This past week, a number of our staff attended this year’s Unidos US conference in San Diego, California.
Being the largest gathering of its kind in the Latinx community, the annual Unidos US Conference brought together over 3,000 Latinx advocates, affiliates, leaders and allies from across the country to connect, share knowledge, best practices and discuss the current challenges that affect our communities across the country.
With over 25 engaging and interactive workshops, the conference covered topics ranging from entrepreneurship, women empowerment, health policy, education, financial security, identity, leadership, and many other subjects of interest that intersect across communities and organizations.
Sessions also included panel interviews with influential Latinx business owners, leaders, stakeholders and advocates who shared what it is like to be Latino in this day and age and how we can use our collective power to make our voices heard, and ‘secure a spot’ at the decision-making table.
Regional Affiliate of the Year Award
At this year’s conference, our organization was recognized as the Regional Affiliate of the Year, an honor that is granted to those organizations that have made a long-lasting impact in the communities they serve.
Democratic Presidential Candidates speak to our community
Democratic presidential candidates had the opportunity to address Latinx leaders and community members from across the United States, and present their posture in topics ranging from immigration reform, health care, tax reform and citizenship pathways.
The conference was attended by the following presidential candidates:
Joe Biden, Former United States Vice President
Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator (D-VT)
Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator (D-MN)
Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator (D-CA)
Julian Castro, Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Members of our staff share their experience
Edgar Hernandez Ortiz, Youth Engagement Specialist
“I believe that the workshops brought to light issues that have not only affected our community in Oregon, but that have also had a long-lasting impact in other Latinx communities throughout the country.
This conference allowed us to be exposed to other environments and opened our eyes to real world problems, to which by sharing our unique stories and life experiences we can light the way to those whose voices have been silenced and oppressed”.
Debbie Cabrales, Senior Family Stability Program Coordinator
“I thought that the conference, and all of the workshops that I attended were very helpful towards the meaningful work that we do in our Multnomah Stability Initiative (MSI) team.
The conference a great way to connect to other people that are doing the same work as we do, and who are passionate about assisting their community. It felt amazing being around people that share the same cultural values, I look forward to see what Unidos US does in the future”.
Aide Juarez, Health and Wellness Specialist
Attending this conference was an empowering experience, knowing that we are not alone in the process of creating a positive change in our communities. Not only that, but seeing many young college students attend the conference, motivated to start volunteering in their communities after listening to leaders who look like us talk about the power of education and involvement. This conference also helped me recharge my energy to focus on the goal and mission of our organization in continuing to work to positively transform and strengthen our communities. We need to set high expectations for our students, to be trustworthy adults, uplift them and believe in their success, and empower parents with knowledge and remove barriers, such as language. But most importantly, Richard A. Carranza, the Chancellor New York City Department of Education said, “we as educators cannot be too busy keeping our jobs that we forget to actually do our job. We need to have the political will to do the right thing, to speak up and advocate.”
Shian Gutierrez, Career Coach
Los talleres en UnidosUS no sólo fueron educativos, si no también fueron el medio para establecer contacto con otros trabajadores sociales, agencias, activistas y donadores. La union entre la comunidad Latinx está más fuerte que nunca. Todos somos parte de éste cambio, y vamos por todo.
Reconocer y tomar riendas de nuestro poder colectivo nos recuerda que no estamos solos, somos valiosos y es nuestra responsabilidad hacernos contar.