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Standing at a podium under the rotunda of the Illinois Capitol, Latino Policy Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente was reminded of the day she first came to Springfield to work in the governor’s office as a twentysomething Latina.

“I walked under this beautiful rotunda, looked up and saw myself feeling very lonely here because there was no one else around who looked like me,” Puente said, speaking in front of hundreds of Latino activists and elected officials gathered around her to kick off the 8th Annual Latino Unity Day. “So much has changed since and now, this is what Latino unity looks like! I’m so proud to be here with you.”

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Latino leaders with the Latino Policy Forum’s Illinois Latino Agenda and its Acuerdo network met with staff of Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot’s transition team on Wednesday to provide valuable input regarding issues important to their communities in Chicago.

Fifty-five representatives from the Agenda and the Forum’s Immigration, Housing and Education Acuerdos, who collectively represent over 40 organizations and 160,000 constituents, were present at Casa Central in Humboldt Park to meet with Lightfoot’s Chief of Staff, Maurice Classen, and Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor Manny Perez to talk about issues relating to affordable housing, early-childhood education, immigration and building better relations between African American and Latino communities.

“We’re ushering in a new era in Chicago with a new... Continue Reading

Posted In: Representation in Government

By John Arenas, Housing Policy Associate

As National Fair Housing Month comes to an end, the Latino Policy Forum will continue to honor the work being done to promote discrimination-free access to housing in the Latino community, as well as reflect on the current challenges to progress fair housing.

It has been my privilege as the Forum’s Housing Policy Associate to provide housing rights education to our Housing Acuerdo partners. The Forum’s Training and Education Create Housing Opportunities (TECHO) curriculum was developed in 2013 with the input of many of our Acuerdo partners to create a resource that is culturally and linguistically relevant to Latinos. The final product was a series... Continue Reading

By Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro PhD and Karen Garibay-Mulattieri

Test scores are not the end-all be-all when it comes to predicting college success. Nor should they be the only data used to evaluate school performance. Studies conducted by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research have shown that attendance and grades in core subject areas are more reliable indicators of high school graduation and success thereafter. Yet, the national rhetoric and federal law remain firmly focused on student growth and subject area mastery as demonstrated by annual testing. This practice is troublesome for subgroups such as English learners and the newcomers who are a part of this group (newcomers are those students who are in their first year of... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education

Dr. Ana Gil Garcia

Recently, in a mixed audience of citizens of many countries, an American journalist raised his hand and asked to explain how Venezuela, once the richest country in South America, that holds the world’s largest supply of crude oil, became one of the poorest nations among Latin-American countries. The question was difficult to respond without providing a historical, socio-political perspective of the origins of the human tragedy that permeates the country nowadays. What we know, as a fact, is that for 21years, Venezuela has been plummeting toward the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western hemisphere, with more than 4 million people displaced. According to... Continue Reading

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