Today, February 20, marks the 50th anniversary of UnidosUS’s founding in 1968. What began as a small collection of young activists in Phoenix has become the country’s largest Hispanic-serving nonprofit, helping millions of Latinos define the American Dream on their own terms, then helping them achieve it.
We’re taking the day to reflect on the half century of work and impact we’ve been able to achieve together. As inspiring as it is to look back on our history, we also need to use this opportunity to look forward and envision how we can keep serving our community.
Janet Murguía, our President and CEO, recorded a video message to share her perspective on the milestone and our path moving forward. You can watch her message in English or Spanish below.
Day two of the 2017 NCLR Conference has now wrapped up. It was a day full of truly informative workshops, an inspiring Latinas Brunch and an interesting debate on what is at stake for Latinos in the tax reform debate. And, after a long day, it was time for attendees to let their hair down and enjoyed several receptions that honored some of our community’s strongest advocates.
Good morning early birds! We will be having a Coffee Networking Hour in Meeting Rooms 124B- 129A. Get connected! #NCLR17
One of the first sessions of the day was an up-close conversation with the head writer of Disney’s Elena of Avalor, Silvia Olives. She shared her own story about how she made it in Hollywood, and what needs to be done to encourage more Latinas to enter the business.
After a morning of sessions, it was time for some brunch! The ever popular Latinas Brunch hit it out of the park again with some inspiring words from Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick of Maricopa Community College, activist and author, Julissa Arce, and journalist Sandra Guzman.
And, for their tireless work to promote and advance good health in the Latino Community, Mary’s Center received the Helen Rodriguez-Trias Heath Award. Congratulations to both of these amazing Affiliates!
The 2017 NCLR Annual Conference, which will take place in Phoenix, provides a platform to engage and unite the Latino community. For years, we have proudly exhibited our growth and success during our Conference, representing the largest gathering of the nation’s most influential people, organizations, institutions, and companies working with the Hispanic community.
The 2017 NCLR Annual Conference consists of four days of cutting-edge workshops focused on addressing critical issues in the Latino community. It includes five meal events with appearances by influential and notable speakers who will address attendees on topics related to the Conference’s goal of enriching and advancing the Latino community in the United States.
This week, NCLR welcomed leaders and advocates from our Affiliate Network to Washington, DC for our Community Leaders Actions Summit. Attendees were treated to two days of workshops and trainings to prepare for a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress. Legendary civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) also joined the summit to fire up and rally attendees as they prepared for their Hill visits. Below are highlights from the week’s events starting with a powerful press conference we held in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
To kick off the Summit, NCLR went to Capitol Hill to deliver a message to Congress that on immigration, the assault on families must end. We were joined by Fatima and Yeleni Avelica, whose father was detained while he was dropping them off at school. Also with us was Rose Escobar, whose husband was deported because of technical paperwork issue. He wife has been forced to raise her children on her own until she can return. The Democratic Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Robert Melendez (D-N.J.)
The Three Soldiers sculptures stand on the National Mall, near the Vietnam War Memorial
If you walk along the National Mall today, you’ll find monuments that honor military veterans alongside memorials of past presidents and other national heroes. Among them, the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited. One statue in the memorial, The Three Soldiers, signifies the diversity of the troops who served in Vietnam.
Today we honor more than 1.1 million service members who gave their lives for this country, many of whom died while fighting in Vietnam. The Three Servicemen Statue is a powerful reminder of who pays the price for our freedoms and rights. Latinos have also made ample contributions to our society, and many have paid with their lives while serving their country. We are incredibly grateful to them and their families. They are not forgotten.
What do George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Melinda Gates, and Suze Orman all have in common? They’ve all spoken at the NCLR Annual Conference.
Every summer, Latinos from around the country come together for three days of powerful seminars, cutting-edge workshops, and engaging presentations at the largest gathering of its kind in the United States. Conference provides an opportunity for people in the business of social change to learn about pressing issues facing Latinos across the country. Attendees have the chance to connect with community leaders and form partnerships with community-based organizations.
