Over the years, Southwest AirlinesCommunity Outreach efforts have been committed to developing and championing relationships with organizations committed to building resilient communities. Empowering our communities is more important than ever before. As we bid adieu to 2020 and open our hearts to 2021, we are proud to continue to serve and leave a mark creating a brighter place for communities. In San Diego, Chicano Federation of San Diego County is advancing the status of Latinos in the region as it dedicates itself to addressing critical community needs by providing a safety net for the youngest and most vulnerable across San Diego County. We are honored to be the Official Airline Partner of Chicano Federation of San Diego County.

Kelly Knox
Community Outreach Lead
Southwest Airlines

Chicano Federation: Rising to the Occasion in the face of a Pandemic

In its early years, Chicano Federation was led by a tireless group of advocates dedicated to seeing advances in civil rights and civic participation. Those strong roots empower Chicano Federation to serve diverse populations throughout San Diego County with programs that help children and families experiencing hardship access vital and often life-changing services. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Chicano Federation immediately sprang into action to help families impacted by the pandemic.

Chicano Federation has been at the forefront in addressing the systemic inequities that disproportionally affect communities of color and has emerged as the leading nonprofit in San Diego County focused on equity in recovery from this public health crisis. Immediately after the issuance of the first stay at home order, Chicano Federation knew they had to step up and fill the gap left by the challenges facing many of our communities.

Chicano Federation’s commitment to our entire San Diego community is unwavering as they continue working to meet the needs of anyone who turns to them for assistance. While they are still providing of all their regular services and programs such as childcare, affordable housing, child nutrition, early childhood education and workforce development, they are also offering new services to meet the emerging needs of the community during this unprecedented time.

Unfortunately, this pandemic has disproportionately affected San Diego’s Latino community. At its height, Latinos made up more than 63% of positive cases in San Diego County. Chicano Federation felt a sense of responsibility in addressing this devastating impact on the Latino community. As coalition builders, they knew that they needed to join forces with other nonprofits to have an impact. Chicano Federation joined with other organizations and launched a grassroots effort to slow the spread of coronavirus within the Latino community. This initiative caught the attention of San Diego County, and the group evolved into what is now the San Diego Latino Health Coalition, a coalition of 18 organizations including health centers, advocacy organizations, and service providers. The Coalition provides bilingual webinars, trainings, and resources on COVID-19-prevention and recovery to the community at large. The nonprofit partners also act as Resource Centers where Spanish speakers can receive information and get answers on how to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic. The Coalition has also distributed nearly 10,000 safety kits, which include digital thermometers, face masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and other resources.

Chicano Federation CEO, Nancy Maldonado is inspired by the amount of support the organization has received during this pandemic:

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from our community and other partners during this pandemic. With support from partners like Southwest Airlines, we have been able to help thousands of families throughout San Diego County access the resources they need. We are committed to continue this work to save lives and work towards a recovery that puts equity at the forefront.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicano Federation has continued to advocate for changes in local policies that affect families, including affordable housing, access to childcare, access to healthcare and eviction moratoriums. Their advocacy efforts have led to millions of dollars being invested in programs to directly help some of our most impacted communities. An impact made possible by Southwest Airlines’ commitment to support Chicano Federation during this critical time.

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