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Birmingham, AL

2008 Director’s Community Leadership Awards

Birmingham Isabel Rubio
The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
Director Mueller and Isabel Rubio


In 1999, Isabel Rubio, a social worker at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and others formed the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA) to work with immigrant Latinos to make sure they were supported in their transition to life in a new country. A 501(c) (3) social services organization, HICA’s mission is to seek to improve the quality of life for Latinos in Alabama. HICA accomplishes the mission in three ways: coordinating with community resources, providing transitional services, and advocating.

Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have worked closely with HICA over the past several years to improve the relations between them and the Latino community. Through partnerships with agencies like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Birmingham City Schools, HICA works to build bridges to increase understanding between communities to ultimately reduce prejudices. HICA also provides workshops for new immigrants on banking and finance, buying a new home, filing taxes, finding legal services, and interacting with law enforcement.

Recently, HICA provided effective assistance to law enforcement by providing information to the Latino population on the murder of five Latino men in suburban Birmingham. HICA opened a hotline expressly for the Latino population to provide tips and information regarding the murders. Isabel Rubio and other HICA members participated in a press conference about the murders with the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, the FBI and other law enforcement, and they translated tip line information for the news media.

FBI Director Recognizes
Distinguished Community Leaders
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In a ceremony at FBI Headquarters, Director Robert S. Mueller, III recognized the recipients of the 2008 Director’s Community Leadership Award. These leaders, selected by their area FBI field office, have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service. The FBI is grateful for the work of each of these individuals and organizations on behalf of their communities.

“Whatever the motivation—an unfilled need, a tragic occurrence, a desire to give back—these are people who make things happen and enlist others in their cause,” said Director Mueller. “They are activists who have earned their prestige through good works.”

Recipients of the 2008 Director’s Community Leadership Award include:

- Albany
- Albuquerque
- Anchorage
- Atlanta
- Baltimore
- Birmingham
- Boston
- Buffalo
- Charlotte
- Chicago
- Cincinnati
- Clarksburg
- Cleveland
- Columbia
- Dallas
- El Paso
- Headquarters | 2 | 3 | 4
- Honolulu
- Houston
- Indianapolis
- Jackson
- Jacksonville
- Kansas City
- Knoxville
- Little Rock
- Los Angeles

- Memphis
- Miami
- Milwaukee
- Minneapolis
- Mobile
- New Haven
- New York
- Newark
- Norfolk
- Omaha
- Philadelphia
- Phoenix
- Portland
- Richmond
- Sacramento
- Salt Lake City
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Seattle
- Springfield
- St. Louis
- Tampa
- Washington Field

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