Evergreen Alliance Interview with Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)
EA: IDEPSCA has been doing some incredible things for so many years. Will you tell us more about your organization? How did you start? How long have you been around?
IDEPSCA: IDEPSCA was founded in 1984 when a group of students and parents met in Central Park in the City of Pasadena to confront racism, educational inequalities, and the lack of affordable housing. Present day, IDEPSCA runs five day-labor centers across Los Angeles, has a Mujeres En Acción program for household/domestic workers, and a Worker’s Health program that connects members with health services.
EA: What is your primary goal as an organization?
IDEAPSCA: IDEPSCA’s goal is to organize and educate low-income community members who want to resolve problems in their own communities.
EA: What is IDEPSCA’s vision/values? Do you have a mission statement?
IDEPSCA: Our vision is that through formation and capacity building processes, all IDEPSCA participants will increase their knowledge, will appropriate and apply popular education. As organizers and leaders, they will support our community so that they know their rights and defend their human, civil and labor rights so they can live dignified and just. Our values are solidarity, work for social and economic justice, humility, human development, love towards our community, self-development and participatory democracy.
Our mission is to contribute towards the transformation of creating a more humane and democratic world through the use of popular education. Specifically, our goal is to organize and educate low-income community members who want to resolve problems in their own communities.
EA: Who do you serve? What cities or communities do you serve?
IDEPSCA: IDEPSCA has day labor centers in Cypress Park, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Harbor City, and Van Nuys. Our programs serve undocumented, monolingual domestic workers and day laborers. We also work in the areas impacted by wildfires in Southern California including Malibu. We also do statewide policy work.
EA: How are volunteers a part of your organization? How can people get involved?
IDEPSCA: Volunteers help keep our organization running, they are sometimes high school or college students or from our own base. This year we have had volunteers help at our food distributions. Before COVID, we also had volunteers help at our community resource fairs. People can get involved by following us on social media, donating, and reaching out directly to our amazing assistant Kenia (who started as an intern with us when she was in high school!) firstname.lastname@example.org
EA: How has your organization grown? Can you share any highlights or stats that would help people understand your impact?
IDEPSCA: Over the last 6 years IDEPSCA has doubled its budget to over a million dollars. Throughout the course of the current pandemic, IDEPSCA has served thousands of workers hot meals, provided groceries, and given out over $100,000 in direct financial support to immigrant workers and their families impacted by the pandemic and climate accelerated disasters such as wildfires.
EA: Speaking of financial support, what do donor dollars allow you to do?
IDEPSCA: Donor dollars allow us to connect our members with resources or services they might need. This includes hot meals, job opportunities, job training, groceries, and direct financial assistance. Donor dollars also create leadership development opportunities including engaging immigrant workers in civic participation and learning critical digital skills in order to more effectively advocate for themselves and others at this critical moment.
EA: We love getting to support the work you do. What are some of the key ways Evergreen has helped you do that?
Evergreen Alliance has been a key partner in making sure that our mission of serving day laborers and domestic workers is following all state and federal tax laws and that we are using our resources as they are intended.