As of June 2021 the MVMH board has decided to wind down the project.
We will be winding down our operations and distributing our remaining financial resources to the incredible team at Coalición Fortaleza. To read why the board has come to this decision, along with lessons learned, please see the summary below or the full letterhere.
Closing MVMH’s work - Summary (full explanation: here)
Mi Valle Mi Hogar was born in the aftermath of the Almeda fire. Within weeks of its genesis, many parts of fire relief, recovery and rebuild planning efforts had been organized into what has been a six-month effort by leadership, staff and supporting community members to be in service to the Latinx community impacted by the Almeda fire.
After careful consideration, the board of MVMH (the majority of whom are white and not directly impacted by the fires), have decided to conclude the operations of the organization. Over the coming months, MVMH plans to disperse its resources to Coalición Fortaleza - a Latinx-led, inter-generational coalition of community members, leaders, volunteers, and organizations in the Rogue Valley who are deeply rooted in the community, committed and focused on long term disaster resiliency and recovery, and are seeking to create a solidarity economy for fire-affected Latinx families.
This decision was reached after trying several experiments in organization, projects and outreach. While much work was accomplished, MVMH has been unable to ground itself in, and build relationships with, the Latinx community. This is mostly due to the lack of existing relationships with the local Latinx community, along with mistakes made from a place of unconscious, internalized white supremacy within the MVMH leadership. The difficulty of building such relationships during times of trauma presented a great challenge as well.
We recognize that in trying to come with solutions and build something new, MVMH neglected to truly support an existing local community.
We acknowledge and sincerely apologize for the harm, confusion and stress that our missteps caused in the local Latinx community, especially in light of MVMH’s primary goals to center equity and healing in recovery efforts.
We feel it is important to recognize the immense stress, grief and overwhelm that the various hardships of these fires have caused, both directly and indirectly. Though our intention was to support and alleviate some of these stresses, the impact did not always match that intention.
The leadership and staff have decided the most equitable way forward is to listen to the community, distribute our remaining resources to other organizations serving similar missions, and to continue to support the efforts these organizations are providing for the fire-affected Latinx community.
We thank those in the community that have offered support, ideas, and reflections on the work of MVMH. We also hope that our reflections may provide helpful insights for other white-led organizations seeking to support culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Donnie Maclurcan, Teresa Cisneros, Alys Holden
MVMH Board Members
Jocksana Corona is interviewed on PBS NewsHour sharing her story.
The mission of MVMH (Mi Valle Mi Hogar / My Valley My Home) is to support up to 500 Latinx families displaced by the Almeda Fire in securing high quality, sustainable homes they own, in locations conducive to their personal and collective well-being.
Our vision for the future involves the families disproportionately impacted by the Almeda Fire remaining and thriving in the Rogue Valley, and invested with real financial equity in the homes in which they live, located on land owned and stewarded within a community-controlled not-for-profit financial structure. Initially supporting the coordination of short-term transitional support, we will help to coordinate and influence the long-term housing efforts for the Latinx families we aim to serve. Our long-term vision is for these families to live in communities that are more resilient, sustainable, and stable than where they lived before, offering a chance for multi-generational security.
By applying an equity lens at all times and centering historically marginalized voices, Mi Valle Mi Hogar / My Valley My Home will ensure impacted families have a say in the strategy and execution of efforts to secure long-term housing that meets their unique needs. Capitalizing on our existing local capacity, skills, relationships, and knowledge, we will further amplify those historically marginalized voices as we seek to coordinate and mobilize the many partners and resources needed to achieve our mission in a collaborative, inclusive and culturally sensitive manner.
Our hope is to radically change the typical path of post-disaster home rebuilding in the valley by rooting it in equity, sustainability, and healing.
What We Do
We oversee six activities in order to create long term housing solutions:
Dani is a community facilitator, youth mentor, writer, permaculturist and musician. Dani was born and raised in the Rogue Valley and now works as social media manager, lead mentor, Teen Village program lead and circle facilitator for Rogue Valley Mentoring. Dani is a team member and Offers and Needs Market facilitator at the Post Growth Institute, facilitates grief tending events and community gardening projects in partnership with the Ashland BIPOC Sanctuary, and is a proponent of sustainability, regeneration and justice in all fields and across sectors. Read more.
As a designer of space and creator of community, Julie uses her architectural background to design innovative solutions for people and places. Her community building includes founding of the Splinter Group, a building professional peer group; establishing the Siskiyou School as one of the founding families; leading Greeters for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce; and initiating the Ashland Design Studio, as a local resource hub for design. For over 7 years, Julie has also served as Vice President for the Ashland Food Co-op; currently chairing the AFC Gives committee, EDI Committee, and spearheading the Expansion Initiative. Recently, as a founder of Local Innovation Works, she saw the need for local investment into the entrepreneurial enterprises that will diversify a local economy. Read more.
Alys serves as Director of Production for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which includes managing the Festival’s fabrication facility in Talent, and has a long career building and managing projects for non-profit theaters. Read more.
Public Sector Updates
Updates from FEMA - 1/7/21 - State/Federal Help Still Available for Oregon Wildfire Survivors
Actualizaciones de FEMA - 1/7/21 - La ayuda estatal y federal continúa disponible para los sobrevivientes de los incendios forestales en Oregon
Teresa Cisneros is interviewed on the "Community Talk with Tommy" podcast, sharing her personal experience on the day of the Almeda Fire and how she got involved as a member of the Mi Valle Mi Hogar leadership team.
Donnie Maclurcan is interviewed on the "Community Talk with Tommy" podcast, discussing how Mi Valle Mi Hogar developed from the Ashland Bike Brigade immediate response efforts.