Home Madison Centro Hispano’s new building gets $1 million commitment from CUNA Mutual Foundation

Centro Hispano’s new building gets $1 million commitment from CUNA Mutual Foundation

Centro Hispano staff and special guests at the annual Centro Hispano Strategic Update. (Screenshot)

Centro Hispano of Dane County (Centro) has received a $1 million grant from CUNA Mutual Group’s Foundation, for campaign CENTRO, which aims to raise $15 million to build a new home for the Latinx community on Madison’s southside and seed expansion of the organization’s workforce and educational programs, Centro announced in a press release Thursday.

According to the release, Centro hopes to complete the campaign by the end of this year. The investment from the Foundation is the largest ever received by Centro from a corporation and brings the total raised so for past $11 million.

“This investment is meaningful to us on several levels. It shows the trust CUNA Mutual’s Foundation has put in Centro. It’s a testament to our long history and to their unwavering commitment to supporting the Latinx community. We are deeply grateful,” Centro Executive Director Karen Menendez Coller said in a statement.

Next year Centro will celebrate 40 years of supporting the Latinx community in Dane County. The organization offers free bilingual youth programs, workforce development, family wrap-around support, and community engagement strategies. Centro sees more than 6,000 individuals, fields more than 10,000 calls, and offers more than 20,000 hours of programming a year, according to the release.

The organization has grown significantly over the last 10 years to keep pace with the growing needs of the Latinx community, the fastest-growing ethnic and minority group in the city, county and state according to the 2022 Census. There are now 300,000 Latinos in the state, an increase of 46.8% since the 2000 Census. Centro provides support to four times as many people than it did ten years ago and all programs currently have a waitlist. The organization is stretched to its maximum capacity, the release said,

“CUNA Mutual is committed to putting equity into action in all of the communities we touch and serve,” CUNA Mutual Executive Vice President Cedric Ellis said in a statement. “We are so excited for this opportunity and we look forward to seeing all the good works Centro will accomplish with an improved facility and additional resources.”

Cedric Ellis. Photo supplied.

Centro’s new facility is part of a collaboration with the City of Madison, according to the release. The organization will trade its current facility for a larger, more accessible plot of land nearby. The city has purchased a property at 833 Hughes Place to combine with city-owned properties at 837 Hughes Place and 2405 Cypress Way to help create new facilities on the block.

Centro expects to double the number of youths in its afterschool programs, support at least 1,000 more individuals annually, and develop a full bilingual nursing career pathway by 2030. The organization will be hosting a community campaign kickoff on September 28th at 4 pm with tours to the site of the new building.