CNC was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1972 by a small group of Cuban American professionals concerned about the future of Cuban Americans in the United States. Initially named the Cuban National Planning Council, the Council was the first non-profit organization conducting research on the demographics, and the socio-economic needs of Cuban Americans in the United States.
Less than a decade later, the Council was headquartered in Miami, Florida, and had a small professional staff charged with the mission of providing human services, first in the areas of employment, and eventually education and others. The council projects, originally aimed at planning for Cuban Americans, were soon extended to service all individuals in need with a focus on Hispanic Americans, a population the Council was especially equipped to serve. Delivering services to all in need and using public funds led the organization to institutional changes. The Board of Directors became larger with representatives of several states, a new logo was adopted, and the Council name was changed to Cuban American National Council, Inc. (CNC) to better reflect its identity and mission.
If the 1970’s were CNC’s formative years, the next two decades became a period of sustained growth, development and diversification. By the end of the 1980’s CNC still published research and policy papers on United States Hispanics and subjects of national interest. In addition, CNC had created an Employment program, founded Alternative schools, and serviced thousands of refugees. Also during this decade, CNC established a Corporate Board of Advisors, and founded a related non-profit organization, CODEC, which has become one of the top non-profit developers of 202 Housing projects for low-income seniors in the United States.
Growth continued in the next ten years as CNC established a Child Development Center to care for the infants and toddlers of teen mothers enrolled in CNC schools, and eventually for all children.
As we entered a new millennium, CNC added to its annual events a Leadership Celebration in our nation’s capital and a Health Fair in Miami. It also integrated some of its human services to achieve synergy and cost efficiencies, and added new projects in Financial Education and Family Literacy to reflect the growing needs of its service population.
By then, CNC had offices in Washington, D.C., Union City, N.J., and Miami, Fl. and the organization’s metrics were remarkable. In just over two decades, CNC had effected 38,700 job placements, enrolled over 4,980 at risk students in our schools and graduated 465 with a regular High School Diploma. By 2009, it has trained 400 community representatives in Leadership skills, held 14 National Policy Conferences, and published over 60 policy papers, two textbooks, and scores of newspaper articles. During this period CNC’s related organization, CODEC, build 1,900 housing units including 150 condominiums for working families.
From its inception, CNC has been an active partner in the national Hispanic movements, a founder of several national coalitions, and a sister organization of minority and minority non-profit groups. Our history is one of growth and continuity in our mission of building bridges to others and a commitment to serve the needy. This is the foundation of our institution for years to come.