Founder Of Hispanic Interest Coalition Of Alabama Departing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The founder and chief executive of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama will leave the nonprofit organization at the end of the year, the group said in a statement.

Isabel Rubio, who has led the Birmingham-based organization for 20 years, will be replaced by chief operating officer Carlos Aleman, who went to work for the group as deputy director three years ago.

The coalition, which advocates for Latino and immigrant families in Alabama, helped lead opposition and provided community services when the state passed a restrictive law dealing with immigrants a decade ago. Court challenges later gutted the law.

Growing from a staff of one, the coalition said it now has a staff of more than two dozen bilingual workers who serve more than 5,000 people annually. Rubio has raised more than $19 million to support the Hispanic community with small business development, citizenship, college and home ownership.

"I am proud of our accomplishments, especially creating a place that welcomes, embraces and empowers our Latino community to achieve their dreams and aspirations," she said in a statement Thursday.

Rubio plans to take a break in early 2022 but remain involved with the Hispanic community.

Aleman, a first-generation immigrant from Nicaragua, was elected to the Homewood City Council in August. He became the first Latino elected to public office in the state, the organization said.