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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 573-7329/(305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org
    NCLR Conference Press Office
    (504) 670-5602

    On Monday, July 22, 2013, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and the Equal Rights Center will unveil a new study on discriminatory housing practices at a workshop, “Avoiding Housing Discrimination in Immigration Reform,” during the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans. Each year, more than four million incidents of housing discrimination occur nationally, and recent state and local legislation that seeks to address immigration-related issues may put Hispanic families at additional risk of being targeted for housing discrimination.

    The Equal Rights Center investigation, commissioned by NCLR, sought to explore the extent of differential or adverse treatment of Latino prospective renters and homebuyers in three southern cities, utilizing a “matched pair” methodology in which Hispanic and non-Hispanic White testers with virtually identical profiles interacted with housing agents in a variety of scenarios.

    A panel of housing experts, including James Perry, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, and Don Kahl, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center, will address the important intersection of fair housing laws and discrimination against immigrants. They will share analysis of the discrimination study, highlight critical aspects of federal fair housing laws and provide community participants with important tools to file fair housing complaints when necessary.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:      Workshop: “Avoiding Housing Discrimination in Immigration Reform”

    WHO:       Moderator: Lindsay Daniels, Associate Director of Housing and Wealth-Building Initiatives, NCLR
                      Don Kahl, Executive Director, Equal Rights Center
                      James Perry, Executive Director, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
                      Norma Roberts, Homeownership Program Specialist, Avenida Guadalupe Association

    WHEN:     Monday, July 22, 2013
                     9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

    WHERE:  Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
                     Room 227
                     900 Convention Center Blvd.
                     New Orleans, LA 70130

    All workshops are free and open to the media. For more information or to RSVP, contact Camila Gallardo, Associate Director, Communications, at (305) 215-4259, or after July 19 at the NCLR Annual Conference Press Room: (504) 670-5602.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    jrendeiro@nclr.org; (202) 776-1566
    NCLR Conference Press Office
    (504) 670-5602

    Last November, Latino voters generated a game-changing moment in the immigration reform debate that propelled the issue to the forefront of American politics. And today, we see a possibility of passing fair and effective immigration reform this year. But achieving reform will require bipartisan compromise from voices and constituencies on both the left and right to build the political space and pressure to pass legislation.

    Join NCLR (National Council of La Raza) for an immigration town hall on Monday, July 22, at the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference, where leading experts, advocates and political strategists will discuss the benefits of immigration reform and look at the road ahead in Congress. Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D–IL), who has been a vocal advocate for reform in the House of Representatives, will also deliver a special address during the town hall.

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHO:      Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR (Opening Remarks)
                     Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D–IL) (Special Address)
                     Julie Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives
                     Ana Navarro, Republican Political Strategist
                     Hilary O. Shelton, Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy, NAACP
                     Joe Trauger, Vice President, Human Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers
                     Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief
                     Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement, NCLR (Moderator)

    WHAT:     Town Hall—“Immigration: The Moral, Economic, and Political Imperatives for Winning Reform”

    WHEN:    Monday, July 22, 2013
                     3:00–5:00 p.m. CDT

    WHERE:  Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
                     Riverside Rooms R02–R04

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:
    Joseph Rendeiro
    jrendeiro@nclr.org; (202) 776-1566
    Oficina de Prensa de la Conferencia del NCLR
    (504) 670-5602

    El pasado noviembre, los votantes latinos generaron un momento de cambio en el debate sobre la reforma migratoria, poniéndola al frente de la política estadounidense. Y hoy, vemos la posibilidad de que una reforma de inmigración justa y eficaz sea aprobada este año. Pero para lograrlo, se requiere un compromiso bipartidista de voces y electores de izquierda y derecha que construyan el espacio político y la presión necesaria para aprobar la legislación.

    Únase al NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza) en la reunión municipal sobre inmigración el lunes 22 de julio en la Conferencia Anual 2013 del NCLR, donde expertos reconocidos, defensores y estrategas políticos discutirán los beneficios de la reforma de inmigración y el camino a seguir en el Congreso. El representante Luis V. Gutiérrez (D–IL), que ha sido un defensor activo de la reforma en la Cámara de Representantes, también dará un discurso especial durante la reunión.

    AVISO DE PRENSA

    QUIÉN:      Janet Murguía, Presidenta y Directora General del NCLR (Discurso de apertura)
                      Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D–IL) (Discurso especial)
                      Julie Kitka, Presidenta de la Federación de Nativos de Alaska
                      Ana Navarro, Estratega Republicana de la Política
                      Hilary O. Shelton, Directora de la oficina de Washington y Vicepresidenta de Defensa y Política del NAACP
                      Joe Trauger, Vicepresidente de Política de Recursos Humanos de la Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes
                      Jenny Yang, Vicepresidenta de Abogacía y Política de World Relief
                      Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Directora de Participación Cívica e Inmigración del NCLR (Moderadora)

    QUÉ:         Foro Publico—“Inmigración: Los Imperativos Morales, Económicos, y Políticos para Lograr la Reforma”.

    CUÁNDO: Lunes 22 de julio, 2013
                       3:00–5:00 PM CDT (tiempo del centro)

    DÓNDE:   Centro de Convenciones Ernest N. Morial
                      Salones Riverside R02–R04

    ###


     


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    PARA DIVULGACION INMEDIATA

    Contacto:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305)573-7329/(305)215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org
    NCLR Conference Press Office
    (504) 670-5602

    A la Presidenta y CEO de NCLR se le unirán Cecilia Muñoz, Directora del Consejo de Política Nacional de la Casa Blanca, Eva Longoria, actriz y activista y otros distinguidos oradores

    Durante su Conferencia Anual 2013 que se realiza en Nueva Orleans, , el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) auspiciará una gran reunión pública el sábado 20 de julio de 2013 titulada "Más allá de la Reforma Migratoria: Cómo la educación es el catalizador de la integración" (Beyond Immigration Reform: How Education is the Catalist for Integration"). Mientras la nación espera la aprobación de una ley de reforma migratoria integral que proporcione la oportunidad de legalizar a millones de inmigrantes que viven actualmente en los EE.UU., ninguna institución ocupará el mismo lugar en la historia ni tendrá el mismo impacto en las familias de los inmigrantes como lo harán las escuelas de este país. Este evento servirá para reunir investigadores, funcionarios de gobierno y líderes para discutir las implicaciones de la reforma migratoria para todo el sistema educativo, desde la educación preescolar hasta la universidad. Se ha invitado todos los miembros de la comunidad para que, en forma gratuita, asistan a esta reunión pública para que tengan la oportunidad de interactuar, compartir impresiones y preocupaciones y formular preguntas.

    MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN

    QUIENES:   Moderador: José Díaz-Balart, Periodista, Noticiero Telemundo
                         Panelistas: Janet Murguía, Presidenta y CEO de NCLR
                         Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Decano, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
                         Reyna Hernández, Sub Superintendent, Center for Language and Early Child Development, Illionis State Board of Education
                         Cecilia Muñoz, Directora, White House Domestic Policy Council
                         Eva Longoria, Actriz, Activista y Filántropa
                         Emilio Vicente, Soñador (Dreamer)
                         Gina Pupo Walker, Executive Director of Family and Community Partnerships, Metro Nashville Public Schools and Board Member of Conexión Américas

    QUÉ:            Foro Publico --
                         "Beyond Immigration Reform: How Education is the Catalyst for Integration"
                         Patrocinador exclusivo, Comcast/NBS Universal/Telemundo a 10:30 a.m.

