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National Council Of La Raza And Wachovia Launch $16.25 Million Partnership To Advance Economic Development In U.S. Latino Communities


Multi-faceted partnership will include post-purchase homeownership counseling, community development capital, capacity-building support and key event sponsorships

LOS ANGELES, CA—The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Raza Development Fund (RDF), Wachovia and The Wachovia Foundation today announced a five-year, $16.25 million partnership focused on economic development for the Latino community in the U.S.

The partnership will include:

$5 million in grants over five years from The Wachovia Foundation for:
Post-purchase homeownership counseling through NCLR’s Homeownership Network.
Capacity building.
Strengthening the NCLR Affiliate network.
Raza Development Fund’s community development efforts.
$1.25 million over five years from Wachovia to sponsor key NCLR events, including:
Annual national conference.
Annual ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) Awards, which celebrate the outstanding artistic achievements of Latinos in motion pictures, television and music and are televised nationally.
Annual Capital Awards, which recognize members of Congress for their outstanding support of public policies that are vital to Hispanic Americans.
A $10 million loan to fund growth in Raza Development Fund’s lending activities, including property acquisition, community facility and charter school construction and affordable housing predevelopment and construction.
“Wachovia’s investment in NCLR will allow us to expand the successful programs we have developed with our nearly 300 community-based affiliates who every day strengthen America by promoting the advancement of Latino communities,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Together with these organizations, NCLR has helped put hundreds of thousands of Latino children and families on the path to achieving the American dream, and we are honored that Wachovia shares our vision to build stronger communities.”

“We make loans to nonprofits to build community schools, health clinics and other community facilities—loans that commercial lenders often find too risky,” added Mark Van Brunt, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Raza Development Fund, NCLR’s lending arm. “With Wachovia’s support, we can expand our ability to make these critical investments in our community while at the same time ensuring that the deals are sound. We welcome the support and look forward to a long, mutually productive relationship.”

NCLR is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.

The Latino population is the fastest-growing minority population in the U.S. It is projected that Latinos will account for more than one in four U.S. residents by 2050.

“For 40 years, NCLR has been a vital support network for thousands of Latino families across the country,” said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations for Wachovia and Executive Vice President of The Wachovia Foundation. “Through this partnership, Wachovia and The Wachovia Foundation will help NCLR become an even bigger force for positive change across the country -building more charter schools, preparing more families for success in homeownership, providing greater and more robust support services.”

In addition to its partnership with NCLR, The Wachovia Foundation has established national philanthropic partnerships with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to provide college scholarships for young Latinos.

Last year, The Wachovia Foundation joined with the MacArthur Foundation to create a $47 million award program for community development. The first recipient of the $5.5 million “Wachovia NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance” was the Latino Community Credit Union based in Durham, NC.

Wachovia partners with local Hispanic organizations to deliver financial literacy training in English and Spanish and offers seminars to Latino-owned small businesses.

In addition, Wachovia:

Is the only major financial institution to offer statements in Spanish for all of its deposit accounts.
Has nearly 800 designated Hispanic financial centers throughout the U.S. capable of delivering a full in-language customer experience, including bilingual Spanish-speaking employees, bilingual merchandising and financial product information in Spanish.
Offers Spanish-language personal assistance seven days a week through a multilingual call centers and at hundreds of bilingual ATMs.
Offers a Spanish-language Web site,, which allows customers to open new accounts, locate the nearest financial center or ATM and look up information in Spanish.


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