Often seen locally as a hub of both corporate meetings and community celebrations, Amistades, Inc. was established to support Tucson’s understanding of its Latino cultural roots and provide family resources, education and workforce development to Latino community members.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, we sat down with Claudia Jasso-Stevens, Director of Corporate Development & Philanthropy at Amistades, to hear about how their organization is embracing the future and the past simultaneously to create a positive culture.
Comcast: What is your organization currently working on? What are your goals for this year?
Jasso-Stevens: Amistades is a Latino-led, Latino-serving community organization. We provide community services with a strong emphasis on cultural preservation and self-sufficiency. We have great relationships with various sectors of the community, so we help school districts, businesses, and families foster wellness and create a positive culture for Latinos and beyond. We are currently running a variety of programs for Latino youth and families that provide holistic resources — from substance abuse prevention and education to workforce development.
Comcast: How has the partnership between Amistades and Comcast evolved over the years, and how do you see the two organizations aligned on values?
Jasso-Stevens: 43% of the population locally is Latino, and that increases as you go further south. As a border community, we have challenges, but also significant opportunities to serve our Latino youth and families.
Comcast has been a unique and impactful partner in engaging our community. Our partnership goes back about six years, when we worked together to support a media arts program that integrated media as a part of the school curriculum in an underprivileged school district. Not only did Comcast’s funding help us make an impact, but we knew they shared our passion for empowering youth with the skills and technology they need to succeed in the future.
That great partnership with Comcast has continued in other initiatives. We have been a beneficiary of Comcast Cares Day and Comcast helped us with a program called Leaders In Action, where youth were given the tools to create PSAs sharing their Latino core values and heritage in their own words using digital media. It was such a cool moment to watch what the youth were able to do with those tools and freedom of expression.
Comcast: How has Comcast’s partnership helped you make progress in your organization’s long-term goals?
Jasso-Stevens: We hope to help change the cultural narrative of mistrust of minority populations. We are a small, grassroots organization, but we are proud of the solid infrastructure we have, and the relationships we’ve built in our region. All of those pieces contribute to that long-term change.
Comcast understands how to look at that issue in a 360-degree way. Because everything is interrelated, how can we make a stronger and more strategic impact together? They have backed our mission, helped us with programs, and introduced us to partners who could help us gain resources. It’s the micro and the macro — from working side-by-side with kids to getting a grant — that makes it a great partnership.