A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, LEON is a network and a collaboration of individuals, organizations and agencies dedicated to building a healthy Latino community in Central Ohio through the development and support of programs that educate and empower Latinos. We focus on health, education, advocacy and communication.
The work of LEON takes place through the following committees. Please explore each one to learn how you and/or your organization can get involved:
- Advocacy/Legal Isssues Committee
- Communications Committee
- Education Committee
- Executive Committee
- Finacial Committee
- Health Committee
LEON Network Meetings
LEON also hosts monthly network meetings. The meetings are open to the public and are held the first Thursday of each month, September through June, at Girls Scouts-Seal of Ohio Council, 1700 Watermark Drive (614/487-8101). Format: Guest speaker: 8:45 – 9:15 AM; Network Meeting: 9:15 – 10:15 AM
The general LEON network meetings serve as an information clearinghouse and afford individuals and organizations an opportunity to provide news and information of interest to the Latino community. Please come and share your announcements and news! No product or sales pitches, please. Feel free to bring handouts/flyers and your business cards. Between 30 and 40 individuals come each month. Coffee and breakfast rolls are served. Join LEON and receive member benefits.
LEON was established in 2000, when several individuals met to work on a United Way of Central Ohio-funded project on domestic violence on the West side. Meetings were held at the West Opportunity Center. Recognizing the many issues surrounding the root problems of domestic violence, the group continued to meet after the project ended to establish an ongoing network of individuals and agencies to share resources.
Since then the organization has grown in size and influence and has blossomed into a network of individual community members, health and social service providers, educators and non-for-profit and for-profit companies to create and support capacity-building initiatives in health, education, advocacy and communications. LEON is proud to be a network of people, who collaborate to build healthy Latino communities for a healthy Columbus.
What Has LEON Done?
LEON carries out its work through committees.
- The Health Committee has developed an extensive Latino Health Resource Directory and has helped to guide area efforts in cultural competency. The Health Committee is currently launching an innovative training program to help newly arrived Latino immigrants, with limited English proficiency, to access health care in the United States.
- The Education Committee has facilitated various meetings of the English as a Second Language (ESL) Coordinators Consortium of Central Ohio School Districts and a Leadership Institute for ninth-grade ESL students in the South-Western City School District. The Education committee has also partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and South-Western City Schools in a variety of mentoring and cultural awareness programs.
- The Communications Committee has been working on a variety of LEON promotional materials and helps coordinate activities.
- The Financial Committee works with the LEON treasurer to direct accounting and budget procedures.
- The Advocacy/Legal Issues Committee is a newly created group aimed at helping provide a forum to discuss and address a number of issues affecting the Latino Community in Central Ohio.
- The Executive Committee has been instrumental in facilitating general meetings and in coordinating committee projects within the organization. LEON networking has helped many Central Ohio Latinos obtain needed services.