Free Workshops Help Latino Immigrants Interact with Police


rural organizing project in oregon
Share On Social!

“Know Your Role.”

“Know Your Rights.”

These are the two key phrases being taught to Oregon Latino immigrants in new free workshops, which offer bilingual help on interacting with police and understanding one’s rights whether they are documented or undocumented.

The workshops, led by the Rural Organizing Project in Oregon (11% Latino), help Latinos integrate in the community and build resiliency.

“Oregon has become our home, and as such, we need to learn how to protect it, starting with ourselves and our own families,” according to a blog post by Jessica Campbell of the organization. “Let’s not allow fear to break us! We are resilient people that made the heartbreaking choice of leaving our home countries behind, searching for opportunities to rebuild ourselves and our families, never forgetting our roots.”

Once Neighbors, Now Allies

Immigrants in Oregon and across the country face stress and may struggle to find peace between fear of deportation, language barriers, or hostile neighbors, according a Salud America! research review.

In Corvallis, Ore., advocates wanted to respond to these challenges.

“There’s usually people coming in here and asking, ‘We want to help, how can we do that?’” Yazmin Brambila, leader of Casa Latinos Unidos in Benton County, Ore., told The Daily Barometer. “Our main goal is to help the Latino community learn and empower them so they can advocate for their needs and rights, whether it be for education or health.”

Several community partners got together on a solution.

The “Know Your Roles” workshop is a free two-hour training event with a catered lunch to enducate “allies” about the detention industry and concrete ways to support friends and neighbors who are affected.

The “Know your Rights” workshop is a free four-hour training open to kids and adults about deportation, constitutional rights, family preparedness, and strengthening relationships.

The workshops are a joint effort between Albany First Christian Church, Casa Latinos Unidos de Benton County, Community Action for Racial Equity, Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, Corvallis-area NAACP, Linn County Democrats, Linn Benton Health Equity Alliance and Showing Up For Racial Justice

Compassion and a Sense of Security

Many families are afraid to go out in public at all to participate in the community activities many of us take for granted, like taking our kids to the park, going for a walk, or buying ice cream as a family, Campbell wrote in her blog post.

But with so many strong community partners and participants, the Know Your Roles and Know Your Rights workshops are building a true bridge between cultures.

The classes are giving help and hope to many Latino immigrant families.

“Love, compassion and justice will always prevail in our towns,” Campbell wrote. “We are a major labor force and contribute daily to our communities in so many ways! We need to learn how to enforce our constitutional rights because we belong here.”

Follow Casa Latinos Unidos, Rural Organizing Project, and their partners as they encourage inclusive and healthy communities.

Want to host a Know Your Roles or Rights event in your neighborhood?

Email Keyla for more information!

By The Numbers By The Numbers



Expected rise in Latino cancer cases in coming years

Share your thoughts