Gay LULAC chapter names Sanchez, Mancha as People of Year, lauds Univision’s LGBT coverage

Jesse Garcia | President, LULAC 4871

LULAC 4871 – The Dallas Rainbow Council will hold its third annual Holiday Party this Friday, Dec. 17, featuring traditional Mexican holiday dishes, Christmas music and awards to recognize outstanding achievement in the LGBT Latino community.

LULAC 4871 will award its “Man of the Year” to gay rights activist Fernie Sanchez. Sanchez was instrumental in getting the word out about the anti-bullying movement in the Dallas Independent School District to Spanish-speaking households. He shared his own personal story of being harassed for being gay and advocated for acceptance during interviews with the local affiliates of Telemundo and Univision. Sanchez also coordinated interviews with other LGBT Latinos to share their bullying stories on a nationwide Univision program. Sanchez was instrumental in holding immigration forums in the LGBT community, assisted with LULAC 4871’s very first National Latino AIDS Awareness Day event and helped promote the Census in both LGBT and Hispanic communities.

“Woman of the Year” will be awarded to Patricia Mancha, a straight ally who has advocated for the LGBT community. Along with Sanchez, Mancha has done outreach with Spanish-language media during the height of the gay suicide epidemic in the fall and also helped dispel myths about HIV during National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. Mancha volunteered to co-sponsor a LULAC youth council and mentors the group every other week.

The “Se Presta Award,” a community award that lauds a non-member of the council who has partnered with LULAC 4871 during the year and made a difference, will recognize long-time community organizer Rosa Lopez. Lopez helps organize West Dallas neighborhoods. She advocates for better streets, public safety and improved schools. Her mostly Hispanic and African-American neighborhood associations consider her a great leader and have no problem with her being a lesbian. She commands the respect that most of us in the LGBT community ultimately want by mainstream America. She is involved her community’s issues and gives a voice to those who have none.

Univision Television and Radio will receive the organization “Se Presta Award” for its in-depth coverage of gay suicide tragedies and the DISD anti-bullying movement.  Univision covered this issue more than their English language counterparts. The local network and radio station have shown that they are community partners with the LGBT community — even asking members of our community to sit on their advisory boards and placing us on their public service announcements. The LGBT community has a friend in Univision.

LULAC 4871’s holiday party caps off a year of success for the five-year-old organization. LULAC 4871’s accomplishments include: renaming a downtown Dallas street after Cesar Chavez, raising $2,600 for AIDS Arms LifeWalk, holding several immigration forums in the LGBT community, partnering with the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association for a legal clinic, partnering with AIDS Arms to test 96 individuals for HIV during National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, registering more than 1,000 people to vote and successfully advocating for a DISD anti-bully code. In July, LULAC 4871 was named “National LULAC Council of the Year” by its national leaders, along with “National LULAC Man of the Year” for LULAC 4871 member and DREAM Act activist Ramiro Luna.

For more information about the Holiday Party, e-mail LULAC4871@aol.com or visit www.lulac4871.org. New members are welcomed.

—  admin

AOC workers honored by Tarrant County Health Department

World AIDS Day presentation honored two for their work to stop the spread of HIV

AOC-Bea-Lampka
AIDS Awareness | The Tarrant County Public Health Department honored Bea Lampka for her work with Latino and Hispanic communities.

Fort Worth — The Tarrant County Public Health Department has honored two AIDS Outreach Center outreach workers for their longterm service to those infected or affected by HIV and AIDS in the greater Tarrant County area, AOC officials announced this week.

Outreach Worker the Rev. John Reed was presented with a special World AIDS Day proclamation by Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks on behalf of the Commissioners Court, citing Reed’s commitment to stopping the spread of HIV within the African-American community.

Reed has been with AOC for the past six years as a volunteer and staff member. AOC officials said he was instrumental in bringing the annual Stop AIDS Leadership Project to Tarrant County the past two years and has worked in the local community to stop the spread of HIV.

Reed also serves on various charitable committees.

“I am committed to stopping the spread of HIV not just in Tarrant County, but in the greater DFW Metroplex area,” Reed said. “Everyone needs to get involved; it is not just about one person or one city it is about all of us.”

AOC Case Manager/Outreach Worker Bea Lampka received a special award from the North Central Texas HIV community partners for her efforts by reaching out to the Hispanic and Latino communities, including those who are undocumented.

Lampka has been with AOC for the past 16 years in various positions and is involved in a number of local area boards and committees. She worked in nursing for 45 years prior to joining AOC. Lampka currently facilitates AOC’s Futuros Unidos support group, which has up to 65 members.

Originally born and raised in Bolivia, Lampka has also lived in Togo, Peru, France, Germany, Italy and Haiti. She speaks six languages fluently and can read and/or translate several more.

AOC-John-Reed
Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks, right, presented the Rev. John Reed with a World AIDS Day proclamation citing his work in the African American community. (Courtesy AIDS Outreach Center)

“I have been very fortunate to have been able to live around the world,” Lampka said. “This has given me the unique opportunity of being immersed in a large number of cultures that helps me while working with my clients.”

In 2011, AIDS Outreach Center will commemorate 25 years as the leading organization in Tarrant and seven surrounding rural counties serving men, women and children with HIV/AIDS and their families, educating the public about HIV prevention and advocating for sound HIV public policy.

For more information, go online to AOC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas