United Way cuts Latino group’s funding

A Chatham County Hispanic advocacy and services group accuses the local United Way of pulling its funding because the nonprofit participated in immigration protests, The News & Observer reported June 14.

United Way of Chatham County says it denied the group’s funding request because its administrative expenses were too high, the newspaper said.

The Hispanic Liaison, a Siler-City based group that helps Latinos integrate into the local community, has received United Way funding for 11 years, the paper said.

The group claims its request for $23,000 was rejected because of its participation in an immigrants’ rights rally in April and its support of the national boycott on May 1 that encouraged immigrants to skip school and work to attend demonstrations, the newspaper said.

United Way said Hispanic Liaison’s administrative costs of 36.5 percent of its budget exceeded the funder’s threshold of 25 percent.

But an email written by United Way’s executive director says “members of our board and many of our donors are concerned about the recent political activism engaged in by the Hispanic Liaison.”

Ilana Dubester, executive director of Hispanic Liaison, told the newspaper that overhead expenses were higher than normal while the group trained new staff, but that they have since fallen to 23.5 percent of the budget projected for this year.

Dubester and Ivan Remnitz, president of Hispanic Liaison’s board, will meet with the United Way executive committee July 14 to discuss the  projected administrative expenses.

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