Join the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) for a webinar about exciting national and local efforts to improve access to healthy drinks where Latino children live, learn, and play! Speakers will highlight successful efforts from across the country to improve beverage choices in schools and other community settings. This conversation will also look at the importance of these opportunities in promoting a healthy environment for Latino children and families.
With less than two weeks to go before the 2015 Health Summit in San Antonio, we’d like to share what Health Summit attendees can expect at this year’s gathering.
The 2015 NCLR Health Summit will focus on the “built environment,” or the places we live, work, and play that affect our health. Speakers will discuss their experiences in harnessing the built environment to promote mental and physical well-being. Here are three things attendees can expect from the 2015 NCLR Health Summit:
1. Attendees will learn about how the built environment affects our health.
Having sidewalks in a neighborhood increases the likelihood that residents will be physically active. Other factors and places not traditionally associated with health also have an impact on well-being. Sessions such as “Health at Home: Lessons Learned in Working toward Healthier Housing” and “Healthy Schools, Health Communities” will focus on how places where we spend so much of our time can promote health.
2. Gain insight from best practices and model health programs that are effective in Hispanic communities.
Throughout the Summit, we will have NCLR Affiliates and other organizations share real-life examples of the work they are doing in different arenas. For example, Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, an Affiliate based in El Paso, Texas, will be sharing the work they do to promote health while working with the values of the Latino community. Representatives from the American Heart Association will share their advocacy experiences in making sure all Texans have access to fresh fruit and vegetables.
3. Get hands-on advocacy training to bring about change in our communities and improve Latino health.
This year, the Summit will feature two hands-on advocacy trainings. Robyn Orth of Eli Lilly and Company will lead digital advocacy training. Learn techniques for different digital strategies for organizations of all sizes. In addition, she will share tips for using new social media, such as Snapchat, in advocacy efforts. Alexandra Harris from the National Association of Community Health Centers will lead grassroots advocacy training. Attendees will have an opportunity to practice their advocacy skills during this session using real-life examples.
Are you ready to hear from community leaders and gain valuable skills with us in San Antonio? Registration is still open; discounts are available for NCLR Affiliates and students. We’ll see you there!
We were greatly inspired by the students and youth we met last month at the 2015 NCLR Annual Conference. Their stories and accomplishments are a testament to the hard work and perseverance that characterize Latino communities across the country.
One of the young future leaders we met is Fernando Rojas, 2015 graduate and co-valedictorian at Fullerton Union High School in California. He recently joined a select group by being accepted to all eight Ivy League universities and decided to attend Yale. But it is his sincere feelings on the power of his generation to make change that show he has even greater goals ahead.
Fernando, the youngest of four children, saw his brothers graduate from high school and undertake postsecondary education. But he is the first to leave home for college. His parents, Raúl and María, immigrated from Jalisco, Mexico, and were not able to complete secondary education, so Fernando’s accomplishment “was a success for all of us, not just for me,” he says. “It was for my family—my aunts, uncles, cousins who helped me along the way. Recognizing their struggles was the motivation I needed.”
The importance of familia is something Fernando finds to be an important shared experience among Latinos. “There are ups and downs, struggles, and hardships, but you have that support at home—and you have the support of a larger community,” he says.
Even though Yale is a long way from Fullerton, it is the place where he felt most at home. “I knew that I was going to be leaving my family in Southern California, and I found that at Yale,” where he says he got the sense of being part of “an inclusive family.”
Combating Negative Perceptions
Rojas is interested in pursuing Latin American studies at Yale and hopes to combine that with further studies in international law. He believes students of his generation who are applying to or attending college need to take on the “challenge” to change negative perceptions about immigrants in this country.
“We’re people that want to get educated. Our parents didn’t have that opportunity but they did want us to have that opportunity,” he says. “Taking those resources and being able to make the best of it is one of the best ways to show that we are a strong community, we have a voice, and we have important things to say.”