By Diego Tum-Monge, LULAC Marketing and Communications Associate
On July 10-13, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) hosted its 90th LULAC National Convention and Exposition and celebrated 90 years of service to Hispanics in the U.S. Guided by the theme of “Building Power and Transforming Communities Across America,” LULAC members, national leaders, and locals alike joined together to honor the idea that community solidarity and action is the foundation to building a movement of change.
The LULAC National Convention officially kicked off with the Wisconsin Celebration. Hosted by the local LULAC Wisconsin Board, the Wisconsin Celebration highlighted the impact of state and local Latinx leaders while supporting local LULAC councils and programs.
Each morning thereafter consisted of a National Stage which centered the issues impacting Latinx communities across America. These issues focused on areas such as Democracy & Voting, the 2020 Census, Equality, Education, Health, Environment, Technology, and Immigration. Through these dialogues, LULAC sought to provide a platform for leaders to amplify awareness and encourage action. After, attendees chose break-out sessions to engage in in-depth conversations for various tracks or areas of interests. Most notably, LULAC expanded its LGBTQ track and ended it with the LGBTQ Equality Reception to bring significance to the impact of our LGBTQ siblings.
Throughout the convention, a faith in mobilization was present. Two training institutes on national campaigns and grassroots organizing encouraged Latinx leaders to take steps towards becoming a representative or making their communities heard. LULAC members even took to the streets in an organized demonstration. The goal was to pressure Senator Ron Johnson at his local office to take action against family separation and child detention.
One of the major highlights of the convention was Destino 2020: De Frente al Voto (translated Destination 2020: Forward with the Vote), a LULAC Presidential Town Hall hosted in partnership with Univision. Presidential hopefuls such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, and Beto O’Rourke took the stage to answer questions from community members. As one of the nation’s first community town halls for the 2020 race, this major broadcast brought light to the issues in the minds of many Latinxs. More importantly, this town hall was one of the first bilingual broadcast of presidential candidates which marked a big turning point for Hispanics. You can stream this event at LULAC.org/live and see its impact for yourself.
Many people of various identities–from youth and women to veterans and Dreamers–had a platform at LULAC’s National Convention. Attendees left knowing that our community has a direction of inclusion in the fight for equality. This convention, for many, was simply a genuine confirmation of the slogan “Together We Rise!”