Mi Valle Mi Hogar was born in the aftermath of the Almeda fire. Within weeks of its genesis, many parts of fire relief, recovery and rebuild planning efforts had been organized into what has been a six-month effort by leadership, staff and supporting community members to be in service to the Latinx community impacted by the Almeda fire.
After careful consideration, the board of MVMH (the majority of whom are white and not directly impacted by the fires), have decided to conclude the operations of the organization. Over the coming months, MVMH plans to disperse its resources to Coalición Fortaleza - a Latinx-led, inter-generational coalition of community members, leaders, volunteers, and organizations in the Rogue Valley who are deeply rooted in the community, committed and focused on long term disaster resiliency and recovery, and are seeking to create a solidarity economy for fire-affected Latinx families.
This decision was reached after trying several experiments in organization, projects and outreach. While much work was accomplished, MVMH has been unable to ground itself in, and build relationships with, the Latinx community. This is mostly due to the lack of existing relationships with the local Latinx community, along with mistakes made from a place of unconscious, internalized white supremacy within the MVMH leadership. The difficulty of building such relationships during times of trauma presented a great challenge as well.
We recognize that in trying to come with solutions and build something new, MVMH neglected to truly support an existing local community.
We acknowledge and sincerely apologize for the harm, confusion and stress that our missteps caused in the local Latinx community, especially in light of MVMH’s primary goals to center equity and healing in recovery efforts.
We feel it is important to recognize the immense stress, grief and overwhelm that the various hardships of these fires have caused, both directly and indirectly. Though our intention was to support and alleviate some of these stresses, the impact did not always match that intention.
The leadership and staff have decided the most equitable way forward is to listen to the community, distribute our remaining resources to other organizations serving similar missions, and to continue to support the efforts these organizations are providing for the fire-affected Latinx community.
We thank those in the community that have offered support, ideas, and reflections on the work of MVMH. We also hope that our reflections may provide helpful insights for other white-led organizations seeking to support culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Donnie Maclurcan, Teresa Cisneros, Alys Holden
MVMH Board Members