El Centro de la Raza will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. March 6 for Plaza Roberto Maestas (PRM); a mixed-use affordable housing project located directly south of El Centro de la Raza’s historic schoolhouse building, and adjacent to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station.
El Centro de la Raza is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that administers 44 social service programs, and serves as a resource to families, non-profits and government entities throughout Washington State. For more than 41 years, El Centro has dedicated itself to serving low income and marginalized populations.
Today, El Centro is known as known as The Center for all Races, and its impact is felt throughout the state. El Centro is recognized as an important voice and hub for the Latino community while working to build unity across all racial and economic sectors.
Residents of PRM will enjoy convenient on-site access to El Centro’s programs and the many opportunities the city has to offer, while the location of the light rail will help residents reduce their carbon footprint. Plaza Roberto Maestas is about making sure that Seattle and Beacon Hill remain diverse and that low-income communities do not experience further marginalization as a result of gentrification.
2013 Futurewise Livable Communities Award. The Plaza Roberto Maestas development was selected for the 2013 Futurewise Livable Communities Award for its combination of affordable housing that leveraged public investment in transit, and green building, while preserving Latino cultural traditions.
Roberto Maestas was principal founder and long-time executive director of El Centro de la Raza. Maestas was recognized as an inspired leader and a leading advocate for social justice, and was respected around the world for his ability to build multiracial alliances. Even before the start of El Centro in 1972, Maestas’ life and work were guided by Dr. King’s vision of the “Beloved Community” – a world where poverty, racism, and social inequality could be eradicated through multiracial unity and community and civic engagement.
Maestas dreamed of creating a community that fully embodied the values that El Centro has promoted since its inception – the same values that guided Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community. El Centro de la Raza now has the opportunity to make the Beloved Community a reality with the development of Plaza Roberto Maestas.