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Unidos Against COVID Launched in North Carolina at Critical Time to Guide an Immediate and Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery

August 18, 2021 


For Immediate Release 



Gabriel Treves-Kagan, Director of Investor Relations 

Latino Community Development Center 



 Unidos Against COVID Launched in North Carolina at Critical Time to Guide an Immediate and Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery 


With the generous support from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Latino Community Development Center, El Futuro, El Vinculo Hispano, LATIN-19, and La Semilla have launched the Latino Pandemic Response Collaborative.  


Unidos Against COVID launches as the Delta variant fuels a growing surge in COVID-19 cases and the need for equitable access to vaccines and other health and economic resources amplifies. 


In North Carolina and across the United States, Latinos have been on the front lines of the pandemic response, with approximately 70% of Latinos working in retail, healthcare, and other essential sectors that have kept the economy afloat. As a result, Latinos have suffered disproportionately; accounting for 28.4% of COVID-19 related cases in the US while representing only 18.6% of the country’s population (CDC COVID Data Tracker, 8/10/2021) and 19% of cases in North Carolina while representing 10% of the state’s population (NC DHHS COVID Demographic Dashboard, 8/10/2021). 


“At this critical time, we are thrilled to be joining forces with these talented partners. Together we are in a much better position to extend our reach and deepen our impact. The goal of Unidos Against COVID is to make sure everyone in the Latino community, many of whom are the ongoing heroes of this pandemic, have access to the resources and support they need to weather the current storm and move from recovery to prosperity,” said Luis Pastor, LCDC Executive Director. 


The Unidos Against COVID partners have deep roots and are well trusted in the immigrant and Latino community. Partners will coordinate a multifaceted effort that builds on the assets within the Latino community to support an equitable pandemic response and recovery. Unidos Against COVID will organize vaccination drives that account for the logistic and cultural barriers that keep Latino vaccination rates low as well as provide linguistically accessible COVID prevention, awareness, and education efforts. Additionally, Unidos Against COVID will build the capacity of local organizations and leaders to increase access to the emergency resources, mental health services, and financial education in Latino communities across the state. 


Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, a family physician at Duke Health and a co-founder of LATIN-19, concludes “the best approaches to build understanding and generate trust during the pandemic are those done together with community representation, addressing not only COVID-19 information but, more importantly, ways to improve social determinants of vulnerability in health. This project gives us an opportunity to work together in a more meaningful way and extend our collective approach to counties where we haven’t yet been as involved.” 




The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of financially-disadvantaged residents in North Carolina. The Health Improvement in North Carolina program area supports community-wide health solutions across the state. The Local Impact in Forsyth Count program area fosters equitable and sustainable solutions to improve the quality of life in Forsyth County.  


Latino Community Development Center (LCDC) strives to advance Latinos out of poverty and into the financial mainstream. It provides free and culturally appropriate financial education in English and Spanish to members and non-members alike.  Created in 2002, LCDC accomplishes its goals in part by providing the field of membership for Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU).  Members must join LCDC to access the credit union.  LCDC and LCCU have helped their members, primarily immigrant Latinos, to successfully access over $1.1 billion in credit union financing for consumer, microbusiness and homeownership loans, with an excellent 99.2% repayment rate. 


La Semilla is a co-vocational faith community of the NC Conference of the United Methodist Church. Our vision is to inspire change and empower transformation as we serve the Hispanic/Latinx community in North Carolina’s Triangle area and beyond. We focus on providing accompaniment and support for Hispanic/Latinx families as they face challenges in the areas of justice, education, and health. We have been deeply engaged in COVID-19 response efforts since March of 2020, providing food assistance for over 16,000 Latino families in Durham, Chatham, Duplin, Harnett, Johnston, Sampson, Wake, and Wayne counties. We have worked to help ensure that Hispanic/Latinx families, many of whom do not have access to unemployment benefits or stimulus funding, do not go hungry during this pandemic. Our Rapid Response Operator (community health worker) Program has been a key aspect of these efforts.  


LATIN-19 (Latinx Advocacy Team & Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19) is a coalition initiated by clinicians at Duke in close partnership with grass-roots organizations in anticipation of the emergence of health disparities within the Latinx community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. LATIN-19 has grown into an interdisciplinary, multi-sector group of over 750 participants representing academic institutions, healthcare systems, public health departments, community-based organizations, government, the media, and others. LATIN-19 has made important strides in influencing local and state policies to address the needs of the Latinx community, advocating for data on COVID-19 to be presented by race/ethnicity, creating and disseminating educational materials and resources, influencing more inclusive hospital policies, and ensuring access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines. In addition, LATIN-19 has worked to improve the cultural competence of health care organizations. 


The Hispanic Liaison / El Vínculo Hispano (EVH) was founded in 1995 to address the unique needs of the growing Latinx community. Over our 26 years, we have empowered thousands of Latinxs to affirm their rights, access services, and adjust to life in the U.S. EVH’s mission is to foster intercultural understanding and to empower Hispanics to overcome the challenges they face and make their voices heard in the community. This mission is accomplished through advocacy, leadership development, civic engagement, organizing, and direct services. EVH’s service area is Chatham, Lee, Alamance and Randolph counties. 


El Futuro’s mission is to nurture stronger familias to live out their dreams. We accomplish this mission as a nonprofit, outpatient mental health clinic that provides bilingual, culturally-responsive treatment in a welcoming environment of healing and hope. In addition to therapy, psychiatry, substance use treatment, and case management services, we provide a trauma-informed, two-generation approach to care. Through our 16-year history of providing these services to Spanish-speaking families in North Carolina, we have developed a strong sense of confianza (trust) among Spanish-speaking families, with a particular emphasis on bringing calor humano (human warmth) to our treatments, clinical environment, and community involvement. 


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