Take #SaludWater Action for Kids!

Dehydration. Fatigue. Poor classroom performance.

Water can help solve these issues for kids, but Latino kids don’t have access to clean drinking water as often as white kids, and they are more dehydrated.

That’s why we are joining the new #SaludWater health social media campaign!

#SaludWater—led by the Salud America! national network for healthy change for Latinos—promotes actions, awareness, and grassroots solutions to inspire local change to give Latino children more access and opportunity to drink water.

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Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker Join NCLR’s Janet Murguía to Discuss the Latino Community’s Top Priorities

June 19, 2017                                           


Gabriela Gomez
(202) 776-1732

Special event focuses on how lawmakers are pushing back against the Trump administration’s harmful policies

NEWARK, N.J.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released its new policy agenda for the 115th Congress during a special forum that featured an informative and lively discussion moderated by NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía with New Jersey Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker. The conversation, held at Rutgers Business School, also focused on the steps the senators are taking to push back on the Trump administration’s harmful policies and defend the progress the Latino community has made in recent years.

Efforts to slash funding for Medicaid and essential nutrition programs, the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and a doubling-down on draconian immigration policies have put our community on high alert. NCLR’s report, titled “2017 Latino Priorities, American Values: A Latino Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress,” recommends policies to strengthen opportunities for Latino workers, families and students. The agenda also examines the progress the Latino community has made in recent years in vital areas including immigration, health care, education and the economy.

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Congressional Budget Office Confirms that Trumpcare Is the Worst Domestic Legislation in Years

The American Health Care Act could result in 23 million Americans left without health coverage by 2026

Today the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what most Americans suspected: the latest version of the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) is even worse than the first version introduced in the House of Representatives. The nonpartisan office estimates that more than $834 billion would be cut from Medicaid and 23 million people would have their health coverage taken away, endangering their health and opportunities.

We are deeply concerned about Medicaid cuts that would fundamentally restructure this program that has served as a safety net for more than 50 years. The White House budget proposal released yesterday confirmed the Trump administration’s intent to slash this lifeline for millions of people despite research that shows a majority of Americans oppose decreasing Medicaid funding (74 percent) and support the program (54 percent).

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National Institute of Latino School Leaders go to Denver

This week, our 2017 cohort of the National Institute of Latino School Leaders (NILSL)  is meeting in Denver to talk about they can advance the schools they lead to better prepare students for the future. NILSL Fellows will also spend time talking about how best to implement the “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

Follow #NILSL17 for live updates from the convening throughout the week.

ICE Intimidates Latino Community with Arrest of DACA Recipient Practicing Free Speech

Earlier this week in Jackson, Miss., 22-year-old Dany Vargas stood bravely before reporters to speak about the fear that she and many of her friends and family have of being deported at any moment under a new administration that has targeted the Latino community.

Dany’s fears are real. After all, it was just two weeks ago that she watched her father get arrested outside their home. She literally hid inside her bedroom closet for fear that she too could be deported. Dany’s father and her brother were arrested, detained, and are currently awaiting deportation. Despite her fears after watching her family members taken away, Dany spoke eloquently about being a DREAMer and how much she wants to contribute to her country, which she has called home since she was seven years old.

As a DACA recipient, Dany has been able to work as a store manager, and has dreams of being a math teacher. But, her DACA status lapsed after she was unable to pay the $500 fee that is required every two years to maintain the status. However, Dany did save up the money she needed, and last month got her paperwork in order so that she could begin the renewal process. Since her application is pending, what happened next was shocking.

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This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending February 17

Week Ending February 17

This week in immigration: NCLR responds to immigration enforcement actions; shares information on Telemundo town hall on immigration; and responds to A Day Without Immigrants.

NCLR responds to enforcement actions: This week we continued to see chaos that erupted as a direct consequence of President Trump’s Executive Orders and his full-speed ahead order to immigration agents to arrest and detain any and all undocumented immigrants they encounter.

Millions of American families are feeling anxious as a result of the scorched-earth approach this administration is pursuing. This follows the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a long-time Arizona resident and mother of two U.S. citizens when she went for a check in with the local immigration office. Earlier this week, another mother of U.S. citizens with strong ties to her community took sanctuary in a church in Colorado.  NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguia took to twitter to state that deporting hard-working moms who pose no threat does not make anyone safer but does destroy families.

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Stopping the Debt Trap in Orlando


At the 2016 NCLR Annual Conference in Orlando last month, NCLR staff was out in full force collecting comments from attendees in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule to curb payday lenders’ abusive lending practices.

As we’ve highlighted in our Truth in Payday Lending series, the Latino community has especially fallen victim to these shady operators. In the absence of safe and affordable financial products, people desperately in need of cash turn to payday lenders, who prey on our communities. Promising relief, these payday lenders lure struggling Latinos into situations that quickly morph into an endless cycle of borrowing and debt.

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NCLR Educators Invest in Informal Science Education

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The new cohort of CHISPA 2.0 educators.

Last month, NCLR welcomed its new cohort of CHISPA 2.0 educators to Fort Worth, Texas, for three days of STEM engagement.

The CHISPA (Children Investigating Science with Parents and Afterschool) program works to increase STEM learning among Latino youth, and encourages parental involvement in their children’s education. Through CHISPA, students and parents have an opportunity to foster a greater understanding of the STEM disciplines, and learn new strategies for navigating the education system.

NCLR STEM manager Juliana Ospina Cano, along with two educators from previous CHISPA cohorts, Irma Lopez from New Economics for Women and Rico Harris from the Latin American Montessori Bilingual School (LAMB), led this year’s session. The presenters discussed ways to implement CHISPA’s After-School Program Exploring Science (APEX) curriculum, as well as our parent engagement program Padres Comprometidos con CHISPA.

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Truth in Payday Lending: Alfredo’s Story

PayDay Lending-02

Getting laid off from your job is never welcome news, but receiving that news during the holidays just adds anxiety to an already stressful season. For Alfredo Romero, the news couldn’t have come at a worse time. With his landscaping job gone, Alfredo turned to the one source he knew would give him some much-needed cash: payday lenders.

In desperate need to get his family through the holiday season, Alfredo took out a $1,000 payday loan from Regency Financial in Mentor, Ohio. He had two years to pay it back.

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Recognizing Afro-Latinos during Black History Month

Although the Latino community prides itself on its diversity and the various cultures of its members, Afro-Latinos are often overlooked, both in terms of their inclusion and contributions to Latinos around the world. In honor of Black History Month, we present 11 Afro-Latinos who have had significant influences on American and Latino culture.


Jean-Michel Basquiat Jean-Michel Basquiat

Brooklyn, New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn to a Haitian father and Puerto Rican mother, and lived in Puerto Rico for a time. Basquiat developed his innate artistic talent during childhood, resulting in his unique interpretation of neo-expressionism, influenced by the 1970s movements emerging in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Combining poetry, abstract elements, and social commentary into visually arresting pieces, his work continues to inspire artists of all mediums and genres.

Scull (1981)

Scull (1981)

Junot Diaz    Junot Diaz

Born 1968
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz has interwoven his Dominican heritage into his writing, allowing it to influence and shape his stories. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Diaz’s writing has given Latinos of all ages stories that reflect their own experiences and introduced the inner world of Latinos to all Americans. In 2012, he received the MacArthur Fellowship award.


