Sociedad Latina Kicks-Off our 50th Anniversary Celebration!

Sociedad Latina kicks-off our 50th Anniversary Celebration event series –

“Empowering Youth Leaders. Supporting Families. Building Futures.”

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On May 13, Sociedad Latina hosted our “La Cultura Cura: Culture Heals” 50th Anniversary kick-off event at the Bruce C. Bolling Building in Roxbury. We were joined by elected officials from the Massachusetts State House, institutional and community partners, Boston Public School administration, youth and families, volunteers, and community members who gathered for this special celebration.

Sociedad Latina’s Board President Marta Rivera commenced the evening, sharing our vision for enhancing our program space and level of youth engagement to ensure another fifty years of positive creative youth development. Additionally, our Executive Director Alexandra Oliver- Dávila addressed the intersection between positive cultural identity and the increased well-being of young Latinos, and encouraged Boston leaders to take action to provide greater positive educational, professional, and social-emotional outcomes for Latino youth across the city.

“At Sociedad Latina, we believe ‘La Cultura Cura,’ that Culture Heals. We believe that promoting positive cultural identity and bilingualism can help to counter detrimental stereotypes and have tremendous and long lasting healing effects.” She added. “Our young people’s personal perseverance and ability to push beyond obstacles related to trauma, poverty, language isolation, and fear inspires our work.”

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We hosted five panelists who gave their insights and experiences on how language and culture affirms youth, builds resiliency, is a protective factor, and promotes positive cultural identities for Latino youth.

Panelists included Wilmer Quiñones Melo – Sociedad Latina alum, Ruth Ayuso – Sociedad Latina alumna, Dania Vázquez – Headmaster at Margarita Muñiz Academy, Lorna Rivera – Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy and Boston Public School Committee Member, and Marcos Lucio Popovich – Program Officer at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Our panel was moderated by Chad d’Entremont – Executive Director of The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy.

Wilmer Quiñones Melo offered words of support to the younger generation of Sociedad Latina Youth Leaders:

“As a Youth Leader, I learned to value myself and that my voice has a purpose - which has shaped who I am to this day. I see a lot of young people here and I want you all to leave with this: make sure to know yourself and value who you are, and wherever you go make sure you are seen!"

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A very special thank you to Boston Public Schools for generously providing the event space for the evening!


We invite you to sponsor our 50th Anniversary Celebration and to donate to our Capital Campaign to ensure another 50 years of youth empowerment and leadership, and building the creative capital of the community. Contributions will support the critical renovation of the building designed to be a home for Latino youth where culture, language, community, civic engagement, education, and leadership meet. To donate, visit Sociedad Latina’s website: www.sociedadlatina.org.

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Tiffany Yancey