Founded nearly 15 years ago, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) is a non-profit, community-based organization that educates, organizes, and empowers Latino immigrants across Georgia to defend and advance their civil and human rights. By educating and organizing Latino communities from below, GLAHR has established a powerful network of informed leaders, engaged community members, and local committees that combat racial discrimination, economic injustice, and state-inflicted violence, including detentions, deportations, and police abuse. Established in 2001 by Adelina Nicholls and Theodoro Maus, former Mexican Consul General in Atlanta, GLAHR developed out of the Coordinating Council of Latino Community Members, an organization that supported the right of undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. Today, GLAHR has become the largest Latino grassroots organization in Georgia as a result of its efforts to organize Latinos to defend and campaign for their rights and human dignity.
GLAHR relies on base-building methods to organize and educate Latino immigrants about their rights, defense strategies, and anti-immigrant legislation and practices. GLAHR has developed eighteen comités populares—local committees designed to raise the political consciousness of the Latino community. In these comités populares, Latinos receive leadership training, learn to carry out acts of civil disobedience, and build networks of support and shared experiences. GLAHR also mobilizes Latinos to participate in national campaigns and strikes for immigration reform, including the national strike on the Day of Non-Compliance in 2011. As a current member of the Georgia Not 1 More Campaign, GLAHR organizes marches, rallies, and acts of civil disobedience to campaign for an end to all deportations of undocumented immigrants, along with a coalition of immigrant, labor, economic justice, women's rights, and LGBT advocacy groups.
Additionally, GLAHR offers a “hotline” that provides Latino immigrants and their families, in the event that they are mistreated, abused, or detained, with information and referrals. Each week, the hotlines receives anywhere from fifty to one hundred calls, allowing GLAHR to assist Latinos as they face abuse from employers, police officers, immigration agents, or in detention centers. GLAHR also hosts a radio program, airing Monday through Friday in the Atlanta Metro Area, that educates Latinos about their rights, defense strategies, and anti-immigrant laws and practices. GLAHR additionally facilitates meetings between undocumented Latinos and local police departments—not only to erode Latinos’ fear of the police, but also to protest racial profiling, harassment, and local police forces’ tendency to collaborate with federal agencies in criminalizing immigrants. GLAHR also aids Latinos in expressing and creating solidarity within their communities through street theater and art. Through theatrical performances, banners, and signs, Latinos affected by abuses instruct others on how to protect themselves and, in the process, form a more organized community. Finally, GLAHR advises local policymakers on immigration-related issues, informs the general public about anti-immigrant legislation and sentiments, and assists in the filing of lawsuits on behalf of Latinos who have suffered abuses.
GLAHR is dedicated to forging meaningful local, state, and national alliances to build a strong social justice movement. Among the organizations and social justice groups with which GLAHR collaborates are Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, Southeastern Immigrant Rights Network, National Immigration Lawyers Center, and others.