Escucha Mi Voz Iowa, one of Gamaliel’s newest affiliates in the Midwest, was named a finalist—in the “News Category for Outstanding Feature Story in Spanish”—for the 44th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, which was held September 27-28, 2023 at the Palladium Times Square in New York City.
The Emmy finalist documentary produced by Univision, Rising Up in the Heartland: Latino Workers Fight for Pandemic Relief, tells the story of Escucha Mi Voz’s fight to secure direct assistance for undocumented essential workers in Johnson County and West Liberty, Iowa.
Escucha Mi Voz Iowa formed in 2021 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, with seed funding provided by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Their organizer, David Goodner, was part of Gamaliel’s first new organizer cohort (which was also made possible by funding provided by CCHD to the Gamaliel Network).
Many of you will recall that COVID-19 hammered essential workers across the United States. After long struggles to regain their health, marginalized and undocumented Latino workers in rural Iowa took on a bold new challenge last year: demanding a share of the pandemic relief funds that have excluded them.
Through a robust organizing campaign in 2022, Escucha Mi Voz Iowa members won a $3.5 million Direct Assistance Program in Johnson County and a $150,000 utility relief program in West Liberty. This year, the group members distributed $1.3 million in federal pandemic relief aid to meatpacking plant workers and farmworkers. In the last two years, the group has delivered over $5 million in direct assistance to rural and urban immigrant workers on the frontlines of the essential labor force.
The 44th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards received more than 2300 submissions from the calendar year of 2022. Nominations were judged by a pool of over 1000 people from across the television and streaming/digital media news and documentary community.
Please join me in celebrating with Escucha Mi Voz for both the Emmy nomination and the successful issue campaign!
Ana Garcia-Ashley, Directora Ejecutiva