Celia Cruz Celia Cruz

Havana, Cuba

Named the Queen of Latin Music, Celia Cruz was instrumental in popularizing salsa music across the world. Born in Cuba, Cruz first learned to sing santería songs against her Catholic mother’s wishes. After appearing on Havana radio, Cruz began recording songs in Venezuela. As Cruz’s star rose, she brought the world’s attention to salsa, and Latin music in general. Over her 55-year career, Cruz won eight Grammys, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

Sammy Davis, Jr. Sammy Davis Jr

Harlem, New York

Known as Mister Show Business, Sammy Davis Jr. began his career in entertainment at the age of three, learning to dance from his Afro-Cuban mother. Originally part of a vaudeville act with his father, Davis stood out for his dancing, singing, acting, and impressions. As a member of the Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and others, Davis became an American entertainment institution. Along with the rest of the Pack, Davis starred in Ocean’s 11 and more than 30 other films. In 1960, he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Rosario Dawson Rosario Dawson

Born 1979
New York City, New York

Born to a single mother of Cuban and Puerto Rican ancestry, Rosario Dawson began her acting career at the age of 15. Since then, she has starred in blockbusters such as Men in Black II, Rent, Sin City, Seven Pounds, and others. Dawson is also an active philanthropist, working with organizations like Oxfam, Amnesty International, and Doctors Without Borders. She currently stars as Claire Temple on Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

Romeo Santos Romeo Santos

Born 1981
The Bronx, New York

As the lead singer of the Dominican-American band Aventura, Romeo Santos is credited with popularizing bachata music across the world, and is referred to by many as the King of Bachata. Since the breakup of Aventura, Santos has had a successful solo career. Shortly after the election of Barack Obama, Santos was invited to the White House to perform for the President and First Lady. Last year, he had a cameo in Furious 7, and will voice a character in the upcoming Angry Birds Movie

Zoe Saldana Zoe Saldana

Born 1978
Passaic, New Jersey

Since starring in the highest grossing film of all time, Avatar, Zoe Saldana has become a household name. Saldana, who lived in the Dominican Republic as a child and speaks fluent Spanish, went on to star in movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy and JJ Abrams’ Star Trek series. This year, she will portray Nina Simone in the biopic Nina, about the late singer.

Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Spalding

Born 1984
Portland, Oregon

Hailed as a musical prodigy since childhood, Esperanza Spalding has pushed the boundaries of modern jazz, while incorporating interpretations of bossa nova and rhythm and blues. Self-taught on various instruments since first learning to play violin at five years old, Spalding was awarded a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music where, at age 20, she later became one of the youngest professors in school history. In 2011, Spalding became the first jazz artist to win Best New Artist at the Grammys. This past January, Spalding performed at the White House for the President and First Lady. 


Soledad O’Brien Soledad O'Brien

Born 1966
St. James, New York

Born to an Afro-Cuban mother and Australian father, Soledad O’Brien has been a pioneer in journalism since joining NBC News in 1991. Since then she has gone on to appear on CNN, HBO, and Al Jazeera, to name a few. She is also the founder and chairman of the Starfish Media Group, as well as assuming hosting duties for the National Geographic Bee after former host Alex Trebek stepped down in 2013.


Roberto Clemente                Roberto Clemente

San Antón, Puerto Rico

Playing all 18 years of his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Roberto Clemente served as an ambassador for Latinos and baseball fans while the major leagues were still struggling with racism in the sport. He led the league in batting average during the 1960 season and the Pirates would go on to win the World Series against the New York Yankees. During his final season in 1972, Clemente achieved his 3,000th hit in the majors with his final, regular season at bat. Clemente passed away during a plane crash en route to deliver aid to Managua, Nicaragua, after an earthquake ravaged the city. He was entered into the Baseball Hall of Fame the following year with 92% of the vote. The Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence is presented at the NCLR Annual Conference in his honor.

Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

Born 1984
Brooklyn, New York

Part of the SuperDraft class of 2003, featuring stars like Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, whose father was Puerto Rican, has been a force in the NBA since being drafted third overall. Known for his explosive offense, Anthony was named the 2013 NBA scoring champion, averaging 28.2 points per game through the 2012–2013 season. Combined with his two Olympic gold medals, one as part of the 2008 Redeem Team, Melo’s been a staple of NBA highlight reels for more than a decade.