Mission & Purpose
El Consorcio an interdisciplinary group of service professionals fostering connection, empowerment, and professional growth in order to improve access to culturally responsive services within the Latinx community.
While El Consorcio first existed on paper in 2020, its roots go back nearly a decade.
In late 2011, the Spanish-speaking staff at Washburn Center for Children began meeting regularly to
increase their access to culturally responsive peer clinical consultation, language consultation, and care
coordination around shared clients.
In 2012, Washburn Center, Centro, and Kente Circle jointly applied
for a grant from the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative to support a variety of training efforts directed at improving culturally responsive practice. As part of that grant, the Washburn Center Spanish-speaking Providers group began alternating its internal meetings with external partners.
In 2013, that county-wide provider group named itself the Hennepin County Spanish- Speaking Provider Consortium, which evolved into the Twin Cities Spanish-Speaking Provider
Consortium to better reflect group membership.
From 2013-2019, the group, which often referred to itself simply as The Consortium, steadily grew to
around 260 active members. This happened through current members recruiting new colleagues and
collaborators based on their positive experiences of connection and education in the group.
Two things motived the group to seriously reflect on whether it made sense to continue operating in a grassroots way. First, Washburn Center ended its technical assistance to the group in 2018. This led to very clunky internal communication and difficulty performing what had been semiannual updates to the Spanish Clinical Language and Resource. Second, in 2019, the Consortium identified the need to create a shared leadership structure. Until then, Liz Franklin had served as the sole facilitator of the group. While that worked for the original fifteen-member Consortium cohort, it was not efficient or sustainable for such a large group with so many good ideas for expansion and innovation.
Following several months of research and discussion, the group decided to formalize its identity and
structure by becoming a nonprofit professional organization with a working Board of Directors; collect
seed funds and membership dues; and develop a website to facilitate real-time communication and
resource guide updating for members and the communities they serve. As part of this process, the group decided to rename itself El Consorcio.