    CUÁNDO:    Sábado, 20 de julio de 2013, de 3:00 a 4:30 p.m. CDT

    DÓNDE:       Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
                          Riverside Rooms R02-R04
                          900 Convention Center Blvd.
                          New Orleans, LA 70130

    ###
     


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    PARA DIVULGACION INMEDIATA

    Contacto:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305)573-7329/(305)215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org
    NCLR Conference Press Office
    (504) 670-5602

    A la Presidenta y CEO de NCLR se le unirán Cecilia Muñoz, Directora del Consejo de Política Nacional de la Casa Blanca, Eva Longoria, actriz y activista y otros distinguidos oradores

    Durante su Conferencia Anual 2013 que se realiza en Nueva Orleans, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) auspiciará una gran reunión pública el sábado 20 de julio de 2013 titulada "Más allá de la Reforma Migratoria: Cómo la educación es el catalizador de la integración" (Beyond Immigration Reform: How Education is the Catalist for Integration"). Mientras la nación espera la aprobación de una ley de reforma migratoria integral que proporcione la oportunidad de legalizar a millones de inmigrantes que viven actualmente en los EE.UU., ninguna institución ocupará el mismo lugar en la historia ni tendrá el mismo impacto en las familias de los inmigrantes como lo harán las escuelas de este país. Este evento servirá para reunir investigadores, funcionarios de gobierno y líderes para discutir las implicaciones de la reforma migratoria para todo el sistema educativo, desde la educación preescolar hasta la universidad. Se ha invitado todos los miembros de la comunidad para que, en forma gratuita, asistan a esta reunión pública para que tengan la oportunidad de interactuar, compartir impresiones y preocupaciones y formular preguntas.

    MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN

    QUIENES:   Moderador: José Díaz-Balart, Periodista, Noticiero Telemundo
                         Panelistas: Janet Murguía, Presidenta y CEO de NCLR
                         Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Decano, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
                         Reyna Hernández, Sub Superintendent, Center for Language and Early Child Development, Illionis State Board of Education
                         Cecilia Muñoz, Directora, White House Domestic Policy Council
                         Eva Longoria, Actriz, Activista y Filántropa
                         Emilio Vicente, Soñador (Dreamer)
                         Gina Pupo Walker, Executive Director of Family and Community Partnerships, Metro Nashville Public Schools and Board Member of Conexión Américas

    QUÉ:            Foro Publico --
                         "Beyond Immigration Reform: How Education is the Catalyst for Integration"
                         Patrocinador exclusivo, Comcast/NBS Universal/Telemundo a 10:30 a.m.

    CUÁNDO:    Sábado, 20 de julio de 2013, de 3:00 a 4:30 p.m. CDT

    DÓNDE:       Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
                          Riverside Rooms R02-R04
                          900 Convention Center Blvd.
                          New Orleans, LA 70130

    ###
     


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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA                                 Contacto:
    22 de julio de 2013                                                         Camila Gallardo
                                                                                        (305) 573-7329/(305) 215-4259
                                                                                        cgallardo@nclr.org
                                                                                        NCLR Conference Press Office
                                                                                        (504) 670-5602 (19-23 de julio)

     

    NEW ORLEANS-- El lunes 22 de julio de 2013, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Equal Rights Center (ERC, por sus siglas en inglés) revelaron un nuevo informe, "Puertas Cerradas: Barreras de Vivienda para los Hispanos", sobre las prácticas discriminatorias de vivienda en un taller durante la Conferencia Anual NCLR 2013 en New Orleans. La investigación sobre el tema de la vivienda justa -- encargada por NCLR y realizada por ERC en Birmingham, Alabama, Atlanta, Georgia, y San Antonio, Texas -- exploró el grado en que los latinos están sujetos a un trato desfavorable y diferenciado cuando se trata de conseguir una vivienda de alquiler o comprar una casa. La investigación utilizó una metodología "de comparación de datos", donde hispanos y blancos no hispanos teniendo perfiles prácticamente idénticos interactuaron con representantes de compañías de bienes raíces en diferentes escenarios. Los resultados arrojaron una visión crítica sobre cómo persisten las prácticas de discriminación contra los latinos en el mercado inmobiliario.

    "Dado que los hispanos se ven afectados desproporcionadamente por la crisis inmobiliaria y representan una importante porción de las víctimas de préstamos abusivos, es importante entender si su proceso de recuperación estaría siendo obstaculizado además por el tratamiento diferencial. Desafortunadamente, nuestra investigación puso de manifiesto que los latinos siguen lidiando con la discriminación en la búsqueda de adquisición y alquiler de viviendas -- discriminación prohibida por la Ley Federal de Vivienda Justa ", dijo Lindsay Daniels, Directora Asociada, Iniciativas de Viviendas y Creación de Riqueza de NCLR.

    Esta investigación sobre vivienda justa reveló que los latinos experimentaron al menos un tipo de trato desfavorable debido al trato diferencial de 95 entre las 225 pruebas (42%) que se realizaron en las tres ciudades. Tanto en San Antonio como en Atlanta, ERC realizó 50 investigaciones por teléfono y 25 entrevistas a personas. Para esta investigación se entrenaron personas que simulando tener interés en comprar viviendas se contactaron con representantes de inmobiliarias que en Internet tenían listas en línea . En Birmingham, las personas entrenadas por ERC se realizaron 75 entrevistas con agentes inmobiliarios sobre un apartamento listado para alquilar.

    Varios estados del sur con poblaciones hispanas de muy rápido crecimiento han luchado contra las más duras leyes anti-inmigrantes, como Georgia y Alabama. Como resultado de estas leyes se observa que en general se produjo un aumento de un sentimiento anti-latino, y más específicamente, en relación a la discriminación de viviendas. Los resultados de estas pruebas demuestran que los hispanos en Birmingham, Atlanta y San Antonio están experimentando uno o más de los siguientes tipos de trato diferencial y desfavorable en la búsqueda de vivienda:

       -- Los representantes de inmobiliarias estuvieron menos dispuestos o receptivos para establecer citas con los supuestos compradores o inquilinos hispanos que con los blancos.
       -- Los representantes de inmobiliarias ofrecieron menos opciones a los hispanos que a los blancos en relación a casas para la venta o al número de unidades disponibles para alquiler.
       -- Para las supuestas ventas, los agentes ofrecieron recomendaciones sobre préstamos u otras informaciones sobre financiamiento ventajoso a los candidatos blancos, pero no ofrecieron la misma información a los hispanos.

       -- Para las casas para alquilar, los vendedores cotizaron tarifas más altas, costos y/o requisitos de solicitud con mayores exigencias a los supuestos candidatos hispanos que a los blancos.
       -- En promedio, los agentes de las inmobiliarias siempre hicieron un contacto de seguimiento por teléfono o por correo electrónico a los supuestos candidatos blancos, pero no a los hispanos.

    "La Ley de Vivienda Justa prohíbe expresamente la discriminación basada en el origen nacional, esta discriminación no ha desaparecido, y hoy día esta situación se ha empeorado debido un clima político altamente cargado ", dijo el panelista Don Kahl, Director Ejecutivo de Equal Rights Center. "Este informe y las pruebas demuestran claramente que la comunidad latina sigue siendo descriminada. Es fundamental que se informe a la comunidad cómo identificar y reportar incidentes de discriminación y que la comunidad sepa que tiene defensores, como CEI, para ayudarlos a maniobrar a través del proceso”.

    "Una creciente comunidad latina en New Orleans ha ayudado a jugar un papel importante en la reconstrucción de la ciudad después del huracán Katrina. Necesitamos asegurarles que no los abandonaremos sino que seguiremos ofreciendo nuestra ayuda para contribuir al enriquecimiento de nuestras comunidades. Aún más cuando la comunidad latina está siendo sometida a un trato injusto o desigual en el mercado inmobiliario ", dijo el panelista James Perry, Director Ejecutivo del Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.

    En el taller de hoy, un panel de expertos en vivienda dio a conocer las conclusiones del informe y se hizo hincapié sobre la intersección importante de las leyes de vivienda justa y la discriminación contra los inmigrantes. El panel también proporcionó información crítica sobre cómo los participantes pueden trabajar para crear más conciencia sobre la discriminación de viviendas justas en sus propias comunidades y presentar demandas cuando ocurran violaciones por discriminación de viviendas.

    El Consejo Nacional de la Raza (NCLR) es la organización nacional más grande de apoyo y defensa de los derechos civiles en los Estados Unidos que trabaja para mejorar las oportunidades de los hispano-americanos. Para mayor información sobre NCLR, visite www.nclr.org o síganos en Facebook y Twitter. Siga las conversaciones de la Conferencia Anual NCLR 2013 en #NCLR13 de Twitter.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                Contact:
    July 22, 2013                                                                                                      Camila Gallardo
                                                                                                                             (305) 573-7329/(305) 215-4259
                                                                                                                             cgallardo@nclr.org
                                                                                                                             NCLR Conference Press Office
                                                                                                                             (504) 670-5602 (July 19-23)


    NEW ORLEANS—On Monday, July 22, 2013, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and the ERC (Equal Rights Center) unveiled a new report, “Puertas Cerradas: Housing Barriers for Hispanics,” on discriminatory housing practices at a workshop during the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans. The fair housing investigation—commissioned by NCLR and conducted by ERC in Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and San Antonio, Texas—explored the extent to which Latinos are subject to adverse and differential treatment when trying to secure rental housing or buy a home. The investigation utilized a “matched pair” methodology, where Hispanic and White non-Hispanic testers with virtually identical profiles interacted with housing agents in a variety of scenarios. The results provide critical insights into how discrimination practices against Latinos persist in the housing market.

