Home » Blog


As a 10-year-old, I was acutely aware of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights efforts that he championed.

The notion that all human beings are entitled to fairness, justice and equity deeply resonated with me.

It became personal when I realized injustices had impacted my own family, who were farm workers at the time.

It compelled me to seek justice and walk my first picket line for the United Farm Workers at the age of 13.  

I could not sit by while people experienced unfairness and injustice based on their race/ethnicity, the circumstances they were born into, or challenges they faced to eek out a living.  

As a result, I spent... Continue Reading

By Roberto Valdez Jr., Communications and Development Coordinator

The Latino Policy Forum was a supporting organization for the July 13, 2019, “End Detention, Welcome Immigrants’ rally at Daley Plaza.

As soon as I arrived at this gathering I thought to myself "I can't believe we're having to do this again." We were here a year ago when the Forum was a sponsoring organization of the "Keeping Families Together" rally that drew 65,000 people to the plaza to protest family separations at the southern border.

This time, over 15,000 people gathered to demand an end to the criminalization of immigrants in the U.S., people who... Continue Reading

By the Latino Policy Forum

The Forum provided feedback for a state report that indicated 26 percent of kindergartners demonstrate readiness in key areas. Those who do in each of three areas — social and emotional development, language and literacy development, and math — are considered to have demonstrated kindergarten readiness, and those who do not may need additional support.

See news story HERE.

Lower scores for English learners detailed in the report call out the need for more bilingual staff who have the linguistic skills to connect with children in their primary languages. The bilingual teacher shortage in Illinois needs to be addressed by preparation programs and policymakers.

The Forum is excited to have two years of statewide, comprehensive... Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading