Hispanic Access Foundation’s first-ever Latino Advocacy Week begins March 15 and runs through March 19. During this week, Latino communities, organizations, families and individuals will be supported with virtual workshops and webinars to support their growth as community advocates, leading for themselves and their communities.
Latino Advocacy Week brings together community groups, local and national nonprofits, faith-based organizations, community leaders, and elected officials to champion legislation, offer capacity strengthening opportunities, and advocacy tools to support Latinos across the country as leaders forging a more equitable society. Priority issue areas center on public health, environmental equity and climate, as well as partnerships, policy and tools for inclusive advocacy.
“Latinos are a growing segment of the U.S. population, and an increasingly active one,” said Maite Arce, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “However, there are significant barriers that hinder Latinos’ participation in U.S. democratic processes. Latino Advocacy Week helps break down those barriers while building capacity and familiarity among Latinos to advocate for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Every 30 seconds a Latino citizen turns 18, and as of 2020, 32 million Hispanics are registered to vote. Latino voter turnout in 2020’s battleground states was three times greater than in 2016, and Hispanic turnout broke records in Georgia’s runoff election in January 2021. On the other hand, Latinos make up only 1% of elected officials, while comprising 18% of the U.S. population.
“Latinos represent the largest untapped segment of the population when it comes to civic engagement and political potential,” said Shanna Edberg, Hispanic Access Foundation’s Director of Conservation Programs. “Imagine what Latinos could continue doing for the well-being of our communities, if we had 18x the number of elected officials representing us.”
All events will be virtual, available upon registration, and a full listing of each day’s activities is available at www.LatinoAdvocacyWeek.com. All attendees will have the opportunity to receive a free care package, courtesy of HAF, upon registration. Celebrate and join us online by following #LatinoAdvocacyWeek on social media.
“My path to public service began in volunteering and advocacy, and I’ve never looked back,” said Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA 44th District). “As the power of the Latino community continues to grow, our impact grows too. Latino advocacy to protect the environment and promote access to the outdoors is critical to the health of our communities. Events like ‘Latino Advocacy Week’ help open the doors to passionate people who want to advocate on the issues that matter most to our communities which can help lead to impactful change.”
“Engaging in advocacy can seem like a vague exercise, especially for someone who likes to see immediate results,” said Luis Villa, Executive Director for Latino Outdoors. “However, as someone who has worked for over 20 years with mission-driven nonprofits, I've come to understand that voting in a local election, championing a particular piece of legislation, and running for office are critical. These and other forms of advocacy and civic engagement are as necessary for achieving a socially just and environmentally responsible society as is the on-the-ground work. I'm grateful to Hispanic Access Foundation for spotlighting the importance of advocacy through its new initiative, Latino Advocacy Week.”
“Advocacy is the key to moving my community forward,” said Ángel Peña, Executive Director of Nuestra Tierra. “We fight for the things we need, want, and aspire for, all in an effort to make our lives and our families better.”
Hispanic Access Foundation’s event partner organizations and groups joining Latino Advocacy Week include: the Environmental Defense Fund, GreenLatinos, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán’s Office, Defiende Nuestra Tierra, The CLEO Institute, Azul, the League of United Latin American Citizens, López-Wagner Strategies, ALRAS Digital, Bread for the World, The Wilderness Society, Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, Defenders of Wildlife, League of Conservation Voters, Girl Scouts CO, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, HECHO, Centro de Adoracion Familiar, Protegete, COLOR Latina, Oceana, Mijente, Miami Waterkeepers, Corazon Latino, Bague Group, Nature for All, Audubon Society, Con Cultura, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Defensores de la Cuenca, Latino Outdoors, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Inland Empire Coalition, local elected officials from around the U.S., and more.