    “Given that Hispanics were disproportionately affected by the housing crash and represented a significant portion of those victimized by predatory lending, it was important to understand if their recovery process was being impeded further by differential treatment. Unfortunately, our investigation discovered that Latinos are still contending with discrimination in their home and rental search—discrimination that is prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act,” said Lindsay Daniels, Associate Director, Housing and Wealth-Building Initiatives, NCLR.

    This fair housing investigation revealed that Latino testers experienced at least one type of adverse, differential treatment in 95 of the 225 tests (42%) that were conducted in the three cities. In both San Antonio and Atlanta, the ERC conducted 50 phone tests and 25 in-person tests, in which trained testers contacted real estate agents about buying a home that had an online listing. In Birmingham, the ERC conducted 75 in-person tests, in which trained ERC testers contacted housing providers about an apartment listed for rent.

    Several southern states with the fastest-growing Hispanic populations have pursued the harshest anti-immigrant laws, including Georgia and Alabama. These laws have resulted in a rise in anti-Latino sentiment generally, and more specifically, in housing discrimination. The results of these tests demonstrate that Hispanics in Birmingham, Atlanta and San Antonio are experiencing one or more of the following types of adverse, differential treatment when looking for housing:

       –Housing agents were less willing or receptive to schedule an appointment with Hispanic testers than they were with their matched White testers.
       –Agents provided Hispanic testers with fewer options than their matched White testers in terms of other homes for sale or number of units available for rent.
       –In sales tests, agents provided White testers with lender recommendations or other advantageous financing information that was not provided to their matched Hispanic testers.
       –In rental tests, agents quoted higher fees, costs and/or more extensive application requirements to Hispanic testers than to their matched White testers.
       –On average, agents provided follow-up contact via phone or email to the White testers but not to their matched Hispanic testers.

    “While the Fair Housing Act expressly prohibits discrimination based on national origin, this discrimination has not gone away, and in today’s highly charged political climate, it has gotten worse,” said panelist Don Kahl, Executive Director, Equal Rights Center. “This report and its underlying testing clearly show that the Latino community continues to be targeted. It is critical that the community is informed about how to identify and report incidents of discrimination and that the community knows that there are advocates, such as the ERC, to help them maneuver through the process.”

    “A growing Latino community has helped play an important part in rebuilding a post-Katrina New Orleans. We need to ensure that they are not being kept from helping to enrich our communities further because they are being subjected to unfair or unequal treatment in the housing market,” said panelist James Perry, Executive Director, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.

    At today’s workshop, a panel of housing experts unveiled the report’s findings and addressed the important intersection of fair housing laws and discrimination against immigrants. The panel also provided critical information for how attendees can work to create more awareness about fair housing discrimination within their own communities and file fair housing complaints when violations occur.

    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the conversation about the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference on Twitter at #NCLR13.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    A call for congressional action on immigration reform reverberated throughout the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Monday, July 22, as discussion turned to the road ahead for reform on the third day of the 2013 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Annual Conference. The town hall “Immigration: The Moral, Economic, and Political Imperatives for Winning Reform,” headlined by Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D–IL), brought together leading experts, advocates and political strategists—including Julie Kitka, President of the Alaska Federation of Natives; Ana Navarro, Republican Political Strategist; Joe Trauger, Vice President of Human Resources Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers; and Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief—to make the case for reform and to discuss the multifaceted efforts underway to get Congress to deliver real solutions.

    “We have won an historic battle, but we have not yet won the war. The House of Representatives presents a different political dynamic, and the push in that chamber to secure real reform will be difficult,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “To those in the House who currently oppose reforming our immigration system, I offer this: we have a bill that provides a bipartisan approach, has bipartisan support and balances the complex arguments from both sides. It’s time for you to vote.”

    Rep. Gutiérrez echoed this sentiment, adding that he expects the House to swiftly take up the issue after they return from recess.

    “I am very confident about our chances for immigration reform, even if the road ahead looks difficult sometimes,” said Gutiérrez. “We have unity among Democrats like I have never seen before, and there are dozens and dozens of Republicans who will vote with us to resolve this issue in a bipartisan manner. This August, when members of Congress are home and holding town halls, they are going to hear from business owners, farmers, faith leaders and the broad cross-section of Americans inside and outside of the Latino community who support reform.

    “The current immigration system is just a mess, and we have got to address the deportations, the breaking up of families and the harm our current system does to the U.S. economy,” Gutiérrez continued. “I think there will be a new spirit and a new urgency this fall to complete the work that the Senate started and the country strongly supports.”

    While the path that the House of Representatives will take on this issue remains uncertain, the panelists agreed that blocking immigration reform cannot be an option.

    “Latino voters created a game-changing moment last November and have continued to be intensely engaged in this effort. And we are not alone,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement at NCLR, who moderated the panel discussion. “Every facet of America is represented among the forces pushing for immigration reform—business, labor, agriculture, farmworkers, civil rights and faith organizations, progressive and conservative. And together we can reach every congressional district. Reform is within sight—where there's a will, there's a way, and together we will build the space for solutions to emerge.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    Concluding four days of thought-provoking dialogue among the nation’s most influential Latino activists, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) President and CEO Janet Murguía recognized the winners of the institution’s national awards at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala was the closing event of the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference, which ran from July 20 to July 23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Six awards were presented in honor of individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary accomplishments, both in their fields and in service to the U.S. Hispanic community.

    This year’s winners include NCLR Affiliate Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit community organization based in Austin, Texas; Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA; Salvador Longoria, New Orleans attorney and community activist, as well as Founder and Board Chair of Puentes New Orleans, an NCLR Affiliate; Rocsi Diaz of Entertainment Tonight and Founder of the RocStar Foundation; Minnie Miñoso, baseball legend and former Chicago White Sox player; and Luis Ubiñas, President of the Ford Foundation.

    “We congratulate this year’s awardees and thank them for their vision, hard work and dedication. They stand as a testament to the diverse, rich contributions of Latinos to this great nation. I look forward to the opportunity each year at the NCLR Awards Gala to honor and highlight the achievements of outstanding leaders serving the Latino community,” said Murguía.

    This year’s awardees:

    Southwest Key Programs, the recipient of NCLR’s Affiliate of the Year Award, is a private, nonprofit organization that provides transformative education, innovative safe shelters and alternatives to incarceration for youth while creating opportunities for their families to become self-sufficient in Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, Texas and Wisconsin. Southwest Key Programs’ El Centro de Familia—a 30,000-square-foot facility in the heart of East Austin—is home to programs and initiatives that include advocacy efforts, voter registration, workforce development, health and wellness initiatives, social business enterprises, a community technology center, East Austin College Prep (an NCLR Affiliate), a Boys & Girls Club, adult literacy and education programs, youth empowerment services and cultural arts programs.

    For 25 years, Southwest Key Programs has demonstrated exemplary progress in fulfilling the needs of Latinos and ensuring their access to the American Dream. The Affiliate of the Year Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an Affiliate for exemplary nonprofit management, service to its community and active engagement in and promotion of NCLR’s programmatic and advocacy initiatives.

    Anna Maria Chávez, a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and its first Latina CEO, received the Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award. As CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Chávez leads the largest organization for girls in the world, with 3.2 million members who take pride in the 100-year-old organization’s commitment to developing leadership potential for its girls. Chávez embodies the courage, confidence and character that girl scouting builds through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy and outdoor and environmental awareness. She holds a Juris Doctor from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in American history from Yale University. Before joining the Girl Scouts, Chávez was Deputy Chief of Staff for Urban Relations and Community Development under Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona and current U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

    NCLR presents the Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award annually to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to promoting the interests of Hispanic Americans. From her humble beginnings in the small town of Eloy, Ariz., to a lifetime of public service, Anna Maria Chávez is a leader that the entire Hispanic community can be proud of. Just as Graciela Olivarez was a trailblazer not only for Latinas but also for women at large, Chávez’s lifelong work has helped to empower young women to maximize their potential.

    The Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership was presented to Salvador Longoria, an attorney and community activist in New Orleans and Founder and Board Chair of the local nonprofit organization Puentes New Orleans, NCLR’s only Affiliate in Louisiana. While Longoria has led a successful private law practice as a partner in Gaudin & Longoria, he has also lent his talents to Latino families interested in opening small businesses or completing immigration paperwork, enabling them to pursue the same American Dream that he began when he arrived from Havana during the Aerial Bridge phase of the Cuban Migration to the U.S. A graduate of the Loyola University College of Law, he continues to serve his alma mater as a member of its president’s council and alumni association board of directors.

    Salvador Longoria has passionately and energetically served the Hispanic community and New Orleans metropolitan area for decades, working on behalf of the elderly, refugees, prisoners and immigration detainees. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, he helped fuel the growth and success of Puentes New Orleans by uniting leaders around the needs of the Latino community and the new immigrants who arrived to help rebuild the city. The Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership recognizes those who have worked for the betterment of the Hispanic community at the grassroots level and whose leadership has served as a source of strength and support to the Hispanic community.

    Raquel “Rocsi” Diaz, the weekend co-host and daily correspondent for the CBS show Entertainment Tonight, received the Ruben Salazar Award for Communications. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and raised in New Orleans, Rocsi is recognizable to television audiences in 85 countries around the globe who have enjoyed BET’s flagship show, 106 & Park, which Rocsi co-anchored after winning BET’s “New Faces” contest in 2006.

    Rocsi’s career has skyrocketed since she left New Orleans, but she has never forgotten the Crescent City where she was raised. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated her hometown, she used her network, resources and popularity to help the victims of the storm and founded the RocStar Foundation when she learned that the schools in which she had grown up and learned were destroyed. She collaborated with other stars on a charity benefit to raise money for her alma mater, West Jefferson High School, and hopes to expand the RocStar Foundation to help build schools around the world, especially in third-world countries such as Honduras and throughout Africa.

    New generations look to Rocsi as a role model. By opening doors for Latinas in spaces like 106 & Park and Entertainment Tonight, where Latino faces have not always been dominant, she is breaking down walls and carving new opportunities for aspiring journalists of all backgrounds. The Ruben Salazar Award for Communications is given to an individual who has dedicated his or her professional life to portraying issues, concerns, and/or news relevant to contemporary Hispanic America and promoting the positive contributions that Latinos have made to U.S. society.

    The Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence went to Minnie Miñoso, baseball legend and former Chicago White Sox player. Born in Cuba, Miñoso changed history in 1949 when he became the first black Latino in Major League Baseball (MLB) when he joined the Cleveland Indians. He is considered by many to be the Latin American Jackie Robinson. While 54 Latinos had played in the league before him, Miñoso was the first Afro-Latino to earn a spot on an MLB team. He remains one of two people in history to have played in the MLB for five decades, spanning from the first time he picked up a bat as a Cleveland Indian in 1949 to his last game with the White Sox on October 5, 1980.

    His mark on Cuban history is indisputable, and his legend still inspires young beisbolistas. In the spirit of Roberto Clemente, Mike Cuellar and other Latino baseball greats, Miñoso opened the doors of opportunity for communities of color in American professional sports, and he continues to be a role model for generations of baseball lovers throughout the nation. Beyond the field, Miñoso gave his time and name to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and became a worldwide ambassador for the White Sox, supporting charities and team philanthropic efforts. The Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence is presented to an individual renowned in the world of sports and committed to the advancement of Hispanic Americans.

    The Raul Yzaguirre President’s Award was given to Luis Ubiñas, President of the Ford Foundation, the second-largest philanthropy in the United States with over $10.5 billion in assets and $500 million in annual giving. Ubiñas has supported the work of nonprofits all over the world and has built a program strategy focused on increasing the participation of poor and marginalized individuals and communities in society’s economic, social and political opportunities.

    The collaboration between the Ford Foundation and NCLR began in 1968 when the Southwest Council of La Raza—which would eventually become NCLR—was founded with the support of a $150,000 Ford Foundation planning grant. Since then, the Foundation has been one of NCLR’s most ardent supporters and a committed ally in advancing the Latino community economically and socially. Ubiñas recognized early on how demographic growth was changing our country and understood the importance of Latino institutions helping to lead the way in this new America. He also understood how vital it was for Latinos to seize this special moment in time, engage in civic life, take leadership positions, raise their voices and vote. Under Ubiñas’s stewardship, NCLR was able to boost civic empowerment among Latinos, expand its reach into key states and sustain its public policy projects that cover issues such as civil rights, criminal justice, economic mobility, education, health, immigration and wealth-building.
    The Ford Foundation has supported NCLR from its humble beginnings to its empowered present. Its belief in NCLR and the Latino community has been steadfast, and with Luis Ubiñas as the Foundation’s leader, NCLR will securely remain at the forefront of the issues that matter to Hispanic Americans. The Raul Yzaguirre President’s Award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has shown outstanding support for NCLR’s mission, goals and philosophy.

    The NCLR Awards Gala was cosponsored this year by Amtrak, Ford Motor Company, Southwest Airlines, UPS and Walmart.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Después de cuatro días de diálogo reflexivo entre los activistas latinos más influyentes del país, Janet Murguía, presidenta y directora general del NCLR (Consejo Nacional de La Raza), reconoció a los ganadores de los premios nacionales de la institución en su Gala de Premios anual. La Gala fue el evento de clausura de la Conferencia Anual 2013 del NCLR que tomo lugar del 20 al 23 de Julio en el Centro de Convenciones Ernest N. Morial en New Orleans. Se presentaron seis premios en honor de las personas y organizaciones que han demostrado logros ejemplares, tanto en sus campos como en el servicio a la comunidad hispana de EE.UU.

    Los ganadores de este año incluyeron a: el afiliado del NCLR Southwest Key Programs, una organización no lucrativa con sede en Austin, Texas; María Chávez, directora general de Girl Scouts of America; Salvador Longoria, abogado de New Orleans y activista comunitario, así como fundador y presidente de la Junta Directiva de Puentes New Orleans, un afiliado del NCLR; Rocsi Díaz de Entertainment Tonight y fundadora de la Fundación RocStar; Minnie Miñoso, beisbolista legendario y exjugador de Chicago White Sox; y Luis Ubiñas, presidente de la Fundación Ford.

    “Felicitamos a los ganadores de este año y les agradecemos su visión, ardua labor y dedicación. Ellos son representantes de las diversas e importantes contribuciones de los latinos a este gran país. Espero cada año tener la oportunidad en la Gala de Premios del NCLR de honrar y destacar los logros de los extraordinarios líderes que sirven a la comunidad latina”, dijo Murguía.

    Los ganadores de los premios de este año son:

    Southwest Key Programs, receptor del premio Afiliado del Año del NCLR, es una organización privada no lucrativa que proporciona educación transformadora, albergues innovadores y seguros y alternativas al encarcelamiento de jóvenes, al mismo tiempo que crea oportunidades para que sus familias lleguen a ser autosuficientes en los estados de Arizona, California, Georgia, Nueva York, Texas y Wisconsin.

    El Centro de Familia de Southwest Key Programs —una instalación de 30,000 pies cuadrados en el corazón del este de Austin—es sede de programas e iniciativas que incluyen trabajo de abogacía comunitaria, registro de votantes, desarrollo de la fuerza laboral, iniciativas de salud y bienestar, emprendimiento social, centro comunitario de tecnología, East Austin College Prep (un afiliado del NCLR), club para niños y niñas, alfabetización de adultos y programas educativos, servicios de capacitación de la juventud y programas de arte culturales.

    Por 25 años, Southwest Key Programs ha demostrado un avance ejemplar en satisfacer las necesidades de los latinos y en asegurar que estos tengan acceso al sueño americano. El Afiliado del Año es el honor más alto otorgado a una organización afiliada por su ejemplar gestión no lucrativa, servicio a su comunidad, y para reconocer la participación activa de la misma en la promoción de las iniciativas programáticas y de apoyo del NCLR.

