Latin American and Caribbean Community Center (LACCC)
Formed in September of 2003, this community-based organisation uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) in an effort to address the diverse political, economic, and cultural needs of the Latino and Caribbean populations in Metropolitan Atlanta (in the state of Georgia, within the United States), with a special emphasis on the most marginalised group within the Latino community – Afro Latinos. Formed by a small collective of concerned Afro Latinos with political and cultural ties to the Caribbean, the mission of Latin American and Caribbean Community Center (LACCC) [Centro Comunitatio Latinoamericano y del Caribe] is to empower the marginalised communities and people of Latin America and the Caribbean who reside in the United States so that they may assert their economic, political, environmental, cultural, and social rights.
The central tool for facilitating the sharing of information and the exchange of ideas for activism is the interactive LACCC website. A weekly news update shares news items about a wide variety of rights-related issues impacting Latino and Caribbean people. Visitors to the archive of this blog may read about Jamaica's Ministry of Agriculture and Lands' decision to promote the "fairtrade" concept (an organised social movement) among banana farmers to boost their income and ensure the environmental sustainability of that industry. They may peruse a recent history of the disability rights movement in El Salvador, or learn about what conditions are like in United States prisons. A monthly archive of stories - some in English and some in Spanish - is provided to facilitate access.
Also available on this website are audio archives of LACCC's Radio Diáspora, which is a form of educational, cultural, and informative communication that aims to seeks to contribute to a participatory democracy in which Latin American, Caribbean, and North American people may work in solidarity as protagonists. Coming from the starting point that communication has to be in tune with new political, economical, and social models grounded in equality, Radio Diáspora focuses on the daily struggles and creative, free spirit shaping the lives of "the millions of men and women of color that are invisible to the current cultural, political and social globalizing agents." The show is broadcast live online and on a local (Atlanta) radio station for 2 hours every Saturday evening, with the first hour in English and the second in Spanish. Recent topics covered include the global food crisis, arts and the diaspora, race and the electoral process, and prisons and oppression.
LACCC also works in the face-to-face medium, offering regular intensive training seminars for individuals and organisations interested in learning how to produce media or sharpen up their existing media skills. The workshops focus on topics such as participatory communication, global movements, radio journalism, radio production 101, how to interview, cultivating a listening culture, and an analysis of mainstream radio. Participants learn through didactic methods as well as through hands-on practise, film screenings, participation in live radio shows, and networking. Also, each year, LACCC hosts an intensive 2.5-day "Human Rights, Political Activism and Media Institute" that is designed for seasoned human rights and social justice activists seeking to come together to share strategies and get hands-on training in use of alternative media, including radio, video, and print media, as well as in online and virtual activism. Participants are expected to share the experience with others upon returning home to their community/organisation, and to continue to work on collaborative projects building upon the institute and group experience.
Email from Janvieve Williams to The Communication Initiative on June 11 2008; and LACCC website.