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Editor’s Note: This letter is a version of Executive Director Sylvia Puente’s speech at the Forum’s annual policy fundraiser, Latinos On The Move 2019.

Every few years, there’s a buzz in the philanthropy community that dominates the conversation. It leads to a shift in thinking, in doing, and in how we approach the challenges before us.

That buzz term is “racial equity.” So, I wonder, how are Latinos being folded into the conversation around this idea? Of course, I believe Latinos should be included in any conversation surrounding racial equity, but I have been at a few tables where this was not the case and where we were an afterthought.

Is it because the Latino community seems to be thriving?... Continue Reading

The Latino Policy Forum hosted its annual Latinos On The Move fundraiser, "Strength In Numbers: Make It Count," on November 15 at the Union League Club of Chicago.

Almost 300 attendees joined for the luncheon, including State Representative Theresa Mah, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Deputy Governor Sol Flores, State Senator Cristina Castro, Hanover Park Village Clerk Eira Sepulveda, City of Chicago Chief Engagement Officer Juan Carlos Linares, Illinois Census Director Oswaldo Alvarez, Senior Policy Expert for the Governor’s Office Martin Torres, District Director for Congressman Chuy Garcia Dr. Patty Garcia, Consul General of Mexico in Chicago Reyna Torres Mendivil, and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Lieutenant Governor Teresa Reyes. Emcee’d by Mark Rivera of ABC 7 News... Continue Reading

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