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Latinx Project Purpose

The Latinx Project will

  • Create a baseline of data regarding the Latinx community.

  • Build support for Latinx organizations.

  • Create Latinx collective strength for positive, innovative and integrated change for equitable communities. 

  • Develop civically engaged Latinx leaders and advocates for the greater community. 

  • Advance understanding of the issues regarding Iowa’s largest ethnic minority through data and stories to improve conditions of the Latinx community.


Dear Iowans,

The Latinx Project was launched to explore the current economic, civic, and social health status of Latinx in Iowa. Latinos represent a growing, vital part of Iowa’s economy and communities, essential to Iowa’s future.  

Through the publication of Nuestro Iowa report and dashboard, the Latinx Project research provides a baseline of data to create actionable steps to address the potential and needs of the community to create a stronger state for everyone. By fully integrating Latino Iowans into the greater community and being proactive in addressing disparities, Central Iowa structures and institutions can benefit from our community’s contributions. 

We, as Latinx Iowans, have been present in Iowa for several generations, with the largest influx in the last 20 years. As the fastest growing population in the state, Latino Iowans represent a highly entrepreneurial, collective-minded subset of the Iowa population - a vital part of the school system, workforce, and community.  

Yet long-time and new Latino Iowans still struggle to grow roots in Iowa and continue to face significant challenges in economic mobility. Regardless of the community’s significant growth, few Latino organizations have endured over time, and only a handful of leaders and families have begun to build assets that might lead to a prosperous future for their families. Large economic and social disparities continue to widen between Latinos and non-Latinos in the state. The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated these disparities, as has long-term marginalization reinforced by lack of access to education, technology, wealth creation through quality jobs and homeownership, and access to preventative health care. When one group fails to flourish, it holds all of Iowa back; barriers to Latinx advancement have an impact on the entire state. 

Awareness of the status of Latinos in Iowa is a necessary step to advancing our community so that we may more fully contribute to a healthy, vibrant state. We invite you to explore this report, and discuss actions that we can take together to advance Iowa. 

Latinx Project Collaborative Team

Project Launch

The Latinx Project was designed to address the civic and social health of the Latinx population in Central Iowa. The Latinx Project started as a collaborative initiative of three organizations that each play an important, but distinct, role in advancing the civic engagement, leadership development, and public education of Iowa’s largest ethnic minority: Al Éxito, American Friends Service Committee (currently Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice), and Latinx Political Network, in partnership with Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and United Way of Central Iowa. The Latinx Project provided an opportunity to combine efforts to better tell the unique story of Latinx Iowans our organizations serve. The Latinx Project is invested in the expanding our strategic collaboration, under the guidance of Vandegrift Huting Consultants, to add expertise to the project. The Latinx Leadership Team saw an opportunity for additional growth and recognition for Latinx leaders in Iowa through this project. The Project will systematically and strategically build support for Latinx organizations and create collective strength for positive, innovative and integrated change.

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