifer Brandt
NATHROP, COLO. – Today, prominent Latino religious leaders from Colorado and California joined together to form Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance, which will develop stewards of God’s creations by engaging and educating this generation to leave a legacy for the future. This group seeks to educate other Hispanics and to encourage them to take an active role in supporting the nation’s public lands and protecting our natural resources across the West.
“Pastors can bring common-sense and spiritual guidance to the national discussion about the value of our parks and public lands, and other environmental issues affecting Latinos across the West,” said Maite Arce, president of the nonprofit Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), which helped organize the group. “Their leadership will be instrumental in sparking change that preserves our natural treasures for future generations — bringing balance and fairness to how our nation views conservation in relation to energy development.”
HAF brought the religious leaders together as part of the inaugural summit “Exploring Stewardship in Protecting and Preserving the Environment.” The summit was held in Nathrop, Colo. for three days, and included fly-fishing in Colorado’s famed Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River. The organization believes this new alliance will encourage more religious leaders to speak up for conservation, especially in communities that are on the front lines of energy development.
“We need energy development for our nation’s energy independence,” said Pastor Joseito Velasquez from Healing Waters Family Center in Denver, Colo. “But we also need to protect wildlife and other aspects of God’s creation in our public lands. We can do both.”
Pastor Velasquez was joined in the Alliance formation by Pastor Rigo Magaña from New Hope Christian Fellowship in Greeley, Colo., Pastors Frank Ruiz from Seventh Day Adventist Church in Indio, Calif., and Jesse Villarreal from Templo La Hermosa and Enrique Orellana from Fuente De Vida Christian Center in Coachella, Calif.
At the summit in Colorado, the group identified environmental issues from each home state that are of concern. In Colorado, the group would like to see Browns Canyon’s public lands and waters protected as a National Monument. Similarly, the Alliance would like National Monument designation to be granted for Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks in New Mexico. For California, the collective is paying special attention to the California Desert Protection Act, which would establish two new national monuments, enhance the existing national parks and ensure renewable energy development happens in appropriate public and private lands, and other environmental issues in the Coachella. Additionally, the alliance will explore the need for adequate funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect national parks, and enable communities to build new playgrounds and local parks.
Following the summit, the pastors will return to their communities to educate, engage and empower other religious leaders and community members in advocating for the conservation of God’s creation.
July 22, 2013 by Jennifer Brandt
WASHINGTON, July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Of all the cancers, breast cancer is the primary killer of Latino women in the U.S., while colorectal cancer is the second most common among men and women. Yet, survival rates improve dramatically with early detection, which is why the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) has launched a four-market campaign to educate Hispanics about the prevention and early detection of breast and colorectal cancers.
“Poor health outcomes, unfortunately, are a common reality in the Hispanic community,” said Maite Arce, president of HAF. “Whether it’s the lack of having a primary doctor or access to health care in general, through education we can empower Latinos to become advocates for their health.”
Titled “Together We Can Defeat Cancer” and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the effort will include dozens of free educational workshops, a PSA campaign and toll-free helpline to connect Hispanics to the resources they need. The campaign focuses on Latinos in New York, Rio Grande Valley, Houston, and Miami.
The main purpose is to emphasize that women over 40 years of age should be screened for breast cancer regularly, while both men and women over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer. Not all screenings are cost prohibitive and in some cases even the uninsured can receive screenings, but early detection leads to improved survival rates for most everyone.
“With the Hispanic population projected to nearly double by 2050, the immediate need to address the knowledge and behaviors within this community is paramount,” said Anita McFarlane, MPH, Director of Grants and Public Policy at the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen. “This project will help us increase the understanding of preventive health care within the Hispanic community and put them on the path to greater health outcomes.”
HAF prides itself on its ability as a connector that helps remove barriers and link Hispanics to existing resources. Throughout this project, HAF will be collaborating with several local partners that offer expertise and services, which helps avoid a duplication of efforts and strengthen the overall outreach.
Key partners in this initiative include the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the New York Hospital Queens, University of Texas School of Public Health, Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center, lay health educators and other nonprofit organizations. For a list of dates and locations of workshops or for more information regarding early detection and this campaign, visit www.hispanicaccess.org.
About Hispanic Access Foundation Hispanic Access Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to promote responsible citizenship, educational attainment, and active engagement in the improvement of the health, environment, and financial well-being of Hispanic families throughout the United States. Working with and through strategic partnerships with faith and community organizations, HAF is dedicated to providing greater access to vital information and community resources to the U.S. Hispanic population to improve health and quality of life. For more information visit www.hispanicaccess.org.
Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/07/22/5041316/cdc-funded-effort-educates-hispanics.html#storylink=cpy
May 28, 2013 by Jennifer Brandt
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The 2012 tax return will have major impact for Hispanics, as it can be used in determining eligibility for the Affordable Care Act and immigration reforms will likely require individuals to pay any unpaid taxes. An ongoing project from the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), in partnership with H&R Block, the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, is seeking to educate Hispanics about the U.S. tax system and prepare them for upcoming changes.
“Prepárate Para Un Futuro Mejor” (Prepare Yourself for a Better Future) includes more than 150 free “Tax Talk” seminars across the nation. It emphasizes the importance of building an accurate tax history, provides tools to protect against fraud and misinformation in the tax preparation process, and outlines how to meet the demands of the Affordable Care Act and potential immigration rule changes.
“Hispanics need to have their taxes in order so they don’t miss out on potential benefits,” said Maite Arce, president of HAF. “Since the project’s launch in 2010, we have helped tens of thousands of Hispanics with tax issues, and now they are even more vigilant about building an accurate tax history.”
Starting in 2014, many people who do not have health insurance may be able to receive a subsidy based on their household income and family size to help with the cost. Eligibility for assistance can be determined from an individual’s 2012 tax return, which can also streamline the insurance plan enrollment process with a health insurance exchange. With the individual mandate requiring nearly everyone to have health insurance in 2014, a key component of Affordable Care Act is the health insurance exchange— a marketplace where consumers can shop for a health insurance plan.
As for immigration reform, it is expected that both political parties will support a reconciliation of unpaid taxes as a prerequisite on the path to legal residency or citizenship. While plan details are still being discussed, it will likely require individuals to submit tax documentation for multiple years – an individual will need to provide an accurate tax history as part of the application process.
“With the rapid expansion of the Latino population, it is essential to provide accurate information and access to bilingual tax experts in order to fully integrate Latinos into the tax system,” said Arce. “Our community wants to contribute our fair share. With a better understanding of the process, we can strengthen our families, communities and nation.”
The free “Tax Talk” seminars are scheduled in multiple cities across the country. A complete list of dates and locations is available at www.pormifuturo.org. For more information about HAF visit www.hispanicaccess.org.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/28/5299568/taxes-key-for-hispanics-on-health.html#storylink=cpy
Posted on May 31, 2013 to Saludify.com By Hope Gillette
The Hispanic Access Foundation Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer workers prepare outreach initiatives.
The Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) was founded with the goal in mind of improving opportunities for Hispanics in the United States in all aspects of life, from citizenship and financial stability to the reduction of health disparities. The non-profit organization strives to improve overall quality of life through efforts based on responsibility, respect, integrity, innovation, and diversity.
“Hispanic Access Foundation, a national 501c3 nonprofit organization works to promote responsible citizenship, educational attainment, and active engagement in the improvement of the health, environment, and financial well-being of Hispanic families in the United States,” Maite Arce, CEO, told Saludify.
Among the many initiatives of the organization, Arce explains the Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer program (Together We Can Defeat Cancer), is one of the Hispanic Access Foundation’s most popular initiatives, and is designed to be a national cancer awareness program for Latinos.
“The Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer program is an innovative, evidence-based, scalable, and cost-effective model for changing attitudes and behaviors about colorectal and breast cancer prevention among the Hispanic community,” explained Arce.
The project, according to Arce, raises awareness about cancer, provides more detailed information to encourage informed choices, motivates people to action, and connects individuals to resources and services in the community where they live. This project is active in McAllen, TX; Houston, TX; Miami, FL and New York, NY.
Among the reasons the Hispanic Access Foundation’s cancer initiative is so critical to the Hispanic community is health is one of their top concerns, Arce told Saludify. HAF has combined the strength of mass media, targeted media, and grassroots partnerships with innovative technology tools that increase efficiency, decrease cost, and improve communications.
“True social change happens when multiple supporting factors come together,” said Arce. “Poor health outcomes, unfortunately, are a common reality in the Hispanic community. From lack of health insurance and access to care to high-risk environments, there is a significant need to educate Hispanics on health prevention and to empower them to become advocates for their own well-being.”
Since its inception, health has been a priority focus for the Hispanic Access Foundation. The Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer program is a highly collaborative, culturally, and linguistically appropriate project, which has made a positive impact in the lives of many, but there is still much work to be done.
An increased understanding of preventative health and improved access to care, absent of language barriers, needs to be the common reality among Hispanics – not the poor health outcomes that pervade our community, Arce said in conclusion.
To that end, the Hispanic Access Foundation had continued to bridge the gaps between Hispanics and medical providers, promoting effective health-seeking behavior among the community, and linking Hispanics with important health centers, hospitals, health screening initiatives, migrant health centers, health issue specific hotlines, national organizations, and community-based health promoters across the country.
February 21, 2013 by Jennifer Brandt
By: Maite Arce
For Latinos, the 2012 tax return presents significant opportunity. In fact, the potential impact of key legislative changes for the nation’s fastest growing population is unprecedented.
Starting in 2014, many people — not just Latinos — who do not have health insurance may be able to receive a subsidy based on their household income and family size to help with the cost. Eligibility for assistance can be determined from an individual’s 2012 tax return, which can also streamline the insurance plan enrollment process with a health insurance exchange. With the individual mandate requiring nearly everyone to have health insurance in 2014, a key component of Affordable Care Act is the health insurance exchange — a marketplace where consumers can shop for a health insurance plan.
Latinos are by far the least insured demographic in the nation. For 2011, the U.S. Census estimated that 30.1 of Latinos are uninsured, compared to just 11.1 percent of whites. This lack of coverage is compounded by the fact that Latinos are 165 percent more likely to live in areas where environmental concerns can lead to greater health complications, according to the American Lung Society.
As for immigration reform, it is expected that both political parties will support a reconciliation of unpaid taxes as a prerequisite on the path to citizenship or legal residency. While plan details are still being discussed, it will likely require individuals to submit tax documentation for multiple years — an individual will need to provide an accurate tax history as part of the application process.
Unauthorized Latinos have long been chided for not filing taxes. But what is often overlooked is that state and local taxes paid in 2010 by households headed by unauthorized immigrants totaled $11.2 billion, according to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy.
For the majority of Latinos, however, it’s not a question of not wanting to pay taxes (many do!) but rather a lack of understanding, not having an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), concern about immigration status or fear of the process. In fact, many Latinos who we meet have paid into the system for years, but never filed taxes.
In several of the countries from which our Latino immigrants come, the tax system is a wholly different process or not even enforced at all. Others have worked with unskilled tax preparers who miss even the most obvious deductions or those who add fraudulent deductions to inflate returns. Language barriers only exacerbate these issues.
This is why our campaign, “Prepárate Para Un Futuro Mejor (Prepare for a Better Future),” to educate Latinos on the U.S. tax system has been so successful. This tax season we will hold over 150 free tax seminars in coordination with Latino faith leaders as partners within the community and provide access to bilingual tax experts. Since 2010, we’ve provided tax education and information to over 50,000 Latinos. Our emphasis is on the importance of building an accurate tax history and being a good contributor.
By looking at future economic factors, the importance of this education becomes evident. Latino buying power is expected to reach $1.5 trillion in 2015, according to a recent Nielsen report. The U.S. Census estimated that there are more than 2.3 million Latino business owners contributing more than $350 billion to the nation’s economy.
Furthermore, the Latino population is expected to double to 100 million by 2050, and tax contributions will grow along with it. Affordable health care and immigration acceptance may be incentives for Latinos to file taxes, but the benefit will help our nation’s tax income grow and improve the lives of many.