Latinos United of Carroll County, Inc.
UWG News Item
Contact: University Communications & Marketing
Phone (678) 839-6464, FAX (678) 839-6645
UWG Program is finalist for Carter Award
October 29, 2003
CARROLLTON, GA - The Latinos Initiative of the University of West Georgia, a collaboration with Latinos United of Carroll County and the Carroll County community that works with the county’s fast-growing Latino immigrant population, has been selected as one of three finalists for the fourth annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration.
The award recognizes campus and community groups in Georgia that work together to produce measurable improvements in people’s lives while enhancing learning for higher education participants.
Finalists were selected by a national committee of representatives from higher education, business, community and government organizations, which will also choose the award winner. The winning program will receive $10,000, to be divided equally between campus and community partners.
The Carter Partnership Award was organized in 2000 by the Georgia State University College of Arts and Sciences and named for the Carters as a tribute to their lifelong efforts to build and strengthen safe, healthy and caring communities throughout the world.
The Latino Initiative was started under the name Carroll County Barrio/Neighborhood Project in 2000 by Dr. Elena Mustakova-Possardt, UWG assistant professor of psychology, as an offshoot of the Brookwood Coalition, which strives to help integrate members of the Brookwood Community into the larger Carrollton community. The Brookwood Community is comprised of residents of Brookwood Apartments in Carrollton, a predominantly low-income immigrant Latino community with a smaller percentage of low-income African-Americans and whites.
Mustakova-Possardt’s project was designed to extend the Brookwood Coalition’s work by also facilitating the psycho-social growth and empowerment of the Latino community, as well as its ability to articulate its own experience and needs.
The project was also intended to create a laboratory for psychology students to begin to translate their theoretical learning in humanistic psychology into the practice of working toward the peaceful cross-cultural integration of diverse and complex communities.
“It trains students in cross-cultural community development and prepares them to be helpers, able to work in sensitive ways with the complex challenges of the 21st century, such as large-scale global migrations; poverty; racial, ethnic and class prejudice; and a deep and pervasive division between the Global North and the Global South,” said Mustakova-Possardt. “The Latino Initiative of UWG is a wonderful example of what education for the 21st century can do to address locally global problems, and to foster mutual appreciation and unity in diversity on our small planet.”
The project became an independent organization with the new name, Latinos United of Carroll County, when it was awarded a $9,000 Mott Grant for Emerging Community Initiatives in 2001 from the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest constituency-based Hispanic organization and the pre-eminent Hispanic think-tank. La Raza is committed to reducing poverty and discrimination and improving life opportunities for Hispanics of all nationalities, who now constitute the largest minority group in the United States.
Along with representatives from the other two Carter Award finalist programs, Mustakova-Possardt and Gyla Gonzalez, the vice president of Latinos United, will attend the Nov. 5 award ceremony in Atlanta, at which the winner will be announced. A video about the three finalist programs will be shown at the event.
For more information about Latinos United of Carroll County, contact Mustakova-Possardt at 770-836-4599. For more information about the Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration, call 404-651-1484.
Found in The Times-Georgian (Carrollton, GA)
Written by Meghann Ackerman
Posted on 2007-12-13
By Meghann Ackerman
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:36 AM EST
A recording of a harassing phone call made to a local Hispanic organization has been turned over to police for investigation.
The message, left on Latinos United of Carroll County’s answering machine said, “Hey, you people are upset about people calling you a ‘wetback?’ Get your illegal (expletive) asses registered and you won’t have to worry about (expletive) like that, you illegal thieving bastards.” The message was left at 7:22 a.m. last Friday.
“It’s very sad that we are getting those kind of calls. We, as an organization, have never expressed ourself in a bad way toward others,” Gylia Gonzalez, executive director of Latinos United, said.
Latinos United works to provide low-cost health care and English as a second language classes for Spanish-speakers in Carroll County.
Last week, Gonzalez publicly asked for an apology from County Commissioner Bill Head, who said during a recent work session the county needed more jail space because “of all the criminals moving in from Atlanta, and all the wetbacks coming up from down south.”
Head has said he was referring to illegal immigrants.
Gonzalez said the caller was probably encouraged by Head’s comment.
“It’s very bad that this happened, but this is just reminding us that when a public official makes a statement like that publicly, others will come out,” she said.
On Wednesday, Gonzalez made a recording of the call and turned it over to Carrollton police.
“I just want people to understand that we’re not going to allow that to happen,” Gonzalez said. “I’m following procedure and going to the police. I’m hoping they can find out who actually did it.”
“A lot of times we can track down who owns the phone and interview them, but we do run into dead ends,” Carrollton police Capt. Chris Dobbs said. He said if the call is made from a home phone or personal cellular phone, police can get the number from the victim’s phone records.
Once they have a number, police can track who it is registered to.
“Sometimes it is hard with prepaid phones,” Dobbs said. “They’re not registered to someone.”
Making harassing phone calls is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia.
Despite recent anti-Hispanic sentiment, Gonzalez said she still enjoys Carroll County.
“It’s a very small number who feel like that, it’s just that they are very verbal when they speak up,” she said. “This doesn’t change my mentality of the town.”
In the 12 years she had lived in Carrollton, Gonzalez said she has always felt welcome.
“We should be working together,” she said. “We will keep trying to unite our community.”