National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (Alianza) was established as one of three domestic violence “Cultural Institutes” to address the particular needs and concerns of communities of color experiencing family violence. Alianza specifically addresses the needs of Latino/a families and communities, although its work helps to inform the domestic violence field in general. Alianza’s work has been in four main areas: community education, policy advocacy, research, and training and technical assistance. It has grown into a national network of Latina and Latino advocates, practitioners, researchers, activists, and survivors of domestic violence.
Alianza evolved out of a partnership that began in January 1997, between the Office of Community Services (OCS)/Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and a national Steering Committee composed of several Latinas and Latinos with a history of leadership in domestic violence work. DHHS acknowledged the fact that “one size” does not fit all communities and helped create “Cultural Institutes” in the African American, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Latino communities.
In November 1997, the Steering Committee and OCS organized the National Symposium on La Violencia Doméstica: An Emerging Dialogue Among Latinos, which was held in Washington, D.C. The Symposium brought together an interdisciplinary group of 40 Latinos and Latinas, including advocates, community activists, practitioners, lawyers, researchers, and domestic violence survivors to initiate a national dialogue about domestic violence in Latino communities—needs, concerns, assets and to begin to make recommendations for what actions needed to take place. The Symposium proceedings were published in August 1999.
One of the major recommendations that emerged from the Symposium was the creation of a national organization for ongoing dialogue, education, and advocacy. The Steering Committee adopted the current name for the organization in March 1999, and developed a mission, vision, and general goals, setting the foundation for such an organization.
Alianza opened its doors in New York City in January 2000 with a 5-year start-up grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It became incorporated in June 2003 and received its tax-exempt status in 2004. That same year the organization moved its main offices to New Mexico.
In 2005, Alianza received a three-year continuation grant from DHHS enabling it to continue to build its infrastructure and strengthen and enhance its work in its four main areas of work against Domestic Violence.
In addition to receiving funding from DHHS, Alianza has also been successful in obtaining several grants from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to produce bilingual materials, provide regional trainings, and organize a national conference.
In addition to the Steering Committee members pictured above, throughout its 10 years of operation as an organization, Alianza has been served by several Board members who have given of their time, energy, talents and wisdom. In so doing, they have helped the organization grow and develop, through both good and difficult times. Alianza would not be the organization that it is today, without their involvement. Among them are the following: