“From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.” – Cesar Chavez
LUPE MISSION STATEMENT:
César Chávez founded LUPE, a community union, rooted in the belief that members of the low-income community have the responsibility and the obligation to organize themselves. Through their association they begin to advocate and articulate for the issues and factors that impact their lives. Further, César Chávez believed that for people to have ownership of this endeavor, they have to invest of themselves, their efforts and resources, to sustain it. The membership, and the responsibility that comes with it, form the base that is the power of the organization.
The LUPE strategy of change has evolved over the last three decades and now rests on four pillars:
- Responding to the social and economic needs of low-income people in their struggle to overcome the barriers and challenges their face in their daily lives.
- Investing in the development of the members and community at large. This self-help program is designed to develop the capacity of low-income families and enable them to take advantage of previously unavailable opportunities.
- Transforming is the element of LUPE that results from the people’s participation in addressing their social and economic needs, developing their human capacity, and advocating for themselves. Inherent in this belief is the recognition of the people’s capacity to impact their own lives and their community. Included is the acknowledgment of the layers of indigenous leadership that exit, which can become the driving force for change if given the proper support and mentoring.
- Building a Community of Conscience that bridges economic and social differences across the entire community.