UnidosUS Changemakers Summit 2019

Angelica outside of the Office of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Angelica outside of the Office of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“UnidosUS me enseñó a cómo mejor combatir las injusticias que enfrentan los latinos”

“UnidosUS taught me more about how to fight the injustices that latinos are faced with.” - Angelica M., Health Educator Youth

This March, four of our Youth Leaders visited Washington D.C. for the UnidosUS Future Changemakers Summit. The conference was a transformative experience for our young people and inspired them to become more civically engaged. Our youth spent their first day learning how to leverage their own personal stories, improve networking skills, and participated in panel discussions.

Sociedad Latina Youth Leader, Radelquis B. was inspired by the panel discussion regarding college applications, financial aid, and the disproportionate impact that Latinos and youth of color face in covering college related costs. Many of the panels highlighted first-generation Latinos, just like our youth. Radelquis was moved by the panel discussion and conference, "I was proud of the changemaker group, we are the future of the Latino community, with a larger impact than I realized. The youth who spoke were articulate, and they made me recognize that I could be that changemaker role even in my day-to-day life."

The keynote speaker of the summit was the Mayor of El Mirage, Arizona, Alexis Hermosillo, the 8th youngest actively serving mayor in the United States and UnidosUS alumnus. She spoke about her experience being a young Latina in the US political sphere. Gismelkhis M. reflected on her experience and, quoting Hermosillo, said she learned two important lessons from her speech: “One: you’re never too young to fight for your dreams and two: never take a no for an answer.”

The UnidosUS Changemaker Summit culminated with a visit to Capitol Hill where participants had the opportunity to put what they learned during their advocacy training into practice as they engaged with members of Congress on issues important to the Latino community. Moved deeply by Hermosillos speech, the youth made a concerted effort to visit the office of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a young Latina U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district. Sociedad Latina Alumni Everett B. mentioned that the visit to the Capitol Building and to Ocasio-Cortez’s office made him feel more connected to the Latino community and to politics as it affects Latinos today.

Tiffany Yancey