1996.jpgCARECEN adjusts its mission to reflect the long-term vision for creating sustainable services and programs for Central Americans who are firmly rooted in the social fabric of Los Angeles. The mission is: CARECEN is dedicated to the empowerment of Central Americans in Los Angeles; to the defense of their civil and human rights; and to building bridges between the Salvadoran community in the United States and the people of El Salvador.

CARECEN utilizes funds from the 1992 ARCO grant and a 1994 grant from the City of LA Community Development Department to purchase a four-story building at 2845 W. 7th Street in Pico Union.

Youth education programs include partnership in the city-funded L.A. Bridges program, a strategic 12-member group focused on after school education programs for middle school youth in Pico Union.

CARECEN joins with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and the Martin Luther King Dispute Resolution Center of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to present the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LIDR) program. LIDR is designed to support community leaders exploring interethnic collaboration in Los Angeles.

Proposition 209 threatens to dismantle affirmative action, which has leveled the playing field for minorities and women throughout California. Many civil rights organizations, including CARECEN, come together to defend the rights and opportunities of communities of color. Prop 209 passes in November.

CARECEN-LA works with CARECEN organizations in Washington D.C, Houston and San Francisco and other Salvadoran immigrant rights organizations including Centro Presente in Boston, Centro Romero in Chicago and CRECEN in Houston to establish the Salvadoran American National Network (SANN). 

Under the Clinton administration, the U.S. Congress passes the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) as part of the Republican Contract with America. The act eliminates suspension of deportation and surgically puts at risk over 250,000 Salvadoran and Guatemalan American Baptist Church (ABC) class members. CARECEN, the Central American Coalition of LA and SANN launch a national emergency campaign of marches and visits to Washington to educate legislators on how to regain lost rights. 

The ABC Emergency Campaign educates ABC class members about their rights as the face INS hearings.  The Latino media, led by KMEX and La Opinion, aid significantly in informing Latinos about immigration issues with public service announcements. KMEX supports the publication of 20,000 ABC information manuals created by CARECEN’s legal department and distributed in 10 cities nation-wide by SANN. Univision features CARECEN attorneys and staff in their nationally-aired documentary Hora Cero that details the damage to families and individuals created by IIRAIRA.

Angela Sanbrano becomes Executive Director
Herbert Medina becomes Chair, Board of Directors.

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