COPAL Kicks Off Capital Campaign for Latino Center for Community Engagement

MINNEAPOLIS – Today, COPAL welcomed a packed house at Arbeiter Brewing Company for the launch of its capital campaign to create the Latino Center for Community Engagement (LCCE). The LCCE will be built at 2905 E Lake Street in Minneapolis and will serve as a vibrant hub of unity, celebration, and cultural exchange, embodying the transnational spirit of Latine communities. It will allow COPAL to expand on the work it is already doing to enhance the lives of Latines in Minnesota. 

The event featured a program from COPAL, detailing the vision of the transformative center that is estimated to be finished by October 2026. Leaders from the COPAL community spoke about the work that has already gone into building the LCCE and what it will mean for the Latine community, and for Lake Street, marking the return of land ownership to local residents from out-of-state investors, and reinforcing Latines’ historical presence along Lake Street. Neighbors, community members and local leaders joined COPAL to celebrate the campaign launch. 

“COPAL does fantastic work on behalf of the Latino community in Minnesota, a community that has brought vibrancy and economic vitality to Lake Street over many years,” said Allison Sharkey, the Executive Director of Lake Street Council. “The Latino Center for Community Engagement is another great step in the right direction for what this area needs. Not only will it fill a space that has been vacant for years, it will help revive the beauty and energy of Lake Street, and boost surrounding businesses.”

“The LCCE is exactly what our neighborhood needs,” said Korla Molitor, a neighbor to the LCCE building site. “The current building has been vacant and in disrepair for almost four years and has been in dire need for someone to come in with a vision for the future. The beautiful new building and green space COPAL will build will not only be a huge visual improvement, but also largely benefit our wonderfully diverse community as a whole.”

“Our state depends on the success of diverse communities,” said state Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura, who represents the area. “The Latino Center for Community Engagement gives Latines in Minnesota the resources to grow in their educational, professional and personal lives – all in one place. The importance of this center being on Lake Street, an area that has gone through severe trauma and healing over the past few years, cannot be understated. COPAL’s commitment to Minnesota’s Latine communities is already evident in the work they do every day. This center will allow them to expand their impact and further meet the needs and dreams of Latine families in our state.”

“About six years ago, we founded COPAL. When we began, our most significant assets were – and still are – our dreams, our creativity to address social challenges, our immense desire to live a decent life, and a growing number of people believing in our work and their continued support to succeed. We are making history,” said Francisco Segovia, the Executive Director of COPAL. “We took to heart a quote from Eduardo Galeano to guide our work: ‘Many small people, in small places, doing small things, can change the world.’ We are part of the social fabric of Minnesota, and we continue co-creating the building of an inclusive state.”

Construction for the LCCE is planned to begin in July of 2025. COPAL is working to raise $12 million for the project. When complete, it will include an art gallery, resource center, cafe, greenhouse, leasing space for partner organizations and a home-base for COPAL’s administrative operations. 

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COPAL Education Fund is a statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to build collective power, transform systems, and create opportunities for Latines to have dignified lives in Minnesota. For more information, please visit www.copalmn.org.

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