In 1967, a group of young Latino men and women came together to collectively strategize on how to improve the quality of life for Arizona’s Mexican-American population. Out of many meetings and long hours of discussion, Chicanos Por La Causa, (CPLC) was born. Recognizing their desire and dedication, the Southwest Council of La Raza, which would later grow to become the National Council of La Raza, made an initial investment in the newly formed organization. With the financial assistance, CPLC implemented programs targeting rural development issues. Additionally, CPLC lent much needed support to Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.
Within a year, CPLC expanded its services by offering bilingual referral services to the impoverished, urban communities located in South and Central Phoenix. Through assistance from the Ford Foundation, local financial institutions, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CPLC began developing it own programs targeting economic and workforce development as well as housing counseling.
Growth within CPLC continued all through the 1970s. With the assistance of an energized Board of Directors with valuable knowledge in community development and fiscal expertise, CPLC secured a significant federal grant to implement its comprehensive economic development strategy in the battle against poverty. By capitalizing on Phoenix’s rapid growth, the organization laid the foundation for the CPLC we know today. Aggressive fundraising strategies and fiscal responsibility helped CPLC to survive the federal cutbacks administered in the 1980s.
Under the stewardship of its executive management and strong Board of Directors, CPLC has grown to become the state’s largest Hispanic community based organization with services and/or programs operating in all of fifteen Arizona’s counties. Today, CPLC maintains a strong commitment to its communities, having built a wide cadre of services within four major service areas—education, economic development, social services and affordable housing. It is one of the few non-profit organizations operating in Arizona that offers programs and services impacting every stage in the human life-cycle.
CPLC’s dedicated and devoted family of over 750 employees touch the lives of over 125,000 Arizonans on an annual basis. As CPLC enters its 43rd year of service, it will continue its founding pledge of bettering our community by providing its clients the promise of opportunity.
To learn more about CPLC's beginnings, its founding members, and how a social movement evolved into a nationally recognized community development corporation, please watch the video below:
Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. 1112 E. Buckeye Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85034