I’m Victoria Karpeh, a Founding Member, and the Executive Director of Legacy Family Center (LFC).
LFC tirelessly advances shared ideals that create more equity, self-sufficiency, resilience, and community while celebrating our individuality and rich culture.
While LFC has been doing this work for ten years, in many ways, we are just beginning. There is always work to be done as we strive to attain healthy lives, families, and communities. Won’t you join us?
In 2012, conversations on supporting West African immigrants and refugees living in Brooklyn Park, North Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Center centered on the challenges facing families in these communities. It was apparent from the work of one of the women that families needed to be accessing quality out-of-school programs for their children and youth, and parents/caregivers could not connect to social services to meet their family's basic needs.
A group of women convened and began to explore how to support families. It was quickly realized that some current modes of connecting to resources were limiting and inaccessible, whether because of transportation, lack of knowledge on connecting with the resources, or just navigating was difficult for many families.
One of the founders, a social worker, and a home visitor, noticed the need for books in the homes of some immigrant and refugee families. Many families needed library cards or were not reading to their children regularly. Early education was far from the mind of parents/caregivers, who were focused on surviving and meeting their basic needs.
Another two of the founders, immigrants, understood the struggles of living in a new country and culture, where the norms of education differed from what one's parents/caregivers were accustomed to in their country of origin. The conversations on how to support families in their new home culture and live out their legacy quickly formed into developing a nonprofit to ensure education, workforce development, well-being development, and connections to social services were the foundations of the new organization.
The goals were established to bring out-of-school opportunities into the home to remove transportation obstacles, high fees, and isolation. The first goal has been early literacy because it accomplishes two goals. One, a consistent and enriched home environment that supports reading between older siblings and younger siblings, and two, making navigating and connecting to social services easier for parents/caregivers. Over the years, Legacy Family Center's programs have evolved and expanded, ensuring the focus is on creating a positive environment to support social and emotional support for all members of the family, encouraging engagement and learning to develop and sustain trusting relationships within the family, which contributes to successful learners, family capacity to improve their defined outcomes.