LAA expands its footprint to serve all of Georgia
New strategic plan sets organization’s direction for next three years


The Atlanta-based Latin American Association will expand its footprint to serve all of Georgia and position itself as a thought leader and convener under a new three-year strategic plan that will take effect on July 1.

Founded in 1972, the LAA is the largest and longest-serving agency in Georgia dedicated to serving the needs of Latino families. The nonprofit serves 40,000 individuals a year.

Under the new strategic plan, the LAA is poised to play an even bigger and more essential role in serving the needs of the state’s fast-growing Latino population. Georgia’s Hispanic population now tops 1 million and represents about 10% of the state’s population. Georgia ranks no. 10 in states with the largest Hispanic population. Despite the explosive demographic growth, Latinos still lag behind their peers in key economic, educational and social indicators.

The LAA will grow its capacity through strategic partnerships and technology to exponentially increase its reach and impact to all areas of the state.

“The needs of the Latino population in Georgia have evolved as the population has grown and matured,” says executive director Aníbal Torres. “Our strategic goals reflect this new reality. We want to be the go-to place for all Latinos in Georgia, not just in the metro area, and we want to ensure that we meet their needs and advocate for them.”

Over the next three years, the LAA is expected to increase its reach throughout the state through technology and innovative service delivery to serve population centers with high numbers of Latinos, including Athens, Lawrenceville, Dalton and Columbus. The LAA will also strengthen its role as a thought leader, convener and informer on Latino issues by conducting original research and putting together seminal events such as the annual State of Latinos Conference. The LAA aims to provide exceptional service to its clients, be the best place to work for nonprofit professionals and be a sustainable and financially health organization.

These strategic goals support the LAA’s mission to empower Latinos to adapt, integrate and thrive and its vision, which is opportunity for all.

The LAA will achieve its mission through five focus areas: Education, Economic Empowerment, Immigration, Family Well-Being and Culture & Engagement. This scope includes direct services, large-scale signature events and advocacy, all of which will have significant impact on the Latino community and affect change on a large scale.

The LAA will focus on the following direct services: basic needs program and emergency assistance; immigration legal services; the Latinas’ Economic Empowerment Program; adult language and education programs; and youth programs. Annual signature events include the annual Latina Empowerment Conference, Career Expo, Hispanic Health Expo, Latin Fever Ball, Compañeros Awards Luncheon, Latino Youth Leadership Conference, La Feria de Educación Latina and State of Latinos Conference.

Advocacy includes coalition-building initiatives and large-scale public education campaigns, as well as research, reports and white papers.