Mexican-American Leadership Initiative (MALI)

Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI)

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Historically, there has not always been a consistent, organized effort on the part of Hispanics and Latinos of Mexican origin in the U.S. to maintain partnerships and engagement with Mexico outside of immediate family relationships.  This has at times led to a certain distance between civil societies in the U.S. and Mexico, and most importantly, to missed opportunities for both sides of the border.  More recently, the Hispanic demographic in the U.S. has grown dramatically, events have unfolded and cultural shifts have taken place in both the U.S. and Mexico, we find ourselves in the midst of a pivotal moment for the U.S. and Mexico as a region.  The success or failure of this moment to thrust us into the future as the most competitive region in the world rests largely on the ability of Mexicans and Mexican Americans to seize upon the great deal that we already share and maximize the influence of each in their respective countries in order to:  create greater factual understanding about Mexico in the U.S. and vice-versa, breaking down barriers and misconceptions that often affect not only Mexicans but all Latinos in the U.S. and inhibit bi-national collaboration.

How does MALI contribute to solving this problem?

Officially launched in 2011, the USMF Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI) facilitates dialogue between Mexicans and Mexican Americans as well as between the larger citizenry of the United States and of Mexico.  MALI consists of a network of highly talented members who foster more significant engagement between the United States and Mexico, in order to face more effectively the challenges shared by these two countries.

MALI is based on the belief that Americans of Mexican heritage are in a unique position to encourage proactive engagement with Mexico by U.S. society -- its leaders, its institutions, and its citizens.  MALI enjoys broad support by the civil society, private and public sector in both Mexico and the U.S.  Led by a group of top Latino leaders from across the United States, MALI members share the USMF’s fundamental objective of helping to strengthen Mexican civil society and build more significant understanding between our two countries. With the support of MALI members, MALI does the following:

  1. Organizes delegations of Americans and Mexican Americans from the U.S. to Mexico to collaborate with Mexican counterparts on specific initiatives, for example, increasing the number of academic exchanges between our countries; conduct join civic engagement and leadership training; bi-national forums for business leaders; and community service in underserved areas of Mexico.
  2. Operates a People to People program (P2P), building affinity groups in cities in the U.S. and matching them with grass-roots counterparts in Mexico, building partnerships between the two communities.  Partnerships are managed by well-established non-profits and institutions from both communities.
  3. Mobilizes support for USMF grantees, particularly in the area of education.
  4. Conducts an annual awards program that benefits exchanges and MALI programming, while serving as an invaluable networking opportunity for prominent Latinos and international experts from throughout the U.S.

We hope to have you as a member!

Benefits of Membership

Individual

  • Join a network of top tier Latino leaders interested in conducting programs, exchanges, and business with Mexico.
  • Receive advance notice and invitations to USMF and MALI events;
  • Receive advance notice of opportunities to be part of delegations to Mexico from the U.S.
  • A unique opportunity to take an active role in working with Mexican counterparts in Mexico;
  • Attend the prestigious Annual MALI Awards and Conference at a discounted rate.

MALI Affiliate - $200 (Yearly)

  • Open to all registered non-profit organizations in the U.S.
  • Enjoy a formal partnership with the MALI network. This partnership entails mutual support for our events; cross-marketing opportunities; capacity building; sharing resources; expands the network and reach of both affiliates and the USMF; opportunity to host MALI outreach sessions and joint execution of specific programs as applicable.

MALI Founder - $500.00

Join this distinct group of leaders from throughout the U.S.  Current Founders and new founders are recognized as having made the establishment of MALI possible. Only available through 2014.

People to People Overview


Launch of MALI, 2011


MALI Participant of our U.S. delegation to the 4th Annual Impact Investment Forum in Mérida Yucatán

...No sé cómo agradecerte por el valioso trabajo que haces y por la oportunidad de poder participar en FLII. La verdad es que esta experiencia me abrió no sólo los ojos pero las puertas a muchas oportunidades en gran parte por todos tus esfuerzos.

Una de las ponentes me puso a pensar cual es el impacto social que yo quiero trabajar y me di cuenta que toda mi carrera profesional ha sido como responder a los problemas que causa la migración ilegal y mejorar la vida de las comunidades migrantes. Me di cuenta que mis objetivos son crear oportunidades laborales para que las personas no se vean forzadas a dejar su tierra para luego sufrir discriminación y pérdida de su cultura, lengua y tradiciones en Estados Unidos.

Mi meta es desarrollar y probar un plan de negocio que atiende la causa y consecuencia de la migración. Primero desarrollar mi marca y abrir el mercado para artesanos en Estados Unidos. Con esta marca quiero promover las culturas y tradiciones indígenas, que las personas que compren estos productos en Estados Unidos sientan orgullo de su cultura o puedan apreciar otras culturas. Para esto la relación con la Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya y Aid to Artisans es clave. Segundo para mantener esos lazos con México y Latino América voy a empezar una compañía de viajes culturales y aprendizaje del español por lo cual también los contacto que he hecho por medio de ustedes me va ayudar mucho.

Bueno solo quería compartir contigo el impacto que tu trabajo y mi participación en el FLII tuvo. Me hizo mejor comprender y entender que es lo que quiero hacer, por que y cómo empezar a probar estas ideas.

Te estoy sinceramente agradecida. Cuenta con migo para lo que necesites.

– Wendy


P2P Participant

Zuraya, Mercedes, y Martita,

Mil gracias por habernos dado esta experiencia tan conmovedora la semana pasada en Mexico.  No saben cuanto aprendi y cuantas ganas tengo para formar un intercambio formal entre nuestra universidad y las organizaciones maravillosas que nos presentaron.

Tambien quiero agradecer a todos los companeros que estuvieron presente.  Creo que representamos un equipo con mucho poder, diversas habilidades y una vision profunda guiada por el gran amor que sentimos por Mexico.

Estoy dispuestisima a continuar en este proyecto y la semana que entra tengo una cita con el vice-presidente de educacioninternacional para hablar del asunto de hacer un viaje con estudiantes. Enrique, mi esposo, tambien esta muy dispuesto.

Mil gracias y un abrazo fuerte a todos,
Britt


P2P Delegation participant

Dear P2P, group,
What an experience visiting Yucatan with all of its cultural resources and meeting such a dynamic and committed group. What is apparent is that there are so many needs in the areas we visited, we can effect some interventions, and that we are willing to do so on many different levels.  What is even more apparent is that we gained so much more personally, professional, and as a group.  I would like to thank each of you for the unique gift of self that we brought to our group, for now, we are a group, a committed group to the country that has formed a lot of our conocimiento yconcsientizacion. It was interesting to see that we adhere to Friere’s philosophy:  “One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particular view of the world held by the people."
Adelante
– Ellen


P2P Participant

Estimados Amigos,

Doy mil gracias al creador por haberme puesto en su camino.  Nada es casualidad y sé que cada uno de nosotros, con nuestros conocimientos, vamos a poder contribuir y poner nuestro granito de arena en este proyecto.  Agradezco en especial a Zuraya, Mercedes y Martha por todo el esfuerzo que hicieron para  que este viaje se hiciera realidad.  También agradezco a los colegas en Yucatán México por su dedicación y amor a nuestras comunidades maya yucatecas.   Fue palpable que su esfuerzo no ha sido en balde y que uniendo esfuerzos junto con ustedes vamos a poder hacer más por nuestra comunidad y el medio ambiente.

– Marco

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