    Anna María Chávez, miembro de toda una vida de Girl Scouts of the United States of America y su primera directora general latina, recibió el Premio Graciela Olivarez La Raza. Como directora general de Girl Scouts of the USA, Chávez dirige la organización más grande de niñas del mundo, con 3.2 millones de orgullosas miembros en sus 100 años de compromiso al desarrollo del potencial de liderazgo. Chávez personifica el valor, la confianza y el carácter que ayuda a reafirmar las Girl Scouts a través de actividades relacionadas con la ciencia y la tecnología, conocimiento de negocios y economía, y concientización del medio ambiente y del exterior. Tiene un Doctorado en Jurisprudencia de la facultad de derecho James E. Rogers de la Universidad del Estado de Arizona y una licenciatura en Historia Estadounidense de la Universidad de Yale. Antes de unirse a las Girl Scouts, Chávez fue subjefa de personal de relaciones urbanas y desarrollo comunitario bajo la dirección de Janet Napolitano, exgobernadora de Arizona y actual Secretaria de Seguridad Nacional de EE.UU.

    El NCLR otorga anualmente el Premio Graciela Olivarez La Raza a una persona u organización que haya contribuido considerablemente a la promoción de los intereses de los estadounidenses de origen hispano. Desde su humilde comienzo en el pequeño pueblo de Eloy en Arizona, hasta toda una vida de servicio público, Anna María Chávez es una líder que enorgullece a la comunidad hispana. Así como Graciela Olivarez fue una pionera no sólo para la mujer latina sino para las mujeres en general, la labor de toda la vida de Chávez ha ayudado a potenciar a las jóvenes para maximizar su potencial.

    El Premio al Liderazgo Maclovio Barraza se otorgó a Salvador Longoria, abogado y activista comunitario de Nueva Orleans y fundador y presidente de la Junta Directiva de la organización local no lucrativa Puentes New Orleans, el único afiliado del NCLR en Louisiana. Mientras Longoria ha tenido una exitosa carrera de abogado como socio de Gaudin & Longoria, también ha prestado su talento a las familias latinas interesadas en abrir una pequeña empresa o llenar las planillas de inmigración, permitiéndoles perseguir el sueño americano, mismo que él persiguió cuando llegó de La Habana durante la fase de puente aéreo de la emigración cubana hacia los EE.UU. Graduado de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Loyola, continua sirviendo a su alma máter como miembro de la asociación de exalumnos y consejo del presidente de su Junta Directiva.

    Por décadas, Salvador Longoria ha servido con pasión y energía a la comunidad hispana y área metropolitana de Nueva Orleans, trabajando en nombre de las personas mayores, refugiados, prisioneros e inmigrantes detenidos. Poco después del huracán Katrina, ayudó a impulsar el crecimiento y el éxito de Puentes New Orleans, uniendo líderes en torno a las necesidades de la comunidad latina y los nuevos inmigrantes que llegaron para ayudar a reconstruir la ciudad.

    El Premio al Liderazgo Maclovio Barraza reconoce a aquellos que han trabajado por el mejoramiento de la comunidad hispana a nivel local y cuyo liderazgo ha servido como fuente de fortaleza y apoyo para dicha comunidad.

    Raquel “Rocsi” Díaz, la copresentadora de fin de semana y corresponsal diaria del programa Entertainment Tonight de la cadena CBS, recibió el Premio de Comunicaciones Rubén Salazar. Nacida en Tegucigalpa, Honduras, y criada en Nueva Orleans, Rocsi es reconocida por los televidentes de 85 países que han disfrutado del programa principal de BET, 106 & Park, el cual Rocsi copresentó después de ganar el concurso “New Faces” de BET en 2006.

    La carrera de Rocsi despego después de su salida de New Orleans, pero nunca se ha olvidado la ciudad donde se crió. En 2005, cuando el huracán Katrina devastó su ciudad, utilizó su red, recursos y popularidad para ayudar a las victimas de la tormenta y fundó la Fundación RocStar cuando se enteró de que las escuelas en la área donde se crió y estudió quedaron destruidas. Colaboró con otras celebridades en una obra para recaudar fondos para su alma máter, la preparatoria West Jefferson, y espera ampliar la Fundación RocStar para ayudar a construir escuelas en todo el mundo, especialmente en países del tercer mundo como Honduras y países del África.

    Las nuevas generaciones ven en Rocsi un modelo a seguir. Abriendo puertas para los latinos en espacios como 106 & Park y Entertainment Tonight, donde los rostros latinos no siempre han dominado, ella está derribando paredes y forjando nuevas oportunidades para los aspirantes a periodistas de todos los orígenes. El Premio de Comunicaciones Rubén Salazar se otorga a una persona que haya dedicado su vida profesional a resaltar en un foro público los problemas, preocupaciones y/o noticias relevantes para los estadounidenses de origen hispano, así como a promover las contribuciones positivas que los latinos han hecho a la sociedad estadounidense.

    El Premio de Excelencia en el Deporte Roberto Clemente fue otorgado a Minnie Miñoso, el legendario beisbolista y exjugador de Chicago White Sox. Nacido en Cuba, Miñoso cambió la historia en 1949 cuando se unió a los Indios de Cleveland y se convirtió en el primer hispano de color que jugara en las Grandes Ligas de Béisbol (MLB, por sus siglas en inglés). Es considerado por muchos como el Jackie Robinson latinoamericano. 54 latinos habían jugado en la liga antes que él, pero Miñoso fue el primer latino de color en lograr un lugar en un equipo de la MLB.
    Sigue siendo una de las dos personas en la historia que han jugado en la MLB por cinco décadas, desde la primera vez que tomó un bate como un Cleveland Indian en 1949 hasta su último juego con los White Sox el 5 de octubre del 1980.

    Su marca en la historia cubana es indisputable y su leyenda todavía inspira a los jóvenes beisbolistas. En el espíritu de Roberto Clemente, Mike Cuellar y otros grandes del béisbol latino, Miñoso abrió las puertas de la oportunidad a las comunidades de color en los deportes profesionales estadounidenses, y sigue siendo un modelo a seguir para las generaciones de amantes del béisbol de todo el país. Más allá del campo, Miñoso dio su tiempo y nombre a la Fundación de Cystic Fibrosis y se convirtió en un embajador mundial de los White Sox, apoyando obras benéficas y esfuerzos filantrópicos del equipo.
    El Premio de Excelencia en el Deporte Roberto Clemente se otorga a una persona de renombre en el mundo del deporte y que esté comprometida con el progreso de los estadounidenses de origen hispano.

    El Premio del Presidente Raúl Yzaguirre fue otorgado a Luis Ubiñas, presidente de la Fundación Ford. La segunda entidad filantrópica más grande de los Estados Unidos con más de $10.5 mil millones de activos y $500 millones de donaciones anuales. Ubiñas ha apoyado el trabajo de las organizaciones no lucrativas de todo el mundo, y ha creado un programa enfocado estratégicamente a aumentar la participación de personas y comunidades pobres y marginadas en las oportunidades económicas, sociales y políticas de la sociedad.

    La colaboración entre la Fundación Ford y el NCLR comenzó en 1968 cuando el Southwest Council of La Raza —que luego llegará a ser el NCLR— se fundó con el apoyo de la subvención de planificación de $150,000 de la Fundación Ford. Desde entonces, la Fundación ha sido uno de los partidarios más apasionados y aliado comprometido en el progreso económico y social de la comunidad latina. Ubiñas reconoció desde el principio cómo el crecimiento demográfico estaba cambiando en nuestro país y entendió la importancia de que las instituciones latinas ayuden a guiar el camino en este nuevo Estados Unidos. También comprendió lo importante que era para los latinos aprovechar este momento tan especial, aumentando su participación cívica, sus puestos de liderazgo, alzando sus voces y votando. Bajo la administración de Ubiñas, el NCLR pudo potenciar la participación cívica entre los latinos, extender su alcance a los estados clave y sostener sus proyectos de política pública que cubren asuntos tales como los derechos civiles, justicia criminal, movilidad económica, educación, salud, inmigración y construcción de bienes.

    La Fundación Ford ha apoyado al NCLR desde su humilde comienzo hasta hoy día. Su confianza en el NCLR y en la comunidad latina ha sido firme, y con Luis Ubiñas como líder de la Fundación, el NCLR se mantendrá de forma segura al frente de los asuntos que más les importan a los estadounidenses de origen hispano. El Premio del Presidente Raúl Yzaguirre se otorga cada año a aquella persona u organización que ha demostrado su apoyo extraordinario a la misión, metas y filosofía del NCLR.

    La Gala de Entrega de Premios del NCLR fue copatrocinada este año por Amtrak, Ford Motor Company, Southwest Airlines, UPS y Walmart.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    NCLR (National Council of La Raza) presented the 2013 Affiliate of the Year Award to Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas, that helps Latinos build a brighter future through the 55 programs it operates in six states. Southwest Key Programs, the fifth-largest Hispanic-led nonprofit in the U.S., was recognized on July 23 at the Awards Gala, the closing event of the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference held in New Orleans.

    “We are pleased to recognize this exemplary organization with the NCLR Affiliate of the Year Award and honor their dedication to the Latino community. NCLR’s work would not be possible without strong partnerships with community organizations who share our vision for empowering Hispanic Americans. There is no stronger advocate for Latino youth and no stronger advocate for NCLR Affiliates than Southwest Key Programs and its Founder and CEO, Dr. Juan Sanchez. He has been a personal mentor to me and I’m truly inspired by his leadership,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR.
    The Affiliate of the Year Award, sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, is the highest honor bestowed on an NCLR Affiliate for its exemplary work in empowering the Latino community and advancing the mission of NCLR. Presented annually, the award provides NCLR with an opportunity to showcase the achievements of the winning Affiliate and the positive impact it has made on the lives of Latinos.

    Founded in 1987, Southwest Key Programs, is a private, nonprofit organization that provides transformative education, innovative safe shelters and alternatives to incarceration for youth while creating opportunities for their families to become self-sufficient in Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, Texas and Wisconsin. Southwest Key Programs’ El Centro de Familia is home to programs and initiatives that include advocacy efforts, voter registration, workforce development, health and wellness initiatives, social business enterprises, a community technology center, East Austin College Prep (an NCLR Affiliate), a Boys & Girls Club, adult literacy and education programs, youth empowerment services and cultural arts programs. Southwest Key Programs has been a member of NCLR’s Affiliate Network since 1995 and has leveraged its expertise to support, guide and advance NCLR’s programmatic and advocacy initiatives.

    "It is heartwarming and gratifying to receive NCLR’s Affiliate of the Year Award, and especially humbling knowing that there are so many worthy Affiliates throughout the country doing great work for our Latino communities,” said Dr. Juan Sanchez, El Presidente/CEO, Southwest Key Programs. “For 25 years, Southwest Key has held a commitment to not only empower the people we serve, but also ensure that our staff reflect that community. Thanks to NCLR and the Ford Motor Company, this generous award will help us continue our mission of opening doors to opportunity so that individuals can achieve their dreams."

    In addition to honoring Southwest Key Programs—an Affiliate in NCLR’s Texas Region—with a $25,000 cash award, NCLR recognized Regional Awardees from its Affiliate Network. Each honoree was presented with a $5,000 cash award on Monday, July 22, at the Affiliate Leadership Breakfast. The 2013 Regional Awardees included:

    TODEC Legal Center (Perris, CA), California Affiliate of the Year
    Mi Casa Resource Center (Denver, CO), Far West Affiliate of the Year
    Latino Community Development Agency (Oklahoma City, OK), Midwest Affiliate of the Year
    Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (Philadelphia, PA), Northeast Affiliate of the Year
    Latino Memphis (Memphis, TN), Southeast Affiliate of the Year

    “We applaud the work being done by Southwest Key Programs to help Latino youth overcome challenges and become productive, well-rounded individuals,” said Joe Avila, Community Outreach Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “This work is critical, not only for the success of the individuals involved, but also for the future of our country.”

    About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
    Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and American heritage and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    El Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) otorgó el Premio de Afiliado del Año 2013 a Southwest Key Programs, una organización sin fines de lucro con sede en Austin, Texas. A través de 55 programas que operan en seis estados, la organización ayuda a capacitar a los latinos para que construyan un mejor futuro. Southwest Key Programs, la quinta organización hispana más grande en los EE.UU., fue reconocida el 23 de julio durante la Gala de Premios, evento de clausura de la Conferencia Anual del NCLR 2013 realizada en New Orleans.

    “Nos complace reconocer a esta organización ejemplar y otorgarle el Premio de Afiliado del Año y, de esta manera, honrar su dedicación a la comunidad latina. La labor del NCLR no sería posible sin contar con la enorme colaboración de organizaciones de la comunidad que comparten nuestra visión de capacitar a los latinoamericanos. No existe un líder que defienda con mayor empeño a la juventud latina ni un defensor de nuestra red de organizaciones afiliadas más fuerte que el Fundador y CEO de Southwest Key Programs, Dr. Juan Sánchez. Para mí, él ha sido un mentor personal y su liderazgo realmente me ha servido de inspiración", dijo Janet Murguía, Presidenta y CEO del NCLR.

    El Premio de Afiliado del Año, patrocinado por Ford Motor Company Fund, es el honor más alto que NCLR otorga a uno de sus afiliados por su trabajo ejemplar en la capacitación de la comunidad latina y en llevar hacia delante la misión de NCLR. Cada año NCLR otorga este premio para recalcar el impacto positivo que dicha organización ha tenido en la vida de los latinos.

    Southwest Key Programs, fundada en 1987, es una organización privada y sin fines de lucro que opera programas de educación para lograr un cambio total en las vidas de los jóvenes, ofrece refugios seguros e innovadores y otras alternativas para evitar el encarcelamiento de jóvenes mientras que, al mismo tiempo, crea oportunidades para que sus familias puedan ser autosuficientes. La organización tiene su sede principal en Austin y además brinda sus servicios en Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, Texas y Wisconsin. El Centro de Familia de Southwest Key Programs alberga programas e iniciativas que abarcan actividades de abogacía comunitaria, registro de votantes, desarrollo de la fuerza laboral, servicios del cuidado de la salud, bienestar social, empresas establecidas para lograr objetivos sociales, un centro tecnológico comunitario, East Austin College Prep (un afiliado del NCLR) , un Boys and Girls Club, educación para adultos, servicios que incentivan la capacitación juvenil, y programas educacionales sobre artes culturales. Southwest Key Programs ha sido miembro de la Red de Afiliados de NCLR (NCLR’s Affiliate Network) desde 1995 y ha aprovechado su experiencia para apoyar, orientar y fomentar iniciativas programáticas y de promoción de NCLR.

    "Es muy gratificante recibir el Premio del Año de Afiliado de NCLR, y me siento muy agradecido de recibir este honor especialmente al saber que hay tantos otros Afiliados dignos en todo el país trabajando arduamente a favor de nuestras comunidades latinas", dijo Dr. Juan Sánchez, Presidente y CEO de Southwest Key Programs. “Durante 25 años, Southwest Key ha mantenido el compromiso de no sólo capacitar a las personas a las cuales servimos sino de también asegurarse que nuestros empleados reflejen esa comunidad. Gracias al NCLR y a Ford Motor Company por este generoso premio que nos ayudará a continuar nuestra misión de abrir las puertas de oportunidad para que las personas puedan alcanzar sus sueños".

    Además de honrar a Southwest Key Programs—un Afiliado de NCLR de la Región de Texas—con un premio en efectivo de $25,000, NCLR otorgó Premios Regionales a organizaciones dentro de su Red de Afiliados. Cada ganador regional recibió un premio en efectivo de $5,000 el lunes 22 de julio durante el Desayuno de Líderes Afiliados. Los ganadores de los Premios Regionales 2013 incluyen:

    TODEC Legal Center (Perris, CA), Afiliado del Año de California
    Mi Casa Resource Center (Denver, CO), Afiliado del Año del Oeste
    Latino Community Development Agency (Oklahoma City, OK), Afiliado del Año del Medio Oeste
    Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (Philadelphia, PA), Afiliado del Año del Noreste
    Latino Memphis (Memphis, TN), Afiliado del Año del Sudeste

    “Aplaudimos el trabajo que Southwest Key Programs está realizando para ayudar a los jóvenes latinos a que superen sus retos y sean miembros productivos y capacitados de nuestra sociedad," dijo Joe Avila, Gerente de Relaciones Comunitarias de Ford Motor Company Fund. “Este trabajo es fundamental no sólo para el éxito de los individuos que participan en los programas, sino también para el futuro de nuestra nación”.

