Moving Forward… Adelante!
It’s been a busy spring! We were thrilled to reconvene, in person, for our annual Changemakers Summit and Capital Awards this past March. It was energizing and inspiring to see friends, Affiliates, and many of you there! We welcomed 56 Affiliates to Washington, DC, for the Summit, where they discussed issues important to Latinos and gained access to resources and tools to bolster advocacy efforts in support of their communities’ priorities.
One important addition that Summit attendees benefited from this year was a White House Briefing with Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and other leaders representing the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We also added Federal Agency Roundtables featuring representatives from the U.S. Department of Human Services and the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as its Economic Development Administration and National Technology Information Service bureaus. Finally, Summit participants conducted legislative visits, including meetings with Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer.
The Summit culminated with the Capital Awards ceremony, where we featured remarks from Congressman Ritchie Torres and honored Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ) for their contributions and advocacy benefiting the Latino community. We also bestowed the UnidosUS Public Service Award to the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino for their leadership in telling the true story of Latinos in the United States.
As I mentioned in my remarks during the event, 28 years ago my predecessor Raul Yzaguirre recognized that we needed to cement our community’s contributions in a museum on the National Mall. He garnered bipartisan support from champions on Capitol Hill that created a commission to advance this legislation. In December 2020, a bill authorizing the National Museum of the American Latino passed Congress and was finally signed into law. But the journey is not over. UnidosUS is committed to seeing this through until the day we can walk through the doors of a Smithsonian Museum dedicated to telling our story and sharing it with all Americans as part of our collective history and memory.
Finally, I wanted to share with you that I was honored to be named one of USA Today’s 2022 Women of the Year, which recognizes women across the country who have made a significant impact in their communities and are champions of change. I’m humbled and proud to be counted alongside 12 other trailblazing women. When asked by USA Today if I live by a guiding principle or mantra, I shared that it is the word adelante because it means “keep moving forward.” For me, it means “never give up.” You can find the link to the article and video on our website, or at www.unidosus.org/blog/.
While as a community and as a nation we continue to face some serious challenges, I’m not giving up. With you by my side, I feel hopeful about the trajectory UnidosUS is on this year and beyond.
President and CEO