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U.S.: Citibank & Raza Provide Financing for Mujeres Latinas en Acción Community Center


February 23, 2006, Chicago, Illinois – Mujeres Latinas en Acción, the longest standing Latina incorporated nonprofit in the U.S., has opened its new Community Center to serve more than 7,000 Latinas and their families. Located at 2124 W. 21st Place in the heart of Pilsen in Chicago, the Center serves as Mujeres’ new headquarters and will provide a safe haven for Mujeres’ growing number of clients seeking domestic violence and sexual assault counseling, youth programs and other services targeting Spanish-speaking families. Citibank Community Development and the Raza Development Fund have provided a total of $1.6 million in financing toward the construction and permanent loans for this project.

Said Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich, “Mujeres Latinas en Acción’s new Community Center facility will be a symbol and gathering place for all those who believe in strengthening families and communities by safeguarding women and children and investing in women’s empowerment. We commend the efforts of Mujeres Latinas and its financing partners, The Raza Development Fund and Citibank, along with additional support from the State of Illinois on completing this project, which will make a significant difference in the lives of Latino women and families in the Chicago area.”

The Raza Development Fund, which is a support corporation of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), enabled Mujeres to secure financing while the organization completed its $3.4 million capital campaign to purchase and renovate the new Center. Raza Development Fund was established in 1998 as NCLR’s community development lending arm. The Fund is designed to provide flexible, but high-quality loans to organizations that provide services and opportunities to communities throughout the country.

“The Raza Development Fund is proud to be a partner on creating what we feel will become a beacon of light in the Pilsen community,” said Tom Espinoza, President and CEO of the Fund. “The new building will send a strong message that the health, safety and vitality of Latinas and their families are critical to the prosperity of the community.”

Citibank Community Development (CCD) provided more than $1 million in both construction and permanent financing toward Mujeres’ new Community Center. As a unit of the Citigroup family of companies, CCD provides for-profit and nonprofit organizations financing for affordable housing and community revitalization projects in locations around the U.S. In addition, CCD’s National Lending group focuses on the needs of national intermediaries and nonprofit organizations by providing bridge loans, lines of credit and other structured finance products. CCD also makes equity investments in low-income housing tax credit funds and in private equity funds that seek to foster economic development in underserved communities.

”At Citibank, we are committed to helping make communities where we do business better places to live and work,” said Luis Matute, President of Citibank’s Commercial Real Estate Group in North America. “We are pleased to strengthen this commitment by having partnered with The Raza Development Fund to provide financing for Mujeres’ new Community Center knowing that it will positively impact the lives of so many Latinas and their families.”

In 2003, NCLR formed a strategic partnership with Citigroup, the parent company of Citibank, through which the global financial institution committed $100 million to finance community and job training facilities, housing developments, schools, and other social service facilities located in Hispanic neighborhoods or that serve Hispanic populations. As a result of this alliance, Raza Development Fund was able to approve a loan of $1.6 million so Mujeres could purchase and renovate the building for the Community Center.

“Mujeres’ new home is a testimony that when public and private entities unite, a great difference can be made for the betterment of the community,” said Mujeres President and CEO María Pesqueira. “The Raza Development Fund and Citibank Community Development loans were a huge boost for Mujeres, allowing us to make physical progress on the building as we completed the fundraising for our capital campaign. We are so grateful for their support and dedication to the Latino community.”

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Citibank is a member of Citigroup, the leading global financial services company that has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney and Banamex. Additional information may be found at

Mujeres Latinas en Acción
Founded in 1973, Mujeres’ mission is to empower women, their families, and youth to become self-reliant and able to take full advantage of available opportunities, and create new opportunities to improve the quality of their lives.

The National Council of La Raza - the largest national constituency-based Hispanic organization and the leading voice in Washington, DC for the Hispanic community - is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization established to reduce poverty and discrimination and improve life opportunities for Hispanic Americans.


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