    Acerca de Ford Motor Company Fund y sus Servicios Comunitarios
    Ford Motor Company Fund y Community Services trabaja con organizaciones aliadas comunitarias para promover la seguridad en las carreteras, educación, el patrimonio cultural, y el desarrollo de la vida comunitaria. Ford Motor Company Fund ha operado por más de 60 años con fondos proporcionados por Ford Motor Company. El programa que otorga el premio Ford Driving Skills for Life enseña a los conductores nuevos a conducir mediante una serie de métodos prácticos e interactivos. La innovación en la educación se fomenta a través de programas que mejoran el aprendizaje en la escuela secundaria y proporciona becas y subvenciones para estudios universitarios. Cada año, a través del Cuerpo de Voluntarios de Ford más de 25,000 empleados y jubilados de Ford trabajan en proyectos para mejorar sus comunidades en 30 países. Para obtener más información, visite http://community.ford.com.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    Attendees polled at 2013 NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans

    As the fate of comprehensive immigration reform rests in the hands of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, a new straw poll of more than 1,000 attendees at the 2013 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Annual Conference shows near-unanimous support for the passage of this legislation. Approximately 95 percent of respondents said it is important to them that immigration reform is passed in 2013, a sentiment that was shared regardless of political affiliation. Overall, 91 percent of Democrat, 90 percent of independent and 82 percent of Republican attendees see passage of legislation this year as very important.

    “This survey echoes what we have seen in poll after poll—no matter their party ID, demographics or geography, Americans want their elected officials to fix the country’s broken immigration system and provide a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans. America deserves a vote,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Simply put, passing immigration reform this year is in the best interest of our country. This legislation will be a boon to our still-recovering economy and bring stability to the social fabric of our communities, as well as the American workforce.”

    The straw poll, conducted in partnership with Lake Research Partners and Revolution Messaging via text message, also showed high levels of engagement with this issue among attendees. More than 60 percent of respondents are following how their members of Congress vote on immigration reform. And the political ramifications for members of Congress who fail to back comprehensive immigration reform are even clearer: 97 percent of attendees confirm that they will be more likely to support politicians who get in line behind this legislation.

    “Latinos are watching what’s happening on Capitol Hill very closely. They will certainly remember who is fighting to preserve failed policies that serve no one, and who is working to serve our national interests by delivering an effective solution on immigration,” added Murguía. “We are a strong and growing political force in this country, and we are prepared to be the voice for those who are silenced by the fear and uncertainty of our broken immigration system. The Senate has provided a model for how to move forward on this issue through bipartisanship and compromise—it’s time for the House to follow suit.”

    Latinos throughout the U.S. are calling and visiting their members of Congress and will continue to engage in a constant drumbeat of activity to push immigration reform to the finish line. Nearly half (47 percent) of attendees reported having already contacted their members of Congress to urge them to pass reform, and almost four in ten (37%) say they plan to do so.

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    PARA DIVULGACIÓN INMEDIATA

    Contacto:

    Camila Gallardo
    (305) 215-4259
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    Sondeo tomado en la Conferencia Anual del 2013 entre participantes del evento en New Orleans

    Mientras que el destino de la reforma migratoria ha quedado en manos de un Congreso controlado por los Republicanos, un nuevo sondeo tomado entre los 1,000 participantes en la Conferencia Anual 2013 del Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés) demuestra casi unánime apoyo para la aprobación de esta legislación. Aproximadamente el 95 por ciento de los encuestados señalaron que es muy importante para ellos que la reforma migratoria se apruebe en 2013; un sentimiento que se compartía entre personas que se identificaban con diferentes partidos. Más del 91 por ciento de los Demócratas apoyan la reforma, 90 por ciento de los Independientes, y el 82 por ciento de los Republicanos.

    “Este sondeo refuerza lo que hemos visto en encuesta tras encuesta—que independientemente de la identificación política, demográfica, o geografía, los estadounidenses quieren que sus oficiales electos arreglen el sistema migratorio y construyan un camino hacia la ciudadanía para quienes deseen hacerse ciudadanos de los EE.UU. Nuestro país merece un voto”, dijo Janet Murguía, Presidenta y Gerente General del NCLR. “Sencillamente, pasar una reforma migratoria este año es para el mejor interés de nuestro país. Esta legislación será una ayuda tremenda a nuestra economía en recuperación y traerá una estabilidad a nuestras comunidades y a la fuerza laboral del país".

    El sondeo, que se condujo en colaboración con Lake Research Partners and Revolution Messaging a través de mensajes de texto, también demostró altos niveles de activismo entre los participantes. Más del 60 por ciento de los encuestados están vigilando como votan sus miembros del congreso el tema de la reforma migratoria. Las ramificaciones políticas para los miembros del congreso que no votan a favor de la reforma están bien claras: el 97 por ciento de los participantes confirman que estarían más propensos a votar a favor de un candidato que apoye la legislación.

    “Los latinos están mirando muy de cerca lo que está pasando en el Capitolio. Ellos no se olvidarán de aquellos que están luchando por preservar políticas antiguas que han fallado y que no sirven a nadie, y aquellos que están trabajando a favor de nuestros intereses nacionales, presentando una solución sobre el tema de la inmigración", añadió Murguía. “Somos una fuerza política creciente en este país y estamos listos para ser la voz de aquellos que se han silenciado por el miedo y la incertidumbre del sistema quebrado que tenemos en el presente. El Senado no ha dado el modelo de cómo seguir hacia delante en este tema a través del bipartidismo y el compromiso—es hora que la Cámara de Representantes haga lo mismo”.

    A lo largo del país, los hispanos están llamando y visitando a sus Congresistas y seguirán en un activismo constante hasta que la reforma migratoria se haga realidad. Casi la mitad (47 por ciento) de los participantes en la conferencia señalaron que ya habían contactado a su Congresista para instarle a que apruebe la reforma migratoria, y casi cuatro de cada diez (37 por ciento) indicaron que lo harían en un futuro cercano.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           Contact:
    July 26, 2013                                                                   Julian Teixeira
                                                                                           (202) 776-1812
                                                                                           jteixeira@nclr.org

    NCLR urges Congress to act to protect voters

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a move anticipated by civil rights groups, who feared that the Supreme Court’s decision last month to strike down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act would lead to increased voter suppression, the State of Florida has announced it will resume the voter purges that were halted by court order last fall just prior to the election.  The purge was heavily criticized for unfairly targeting Hispanic and other minority voters; moreover, it was so inaccurate that the original list presented by the state included many U.S.-born citizens and was eventually pared down from roughly 180,000 registered voters to just 198.  Section 4(b) provided a formula for determining geographic areas subject to preclearance before enacting voting changes.

    “The current situation leaves the gates wide open for voter suppression measures.  In 2012, we witnessed countless attempts to prevent eligible Americans from voting, particularly minority voters.  Florida was certainly one of the more notorious examples—shortening early voting days, purging voters from the rolls and placing undue burden on third-party voter registration groups, whose work is particularly important in increasing participation among underrepresented communities,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, NCLR Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement. 

    With dismissal of the lawsuit that led to the lower court order to halt implementation of the purge, Florida has already announced plans to continue purging voters despite the fact that its lists contain many errors; in fact, the state’s own Supervisors of Elections refused to carry out the purge in 2012 because of the amount of errors on these lists.  One in three Latinos lives in areas covered under the Voting Rights Act.

    “It is clear that a weakened Voting Rights Act (VRA) will only embolden efforts like this to marginalize eligible minority voters.  We are urging Congress to act quickly to make the VRA whole again and restore the public confidence in our voting process.  In addition, we are asking the U.S. Department of Justice, through its authority in the remaining sections of the VRA, to closely monitor what Florida election officials are doing in the state and take action where necessary.  We cannot allow this to erode the progress we’ve made over decades of hard work and sacrifice to ensure equal access to the voting booth,” concluded Martínez-De-Castro. 

    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    (202) 776-1566
    jrendeiro@nclr.org

    This year’s LGBT and Allies Reception during the 2013 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Annual Conference honored Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the first female, first Hispanic and first lesbian Sheriff of Dallas County, Texas. Sheriff Valdez, who has worked in law enforcement for over 30 years at both the federal and state levels, took office in 2005 and has been reelected twice to continue on in the role.

