Posts About Leadership

By Debbie Cortez

There is a tremendo orgullo in being a Latina. As Latinos we have faced many struggles which we have had to overcome. Those struggles have allowed us to become strong leaders in our community and continue to shape us in that leadership that now spans all across the nation.

My culture and traditions are deeply rooted and imbedded in who I am and I am proud of how much my heritage has to offer. It has rich food, spectacular dances and a beautiful language which is all deeply rooted in our family history. We have an understanding that family comes first. 

My family who is Puerto Rican and Guatemalan... Continue Reading

Posted In: Leadership, Representation in Government

I have read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ more than a dozen times.  I draw inspiration, reassurance and direction from the text.  Given the social dynamics in America today, too many of Dr. King’s grievances still reflect the everyday life of African-American families.  Those confronting injustice today surely share his disappointment with individuals in positions of authority who are more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice. 

This past August, I was part of a group conversation about Dr. King’s text at the Aspen Institute through a fellowship for emerging nonprofit leaders funded by the American Express Foundation. By the fifth day of our leadership program, we had grown accustomed to discussing heavy subjects... Continue Reading

Posted In: Leadership, Strengthening Leadership

Fall 2016 Newsletter

  ·  Sylvia Puente

Dear Friends,

As we all know, our beautiful state of Illinois is struggling and our nation is locked in a presidential debate that I believe will define the soul of our increasingly diverse, pluralistic society.  On the days, when I ask what else can  the Forum do? 

I start with going back to the facts, leveraging our electoral power, and strengthening the web of communication and relationships to find strategies and solutions. This letter provides the facts around the myths that are being perpetuated on immigration by a leading presidential candidate, and while the Forum is a non-partisan organization, we encourage you to VOTE.  Election Day... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , K-3, Parent Engagement, Preschool, Families & Communities, Housing, Foreclosure, Housing Education, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment, Access & Resources, Educators

Latinos on the Move

Get your early bird tickets, available till Oct. 28, for the Latino Policy Forum’s 6th annual policy breakfast fundraiser!

Latinos on the Move: Opportunity and Equity for Latino Children will be held Nov. 10, 2016 at the Union League of Chicago. Join keynote speaker Sarita E. Brown of Excelencia in Education, emcee and ABC 7 News anchor Stacey Baca, and this year’s “Champion of Change” recipients, Illinois State Sen. Iris Y. Martinez and Illinois State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, for a discussion about school achievement and opportunity for Latinos.

Multicultural Leadership Academy

Continue Reading

Posted In: Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment

The Forum wishes you a happy National Voter Registration Day! It’s time to make sure that you, your relatives and your friends are registered to vote in Illinois!

If you are not registered to vote, click here to register in English or here to register in Spanish. It takes two minutes.  DO IT RIGHT NOW!

If you are not sure whether or not you are registered to vote, check here to check.  

If you recently moved or changed your name, you should update your voter registration so that your personal information correctly corresponds to your voter profile. This will help ensure that you don’t experience any problems when you visit your local... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government

By Virginia Martinez, Attorney, Volunteer and Longtime Supporter of the Latino Policy Forum

I recently volunteered with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas. CARA provides much needed services and representation to women, and their children, who are seeking asylum in the United States. CARA volunteers serve weeklong commitments to provide services to those being detained and awaiting their first interview with an asylum officer.

It was an eye-opening, tiring and heartbreaking experience. The federal government opened STFRC in 2014 in response to a surge in asylum seekers (especially women and children) fleeing extremely violent situations in Honduras, El... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership

This op-ed was originally published in Crain's Chicago Business. See full article here

After Donald Trump's much touted immigration speech last month—the one many anticipated would signal a softening of his immigration stances in order to attract Latino voters—I was left even more puzzled than before about his true intentions. 

Trump's rhetoric was softened from prior to his visit to Mexico, but the underly
ing racism was still dripping from his speech. As his followers chanted their support, the Republican nominee went down a list of victims of violent crimes perpetrated by undocumented immigrants from south of our border. While these were terrible crimes, he chose not... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership

Summer 2016 Newsletter

  ·  Sylvia Puente

Dear Friends,

Despite the festivities and warmth that make this time of the year special for everyone, there’s a cloud hanging over the state brought on by the failure of government officials to pass an operating budget at the end of the state legislature’s spring session for the second straight year. 

While much of state government continues to function through court orders and consent decrees, children and families are unnecessarily suffering due to the lack of state funding for human services and higher education.  According to a recent survey conducted by the United Way of Illinois, nearly 1 million people are without services because... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , K-3, Parent Engagement, Preschool, Families & Communities, Housing, Foreclosure, Housing Education, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment, Access & Resources, Educators

Here are the latest leadership initiatives happening at the Forum.

Multicultural Leadership Academy

The application period for Year 7 of the newly redesigned Multicultural Leadership Academy has officially closed. More than 60 civically-minded, multicultural leaders throughout Illinois have applied, the most applications received to date. The Forum is currently working to determine Year 7 cohort participants and is set to begin in early September.

The Forum sends a special thank you to leaders who participated in various committees, namely the advisory, resource and selection committees. For updates on the Academy, make sure to check the Forum’s website or contact Jessi Pérez.

American Bar Foundation

The American Bar... Continue Reading

Posted In: Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government

Here are the latest immigration updates from the Forum.

DACA/DAPA: The court case that has stalled the President’s executive actions to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA+) and launch the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA) will be heard by the Supreme Court later this month. Oral arguments are set to begin April 18. Though the executive orders were issued in November 2014, the case has been in legal limbo since February 2015 when a Texas Circuit Court judge placed an injunction on them, preventing their implementation.

The case has only grown in notoriety with the recent unexpected death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, which was followed... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership
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