Our 4th Annual National Symposium, Re(membering) Comunidad: The Corazón of Latino/a/x Leadership was a phenomenal success! Immense gratitude to the 100 community leaders who left home to learn and to grow with one another. Our stories carry testimonies and evidence of leadership rooted in our relationships to place, our cultures, our families, and how we each make up the weaving/tejido of the United States and our homelands.
We want to thank our sponsors who make this work and initiative possible. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has been instrumental in our formation and providing the stability it takes to build a reputable national organization. American Express investment in leadership will not go forgotten.
The pandemic has been a telling tale of who you can count on. The San Antonio Area Foundation and the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders were patient and waited til we could host our gathering this year in San Antonio. We are incredibly thankful and we know your investment will be paid forward in the memories and lessons grown with so many leaders in and out of San Antonio.
“When the Soul is present, Spirit comes.” Ramon D. Vasquez, American Indians of Texas, opened and blessed our 4th Annual National Symposium. Each attendee was welcomed with our traditional colorful rebozo to let them know we accept them with open arms. San Antonio DJ Rambo Salinas dropped us into the groove of San Antonio sounds and cultura for a beautiful opening reception under the stars.
“There are people who lead, and there is leadership,” Carlos Orta, LIDERAMOS Board Chair. The second day was a testimony to “leadership” in the Latino community! Patricia Mejia, our luncheon keynotes shared from the heart how her Mama, her daughter, and those incredible mentors guided her leadership and Brown joy! The workshops and sessions lit up the community leaders. Marieangelie Ortiz Ortiz and ‘We Still Here’ documentary were a testimony to, “Quien dice que no se puede.” (Who says we cannot?). A powerful example that we can respond to natural disasters and be successful through grassroots community leadership.
On day three, Juana Bordas energized and invoked the POWER of Latino leadership. Our day continued with the nine sessions from National facilitators and coaches.
We concluded the evening with our Noche de Cultura Awards Ceremony, featuring San Antonio storyteller Xavier Garza and the Los Callejeros De San Anto.
LIDERAMOS is very honored to honor our Founder and President Emeritus Juana Bordas with our first National Leadership Award. The LIDERAMOS National Leadership Award is our way to honor Juana’s roots, the lessons we have learned from her struggles and triumphs, her scholarship, and more than anything else her fantastic SPIRIT that fortifies the bridges and movements for Latino leadership to be recognized and grow throughout the United States.
Our Local Leadership Awards were given to the Co-Founders of San Antonio’s Fuerza Unida, Viola Casares and Petra Mata. Through their leadership and legacy, Fuerza Unida is not only an organization but a refuge for anyone to come in. Their community center fosters collective organizing, women leadership, sewing classes, and convivios.
LIDERAMOS never wants to forget the power and efficacy of our local and National leaders.
We came full circle in corazón and community by listening to the song of Rodolfo Lopez and imagining community maps of care. No nos vencerá! We will lead, stay connected, and continue to celebrate our Brown joy and leadership!
“On behalf of the LIDERAMOS Board, a heartfelt thank you to those who participated in this year’s annual Symposium. The leadership lessons, speakers, content, and small group gathering were outstanding,” Carlos F. Orta, LIDERAMOS Board Chair.
There is so much more to share and we look forward to next year! Stay posted for more more photos, testimonios, and highlights from our gathering! Gracias!