    “I am honored and humbled to receive such recognition from the National Council of La Raza,” said Valdez. “I am committed to ensuring the humane and equal treatment of all people regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.”

    In 2013, Valdez was included in “The Out List,” an HBO documentary exploring LGBT identity in America that featured prominent LGBT leaders such as talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, actor Neil Patrick Harris, financial guru Suze Orman and politician Christine Quinn.

    “Sheriff Valdez has a unique story to tell—one that speaks to the strength of diversity in this nation,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “She is one of the top law enforcement officials in the country. She has made the streets of Dallas County safer and won reelection twice with broad support from many different communities. Sheriff Valdez is an inspiring leader for both the LGBT and Latino communities and embodies the spirit of working together to create a stronger nation that protects the rights of all of its citizens.”

    The LGBT and Allies reception is held annually to honor the accomplishments of LGBT Latinos. Previous honorees include actor Wilson Cruz and activist and NCLR Board Member Catherine Pino.

    This year’s reception was sponsored by American Airlines, Hilton, the Human Rights Campaign and Ketel One Vodka.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    jrendeiro@nclr.org
    (202) 776-1566

    Last week, President Obama announced his intent to nominate former Purdue University President France Córdova to be Director of the National Science Foundation. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the president for this outstanding selection. When she is confirmed, Dr. Cordova will become the first Latina and only the second woman to lead the Foundation.

    “It is hard to imagine a better person for this post than France Córdova. Her record of achievement as not only an internationally recognized scientist who specializes in astrophysics but also a tremendously successful college administrator and, most recently, college president makes her an ideal choice for this post,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Throughout Dr. Cordova’s distinguished career, she has been a pioneer for women and Hispanics in the sciences and technology. Among her numerous achievements, she was the first Latina to serve as Chief Scientist for NASA, and she was the first woman and first Latina to serve as President of Purdue University, a leading research institution noted for its discoveries in science, technology and engineering.”

    “Córdova’s nomination is also a great step forward for those of us who want to see more minorities and women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields,” added Murguía. “Dr. Córdova’s legacy includes years of strong advocacy on behalf of greater diversity in both science and higher education. As President of Purdue, she increased the number of women in senior administrative positions by 57% and the number of minorities by 80%. She has been a champion for our community all her life and we look forward to her tenure at the Foundation. We urge the Senate to confirm her as quickly as possible.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    jrendeiro@nclr.org
    (202) 776-1566

    Yesterday, during a speech in Phoenix, Ariz., President Obama reiterated the urgent need to pass housing reform that opens access to affordable mortgage credit for low- and moderate-income homebuyers, as well as underserved communities. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the president for continuing to push for this much-needed reform to the housing finance system and for outlining proposals that fall in line with NCLR’s principles on housing reform.

    “For years, the American Dream of owning a home has continued to fall further and further out of reach as the combined economic and housing crises decimated wealth across this country and sent millions of homes into foreclosure,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, at NCLR. “While we are finally beginning to see recovery in some areas, millions of Latinos are still no better off financially today than they were five years ago. We need a housing finance system that ensures access to affordable and sustainable housing for all Americans, especially the hardest-hit communities, and we commend the president for lending his voice to this critical issue for Latinos.”

    NCLR recently released a report with the Center for American Progress, “Making the Mortgage Market Work for America’s Families,” which covered current mortgage market problems and opportunities for financial reform. During his speech, the president spoke to a number of the issues covered in the report, as well as other important housing topics, including:

    • His support for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
    • His call for government to continue providing a backstop to ensure affordable credit for underserved communities
    • His recognition of the value of immigration reform to all sectors of the economy, including housing
    • His nomination of Mel Watt as the nation’s top housing regulator

    “There is plenty of work that needs to be done to fix housing finance in this country,” added Rodriguez, “but having the president as an ally is promising. We look forward to working with his administration and with members of Congress to pass housing reform that works for all Americans.”

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Joseph Rendeiro
    jrendeiro@nclr.org
    (202) 776-1566

    Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a sentencing reform proposal aimed at creating the supports to reduce recidivism and address practices that disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities. It includes a new policy that would effectively minimize the detrimental impacts of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent, low-level drug offenders. The policy change comes as part of an ongoing effort within the Department of Justice to review criminal justice laws to ensure that that they are enforced fairly and cost effectively. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) fully supports amending this policy, which will allow for more prosecutorial discretion in charging and reducing the number of incarcerated Latinos who have committed only minor offenses.

    “A ‘one-size-fits-all’ punishment for drug-related offenses has resulted in wasteful spending on overcrowded jails that house too many individuals who pose little or no safety risk to our communities,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, Director of Civil Rights and Health Policy at NCLR. “We’re pleased to see Attorney General Holder taking much-needed steps to revamp a criminal justice system that currently puts first-time offenders on the permanent track to prison. The nation’s justice system should offer alternatives to incarceration, emphasize rehabilitation, and establish cost-effective strategies for dealing with low-level crimes.”

    The announcement comes at a time when there is increasing recognition of the uneven punishment and sentencing practices carried out on minority offenders. Hispanics are disproportionately charged with nonviolent, low-level drug offenses and are more likely to be handed longer punitive sentences. According to The Sentencing Project, a national nonprofit which works to create a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system, "despite equal rates of drug use proportionate to their populations, Hispanics are twice as likely as Whites, and equally as likely as Blacks, to be sent to state prison for a drug offense." The change in policy will make it possible for prosecutors of certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenses to consider other factors when charging a defendant, such as the defendant’s conduct and criminal history, or dismiss charges altogether.

    “Too many of our young people become caught up in the criminal justice system because our first action is to jail and not to rehabilitate. The goal of our justice system should be to give people a chance to turn their lives around—not to ensnare low-level offenders in a system that will create tremendous obstacles for their future, whether it be finding housing or a job,” added Ng’andu. “Our law enforcement resources are better spent prosecuting dangerous criminals.”

    The changes within the Attorney General’s proposal primarily impact federal sentencing practices; however, there is also critical need for reform at the state level. NCLR, along with a coalition of our California Affiliates, has also advocated for the passage of SB 649, a sentencing reform law that would also allow for greater discretion in charging drug offenders in the state. The bill—set to be voted on within the next several weeks—would give a prosecutor the authority to adjust the charge for possession of small quantities of drugs from an automatic felony to a misdemeanor/felony, based on the merits of the case.

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Camila Gallardo
    cgallardo@nclr.org

    (305) 215-4259

    Weakened Voting Rights Act Emboldens Voter Suppression Efforts

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NCLR and a member of its Affiliate Network, Latin American Coalition, denounced the enactment of a new North Carolina voter reform law that would require potential voters to show photo identification at the polls and eliminates the ability to register to vote on Election Day—both actions that stand to make it more difficult for eligible citizens to vote. The bill, signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory on Monday, comes just weeks after the Supreme Court struck down section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act which provides the formula for which to identify geographical regions in the country with histories of minority voter disenfranchisement. These identified jurisdictions must have their electoral laws precleared by the Justice Department or a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court; absent congressional action to develop and pass legislation outlining a new formula to replace the one struck down by Supreme Court ruling, states with previously covered areas have been able to enact measures that could have been ruled discriminatory. North Carolina had 40 counties that were subject to preclearance.

    “Congress needs to act now because inaction leaves a severely weakened Voting Rights Act that is fostering increased voter disenfranchisement. We’ve seen it in Florida and now in North Carolina. At a time when we should be doing everything in our power to help eligible Americans vote, these laws take us backward. It is unacceptable, and immediate action is imperative to prevent more attempts to limit democracy,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement at NCLR.

    In 2012, NCLR and the Latin American Coalition worked to register eligible Latino voters in North Carolina. According to Census figures, the Latino population in the state nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, growing from 4.71 percent of the state’s population to 8.39 percent.

    "This is the worst anti-voting law in the nation, rolling back years of reforms that have boosted our state’s voter turnout, especially among young and Latino voters," said Jess George, Executive Director of the Latin American Coalition. "We will be working with partners around the state to increase awareness of the impact of this radical and regressive law."

    NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

    The Latin American Coalition is a community of Latin Americans, immigrants and allies that promotes full and equal participation of all people in the civic, economic and cultural life of North Carolina through education, celebration and advocacy. http://www.latinamericancoalition.org

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