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Sociedad Latina, Inc. records

 Collection
Identifier: M136

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the efforts of Sociedad Latina to strengthen, educate, and empower youth of all ethnicities living in the Mission Hill, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods of Boston. Records date from 1968-2007 and document topics such as AIDS awareness and prevention, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and domestic violence prevention, pregnancy prevention, peer leader training, and tobacco use and its effects. The records specifically document programs that were designed to foster self-esteem in young men and young women (Boxes 2-3, 4, 5-7, 10, and 14) to develop leadership skills (Boxes 4, 5-8, and 9), and to explore careers in the health professions (Boxes 3-5, and 9). Also documented are programs focused on the awareness and prevention of AIDS, substance abuse, teen pregnancy; smoking prevention (Boxes 3-5, and 9); and job skills training (4, 5-8, and 9-10). Records include proposals, grants and contracts, correspondence, program descriptions, meeting minutes, and strategic and progress reports. The collection contains no annual reports.

Dates

  • 1968-2007 (bulk 1985-1999)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Sociedad Latina de South Boston was founded in 1968 by Jorge Rivera, David Rideout, John Carroll, and Lynn Minna to promote cultural, social, and recreational activities of the small Latino population in the South Boston neighborhood. Volunteers coordinated baseball, basketball, and volleyball leagues, which were sponsored by local businesses and community residents. In 1981, the organization changed its name to Sociedad Latina and moved to Tremont Street in the Mission Hill neighborhood. Since its inception, Sociedad Latina has worked with Latino youth to promote self-sufficiency, community leadership, and advancement.

Programs in the 1980s focused on sports and recreation, adult office skills training and placement, the Hispanic Youth Coalition, and intervention counseling for youth and adults. Other programs included substance abuse prevention and education, adult basic education, and English as a Second Language classes. Day care, housing assistance, and advocacy services were also offered.

In the 1990s, substance abuse and disease prevention programs for youth became the agency's priority. The Jovenes Latinos en Accion Program targeted problems such as AIDS, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Professional counselors, youth workers, and trained peer leaders ran educational groups and workshops, provided mediation services, and were involved in community activism. The Latino Stay in School Program provided drop-out prevention services, which included tutoring and mentorship, counseling, and parent involvement. The Mission Hill Career Development Program was a collaborative program with local agencies, including Action For Boston Community Development and the Boston Housing Authority, which provided career readiness classes, office skills training, internship placement, and personal development to underemployed males.

Other programs implemented during the 1990s sought to increase self-esteem in young girls, promote cultural awareness between youth and adults of different ethnicities, and teach safe and responsible sexual behavior to young men and women. The Peer Leadership Development and Advocacy Program trained teenagers to become role models. Peer leaders worked as counselors, participated in community outreach activities, and provided counseling and education on health, social, and educational issues. In 1994, Sociedad Latina began a collaborative venture with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Hospital to employ 15 Latino youth during summer vacation. Jovenes Latinos Pro Salud (Latino Youth For Health) was designed to provide hands on work experience with classroom teaching for the students while addressing the hospital's need to become more culturally competent. In addition to these programs, detoxification and half way house referrals, case management, and group support counseling services were offered.

During the early 1990s, Sociedad Latina experienced severe funding cuts made by the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and unstable leadership. The organization responded by forming a committee comprised of Board and staff members, and consultant Alan Brickman of Levine Associates, who was appointed Interim Director. This group created a long-term strategic plan whose goal it was to strengthen and develop Sociedad Latina through organizational restructuring, focusing on services to youth, board development, and hosting special fundraising events. With limited funding and resources for developing new programs, Sociedad Latina turned to collaboration and referral services to expand its ability to provide services directly to its clients. The establishment of these strong collaborations became an integral part of Sociedad Latina's delivery of an array of services to meet the diverse needs of its community.

In 2002, Sociedad Latina's work with the Jamaica Plain Parent Organizing Project, led to the preparation and mobilization of over 400 people to oppose the UNZ Initiative (Ballot Question 2), which sought to eradicate bilingual education. Although the question was voted down statewide, it won in Boston, sending a strong message to the School Committee. The Boston Tobacco Advocacy Project, a collaboration founded by Sociedad Latina with the Hyde Square Task Force and the Whittier Street Health Center, worked to bring attention to tobacco advertising aimed at youth and the availability of tobacco to youth. Youth Community Organizers mobilized Boston youth and families to advocate for tobacco policy change and the reinstitution of tobacco control programming. In 2004, the Youth Community Organizers authored an amendment that was passed by the City Council, and in 2005, they received the Public Health Hero Award.

