Group’s officers presenting workshop on tolerance
Five members of the Dallas’ LULAC Council 4871 (The Dallas Rainbow Council) traveled to El Paso on Thursday, May 24, to attend the League of the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) state convention, taking place through Sunday, May 27, and to present the first-ever tolerance session on LGBT issues.
“We very excited that our council will fully participate with the four delegate slots allotted to our new chapter, and that we were put on the convention schedule to talk about tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people within the Hispanic community,” Jesse Garcia, co-founder and secretary of the group, said in a written statement released this week.
Also attending the convention are Vice President Patricia Mancha of Dallas, Treasurer Zhyla Alvarado of Grand Prairie, member Felix Arrieta of Dallas and member Arturo Rivas of Fort Worth.
“This is a historic opportunity for our chapter to talk about LGBT issues with the movers and shakers of LULAC councils from across the state. Hopefully, we will walk away with some allies,” Mancha said in the statement.
The hour-long tolerance session is set for Saturday, May 26, at 3 p.m., in Salon D, at the Marriott Hotel in El Paso. Garcia and Mancha will lead the session, which will address three main issues: “What is LGBT?” – identifying and defining proper terms to use to address the LGBT community; “The Consequences of Hate” – how derogatory language and prejudice leads to bullying and hate crimes; and “We are Family” – statistics on LGBT people in Texas and their contributions to our community. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.
Garcia and Mancha went through training in March with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on how to speak to non-LGBT groups about the LGBT community.
Garcia credits supportive leadership at the top for getting lucrative access to the convention, saying in the written statement, “Our district director and state director of LULAC have been very receptive to our council. They have been impressed with our organization and attention to detail, from our informative Web site to our presence at local functions, Hispanic civil rights rallies and charity fundraisers. We’ve stepped up to the plate.”
LULAC 4871 was launched on June 12, 2006. Its mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States, officials said. They added that its secondary mission is to create dialogue between the Hispanic and LGBT community, which have the common goal of full equality.
The group, which started with 12 members, has grown to 29 paid members in less than a year. Members meet every fourth Tuesday of the month. For more information, go online to www.lulac4871.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 25, 2007.