21 February, 2024 9:46 AM

RTP's 10-year anniversary

Banner with text celebrarting 10 years of Roadmap to Peace

It’s hard to believe, but Roadmap to Peace (RTP) is ten years old! Last month, many of RTP’s original founders, including IFR leaders and community supporters, gathered to celebrate this important milestone. Two of those leaders, IFR’s past and present Executive Directors, Estela Garcia and Gloria Romero respectively, were part of that 10-year journey. We pulled them away from their busy schedules to offer their insights from that experience. 

The inception of RTP was catalyzed by a critical moment in our community—a surge in youth violence that captured community attention and demanded immediate attention. “Many of us remember that time of great pain and grief for the loss of several young men who lost their lives or were caught in a never-ending cycle of violence,” offered Estela. “To do nothing would have been unacceptable.” In fact, these incidents spurred a unified response from community members, leaders, and community organizations, igniting a movement to create safer and lasting solutions for youth. 

“We all came to realize that it was imperative for our collective efforts to not only address the symptoms but also the root causes of violence,” followed Gloria. “Our Norte was and continues to be to interrupt and end the cycle of violence while fostering peace and healing.” With this commitment to community-led, community-driven solutions that offer holistic and sustainable alternatives to the juvenile/criminal justice systems—RTP’s vision was born. 

Hand painted mural with people advocating for change and peace for the youthIt was this spirit of unity, determination, and love of community that has supported RTP’s mission to promote community empowerment and peace. For the first year following the deaths of several Latinos in 2014, a group of community leaders, including community organizations, residents, and supporters, met weekly to move their vision forward. This committed group included: IFR, Mission Peace Collaborative, CARECEN, Mission Neighborhood Centers, and others. Hired by Estela and the coordinating body of RTP, Gloria served as RTP Director prior to beginning her tenure as Executive Director. 

After a full year, RTP rolled out its vision to elected officials and officials from relevant City departments and foundations. Committed to its vision of sustainable solutions, RTP’s model incorporated two important concepts: a collective impact model and a coordinated approach to services. After obtaining funding, IFR was identified as the fiscal agent for RTP. This approach has since evolved into a beacon of hope, demonstrating the potential for profound change when a community comes together with a shared mission.

Two pleople cutting ribbon for mural unveilingEmpowering our youth has been at the heart of RTP's mission, recognizing them as vital participants of change in their own lives and the broader community. This empowerment is manifested through various platforms for leadership, dialogue, and community engagement, encouraging young people to envision and work towards a brighter future. RTP stands out for its unique approach that marries ancestral wisdom and healing with modern, innovative strategies for social change. As RTP’s current Director, Indiana Barrenechea, explains it, “RTP draws on the  values and traditions of our ancestors, creating a program that resonates with deep cultural significance and corazón within our community, fostering a strong sense of identity, belonging, and intergenerational unity.”

We are all honored to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the RTP as a testament to the resilience, commitment, and unity of our community, propelled forward by a great belief in and love for our youth.

As we celebrate this significant milestone, we are already thinking of what needs to happen next for RTP. This work is already underway. We invite your support, engagement, and advocacy as we embark on the next chapter of our work. Together, we can continue building upon the successes of the past decade, forging ahead with a renewed commitment to our community's well-being. Let's continue to make a difference, shaping a future that reflects our collective aspirations for peace, empowerment, and unity. Congratulations RTP!

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