In 2007, Sociedad offers programs in Workforce Development, Education and Career exploration, Arts and Culture, and Community Organizing and Civic Engagement. It also provides parents with training and education on topics such topics as MCAS, college application procedures, and positive parenting skills. 

Chronology

  • 1968 Sociedad Latina de South Boston, Inc. is founded.
  • 1981 Changes name to Sociedad Latina, Inc. and moves to 1552-1556 Tremont Street in Mission Hill.
  • 1991 Sociedad Latina, Inc. is closed for non-payment of taxes. Board of Directors hires consultants Levine Associates to conduct strategic planning process and Sociedad Latina, Inc. reopens under an Interim Director.
1968
Sociedad Latina de South Boston, Inc. is founded.
1981
Changes name to Sociedad Latina, Inc. and moves to 1552-1556 Tremont Street in Mission Hill.
1991
Sociedad Latina, Inc. is closed for non-payment of taxes. Board of Directors hires consultants Levine Associates to conduct strategic planning process and Sociedad Latina, Inc. reopens under an Interim Director.

Executive Directors

  • Apr 81-Nov 92 William C. Meinhofer
  • Nov 1992-1993 Alan Brickman, Interim Director
  • Jul 1993-Nov 1995 Stephanie Xochitl Smith
  • Nov 1995- May 1996 Gail Deckker, Interim Director
  • May 1996 Felix Arroyo, Interim Director
  • May 1996-1999 Julia Ojeda
  • 2000-present Alexandra Oliver-Dávila
Apr 81-Nov 92
William C. Meinhofer
Nov 1992-1993
Alan Brickman, Interim Director
Jul 1993-Nov 1995
Stephanie Xochitl Smith
Nov 1995- May 1996
Gail Deckker, Interim Director
May 1996
Felix Arroyo, Interim Director
May 1996-1999
Julia Ojeda
2000-present
Alexandra Oliver-Dávila

Extent

10 cubic feet (10 containers)

Overview

Sociedad Latina de South Boston, a cultural, social, and recreational organization, was founded in 1968 by Jorge Rivera, David Rideout, John Carroll, and Lynn Minna to promote cultural, social, and recreational activities of the small Latino population in the South Boston neighborhood. In 1981, the organization changed its name to Sociedad Latina and moved to Tremont Street in the Mission Hill neighborhood. Since its inception, Sociedad Latina has worked with Latino youth to promote self-sufficiency, community leadership, and personal development.

Overview

The collection documents the efforts of Sociedad Latina to strengthen, educate, and empower Latino youth living in the Mission Hill neighborhood. Records date from 1968-2007 and document such topics as AIDS awareness and prevention, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and domestic violence prevention, pregnancy prevention, peer leader training, and tobacco use and its effects. The types of material found in this collection include proposals, grants and contracts, correspondence, program descriptions, meeting minutes, and strategic and progress reports. The collection contains no annual reports.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into four series: 1. Governance; 2. Executive Directors; 3. Grants and Contracts; and 4. Programs.

Physical Location

58/2, 57/2

Related Materials:

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (M116)
La Alianza Hispana (M055)

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the Sociedad Latina, which is accessible at: http://wayback.archive-it.org/1747/*/http://www.sociedadlatina.org/

Bibliography

  • Sociedad Latina, http://www.sociedadlatina.org/. (Accessed June 19, 2007).
  • Then, Jose, "Grantee Profile: Sociedad Latina," Boston Parent Organizing Network. http://www.bpon.org/grants/profilessociedad.asp (accessed January 18, 2007).
  • "Sociedad Latina Collaborates Through the Boston Youth Services Network," Boston: After School and Beyond. http:www.bostonbeyond.org/feature/featured_program_sociedadl.php (accessed January 18, 2007).
  • "Sociedad Latina Strategic Plan", 1992 (Box 2).

Creator

Title
Finding aid for the Sociedad Latina, Inc. Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Kimberly Reynolds with the assistance of Gena Pliakas and Tamara Gaydos
Date
June 22, 2007
Language of description
Description is in English.
Sponsor
This collection was processed with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US