• IDRA Newsletter • January 2001

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE) initiative is entering its next phase. The $28.7 million six-year initiative is supporting broad, community-wide coalition building and collaboration as a catalyst for increasing opportunities for Latino students to achieve educational success. The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) will continue to serve as the managing partner for the initiative. The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) is serving as cluster evaluator.

ENLACE is derived from the Spanish word enlazar, which means to link or weave together. The linking together or weaving of valuable resources in the community is a vital component of the initiative. ENLACE is increasing opportunities for Latinos to enter and complete college through sustainable partnerships among higher education institutions and local communities.

Phase I of the initiative took place in 2000 as the Foundation provided one-year planning grants to 18 coalitions in the initiative?s target areas across the United States. In Phase II, the Foundation will soon announce the names of eight to 10 implementation grantees who will receive up to $2 million each over four years to carry out their plans. Phase III of the effort will focus on institutionalization and sustainability.

During Phase I, IDRA provided technical assistance to help identify and strengthen partnerships among higher education institutions, K-12 schools and communities; create blueprints for change; and plan for leveraging resources to reach and sustain the ENLACE goal of increased educational access and graduation rates for Latino students. During Phase II, IDRA will continue its technical assistance support to sustain the momentum to keep this initiative moving at its vigorous pace and build strategic connections to broaden national efforts that can catalyze and sustain change.

Due to the efforts of many, ENLACE is already making a difference. Individuals and institutions in communities are taking a stand for Latino students. Communities are being strengthened by the development of inclusive, interrelational partnerships where everyone is a stakeholder in the well-being of that community. It is anticipated that communities will see that the new entity being formed is stronger than all of its parts, and can look within themselves to determine how to capitalize on the strengths that each part of the community brings to bear. People are, in fact, willing to change the status quo – eager to make a difference.The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming activities center on the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education and higher education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. When related to these areas, funding also is provided for leadership, information systems/technology, efforts to capitalize on diversity, and social and economic community development programming. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via e-mail at feedback@idra.org.

[©2001, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the January 2001 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]