Highlander is pleased to announce the publication of “Building Immigrant Leaders in the South: INDELI 2004-06,” the final report of our immigrant leadership institute.
From October 2004 to October 2006, Highlander implemented the Institute for Immigrant Leadership Development (Instituto para el Desarrollo del Liderazgo Inmigrante, or INDELI, in Spanish) to promote and support the effort of Latin@ immigrant organizing in the Southeast through leadership development, political education and strengthening immigrant-led grassroots organizations.
This report describes and evaluates INDELI, provides feedback from participants and offers some recommendations and best practices for those wishing to implement similar programs.
Among the most compelling parts of the report are the voices of the participants, testifying to the impact of INDELI on their lives and work.
[Through INDELI I got] confidence in myself and the ability to say yes, I can do it or I can work in an organization… and to be a good popular organizer because I remember that I used to say that I wasn’t a leader organizer but thanks to INDELI . . . I am.
My idea [was] that if people get organized it was because of a professional who knew how to do it . . . someone from above who is giving orders to someone else to do something. . . . But little by little my idea changed . . . [organizing] became very familiar . . . and I think we can do it.
I learned that in this you have to struggle, you have to struggle in this life . . . if you don’t struggle you don’t win. That you have to unite, being united is the most important . . . that’s what I learned from Highlander.
I learned to love myself, personally. I learned to respect myself and to respect the differences among others and to tolerate more things than I did before. I also learned that as human beings one has rights, which I didn’t know before. I thought that by being in this country… I didn’t deserve anything. Because that’s the way things were. But now I realize that it’s different.
The report is available for download on the Highlander website here