Civil Rights Education and Art Toward Empowerment (CREATE!)

The future of the Latino community depends on the education and success of our youth and their ability to create and fully participate in positive social change. MALDEF’s goal of reducing the high school drop-out rate, increasing college access and establishing a network of civic-minded and educated youth will help create a new generation of socially conscious Latino leadership.

CREATE! was established in 2005 as an innovative leadership training program for high school students to promote college access and introduce civic participation in an academic context. This recent addition to MALDEF’s Community Education and Leadership Development Department increases Latino high school graduation rates, college admission and public engagement through a free, twelve-week after school enrichment program. MALDEF provides a hands-on introduction to the visual and performing arts, civil rights leadership and practical college awareness, guidance, application assistance and scholarship information.

Last year, CREATE! students in Los Angeles produced two public service announcements on MALDEF’s campaign to raise public awareness and prevention of domestic violence. CREATE! students wrote the scripts, and also performed as actors in MALDEF’s English and Spanish public service announcements (PSA). They clearly conveyed the message that relationship violence affects each person differently, and that victims have the right to access resources regardless of age, language, national origin, or legal status. The students attended domestic violence prevention workshops and devoted many evening and weekend hours to creating the PSAs and received significant media attention and recognition for their creative talent and outstanding contribution to the community. This year, students are busy designing a “stay-in-school” mural and are writing and performing in a play about AB 540, the right of undocumented Latino students to attend college on in-state tuition. The play will be performed at AB 540 community forums throughout Southern California. Students and parents attended the CREATE! College Application Forum at MALDEF and are also enthusiastically preparing for the annual over-night university visit for an opportunity to meet with counselors and hear first-hand experiences from Latino college students.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the general line at (213) 629-2512 or send us a message.  

CREATE! is generously sponsored by BP.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund