Frida Kahlo Community Organization (FKCO) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization established in August 2002. Located in the heart of Pilsen and reaching far beyond its limits, FKCO serves Latinos across the city of Chicago and its suburbs. FKCO has established a strong partnership with the Chicago Public Schools’ Department of Language and Cultural Education, since it commencement, to reach families in their Bilingual Language Programs.
Through the financial support of national and private foundations, FKCO continues to offer its services to families across Illinois.
Frida Kahlo Community Organization serves as an agent of change in people’s lives by providing access to services and resources that improve the quality of life and public participation of the Latino community.
FKCO specializes in immigration services that support Latino families and create community cohesiveness. These services position families on the path to citizenship and thus foster community investment. The following immigration services are provided: education and outreach on changes to immigration policies and procedures, assistance with immigration procedures, legal assistance, and representation. Staff members represent clients in immigration court, at INS proceedings, and assist them with a wide range of services, such as applications for residency, citizenship, family visas, humanitarian visas, work authorization visas, and applications for deferred action for childhood arrivals. To date over eight thousand families have been served.
FKCO is dedicated to empowering Latino families through education. FKCO believes that education is the means to supporting and fostering life-long learners through the development of vibrant school communities. In the last ten years, FKCO has developed a strong program that supports parental involvement by offering them life-changing classes, workshops and educational activities. FKCO has been invited to share its work in encouraging and supporting parental involvement at several national literacy conferences including :
- the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents Summit,
- the Bilingual Educators Emphasizing Multicultural Settings Conference,
- California Association for Bilingual Education,
- National Association for Bilingual Education Conference and
- the Texas Association for Bilingual Education Conference
FKCO has also participated in several statewide literacy conferences such as:
- the Bilingual Parent Summit,
- the Statewide Summit for Bilingual Parents,
- and the Pilsen Education Task Force, since their inceptions in 2005.
FKCO has developed a comprehensive curriculum with a focus on diabetes, breast, cervical & prostate cancer prevention, and HIV/AIDS. Families receive life-changing information and resources to ensure that they are leading a healthy lifestyle. These workshops instill the importance of incorporating healthy habits into their daily routine and encourage parents to become active participants in their communities.
The Illinois Departments of Human Services and Public Health have commended FKCO for its services in the Latino Community and have established partnerships with the organization to support their health education programming. FKCO has also partnered with Mercy Hospital to offer free mammograms to uninsured individuals.
FKCO believes that enabling parents to become exemplar models for their children will foster a family culture in which children are motivated to succeed and become positive leaders within their communities. By providing parents with the tools that they need to believe in themselves and their potential contributions to society, FKCO enables parents to become advocates for themselves and their families. Not only do parents seek classes that increase their independence and increase their marketability in the workforce, but they also seek resources to support their children personally, academically, and socially. Through our leadership development trainings, we have discovered and trained over a dozen parent leaders, who now train other parents.