Marlene Dotsonmoved to Indianapolis more than two decades ago. She has been livingin the city and has managed to empower the Latinos living in the citythrough various initiatives. When she arrived in Indianapolis, therewas only a single Hispanic store. There were very few Hispanics andnot many people spoke Spanish. However, this did not deter herdetermination to live in the city and she has even started a familyin the city. One of her most notable role within the city is headingthe Indiana Latino Institute since 2011. Using her capacity as theinstitutes head, she has been very influential in eliminatingdisparities for Latinos. Since she arrived in Indianapolis, theLatino population has grown to almost 300,000 and there is theanticipation that the number will grow in the near future.
She came to theUnited States after finishing her undergraduate degree in Peru. Atthe time, Peru was undergoing difficulty time associated with pooreconomic prospective for students. The country was also politicallyinstable and options that were available for young people were veryfew. She came to America to take extra classes and found assistancefrom a friend who lived in Indianapolis. However, upon her arrivalshe noted that there were very few Latino’s in Indianapolis. Whileworking as an interpreter at a hospital, she saw some women abused bytheir spouses although they did not complain because of the fear ofdeportation. This led to her starting to raise awareness andinforming the abused women that they can report it since they haverights and the abuse was a crime. She identified the problem as thefact that Latino women lack legal status and they depend on theirspouses to support the family.
The Indiana LatinoInstitute is an organization committed to improving health andadvancing education for the Latino community living in Indiana. Theinstitution achieves this through culturally responsive programs,research, and statewide advocacy. The institute’s vision is to actas the source of authority and enhance rapid change on mattersaffecting the Latino community in Indiana through addressing suchmatters as education and health. The organization has been offeringsupport network for the Latino Community through the creation ofsupport network where Latin Americans can access services andprograms. These services and programs work towards ensuring that theLatin Americans and the organizations that serve them are empowered,educated, and informed.
However, it isimportant to note that the organization can enhance its servicesthrough the provision of services that address the plight of youngimmigrants. This Latino population is very vulnerable to civicharassment. This is a rationale why many young immigrants do not haveaccess to health and education services. Moreover, most of theseyoung immigrants are forced to join gangs since this is the only wayout of their misery where they find family and friends they canrelate to. If the Indiana Latino Institute would address this issue,the program would be successful in enhancing the welfare of youngimmigrants and forming organizations that will proactively defend therights of the young immigrant (Lui 404). This is a similar problem tothe one that Dotson experienced when she first arrived in Indiana andwas faced with women being denied their rights because they wereminority. Addressing the plight of the young immigrants will bebeneficial to both the society and the Latino community.
Lui, P. Priscilla. "Intergenerational cultural conflict, mentalhealth, and educational outcomes among Asian and Latino/a Americans:Qualitative and meta-analytic review." (2015): 404.
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