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The Libre Initiative to put down roots in West Michigan

The Libre Initiative aims to equip Hispanic communities across the country with resources and trainings that help activists advance freedom principles and policies.

The Libre Initiative, a national program aimed at arming Hispanic communities with resources to thrive and bring change, is setting up shop in West Michigan.

Joshua Raimundo, deputy director of grassroots operations for The Libre Initiative chapter in Virginia, and his team met up with West Michigan community members on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at La Casa De Pollo Loco for an informational meet and greet.

"We’ve really heard some needs in the community. A lot of them have to do with employment; some have to do with accessing healthcare," Raimundo said.

The Libre Initiative aims to equip Hispanic communities across the country with resources and trainings that help activists advance freedom principles and policies. Aside backing what Raimundo calls “common sense” legislations they identify as nonpartisan and aim to elevate Latinx communities.

"We want to build community. We want to facilitate connections. What we want to see long term is when the Latino community feels empowered and able to advocate for issues that face their community, and we’re willing to work with anyone to do good," he said.

Courses are just a few of the resources Libre brings to individuals, which can range from classes teaching English as a second language (ESL) to lessons on how to communicate with legislators.

“Our organization is about breaking down barriers...English breaks down the internal barrier of not knowing the language well enough, or there might be financial literacy courses that break down the internal barrier of not having knowledge of how to manage the American financial system which is very different from where a lot of these people come from.”

Raimundo told WGVU, the group will likely set up a physical location in West Michigan. It's main focus areas at the moment are Holland and Grand Rapids.

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