Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders, Community Resources Announced at 88th LULAC National Convention

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Leadership development, food donation, and health screenings announced at the convention.

Newly-elected San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg welcomed residents and visitors to the opening day of the 88th Annual LULAC National Convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization, expects close to 20,000 attendees at this year’s annual convention in the Alamo City, which is part of LULAC’s roots.

“LULAC was formed in Texas to fight against the blatant discrimination that plagued the Latino community,” said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. “Today, we remain committed to combatting injustices by building sustainable communities with access to vital information and resources that help our community succeed. As part of the festivities, today LULAC kicks off its convention announcing our work with the young Latino population in San Antonio, our partnership with Tyson Foods, and the Federal Training Institute.”

San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg is a strong advocate of supporting tomorrow’s leaders and building a city that attracts better employment that our young people need to flourish. He said, “As a city councilman, I worked with local school districts to host Kid’s Town Hall meetings, which became avenues for San Antonio’s youth to learn about their local government, connect with elected leaders and get involved. Making sure we have opportunities for our youth to connect with elected officials and learn about and take part in local government is vital to our success as a city.”

LULAC, along with the resources made possible by its sponsors, partners and supporters, has a long history of advocating for improved education and employment for the 10 million Latinos in Texas.

Research indicates that the Texas workforce will be majority Latino in the future. However, lack of investment in the community and higher concentrations of Latino kids living in under-resourced school districts also account for Latinos being undereducated.

“Alamo Colleges, a Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI), have partnered with LULAC to help bring resources and initiatives that benefit our students,” said Federico Zaragoza, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Economic & Workforce Development. “LULAC provides Alamo College students with thousands of dollars in scholarships, sponsor career fairs and financial planning workshops, engage students in LULAC civic or community service projects, and engage our students to participate in voter registration projects. LULAC makes higher education ‘real’ for many of our students.”

In Bexar County, more than 26 percent of children do not have consistent access to nutritious foods, making it harder to focus in school and more likely to have social and behavioral problems. LULAC, in partnership with Tyson Foods, is fighting against hunger. LULAC and Tyson Foods have jointly donated more than 1 million pounds of protein to food banks across the country and Puerto Rico since 2009. Among all protein processors, Tyson Foods is the largest donor of meat and poultry to Feeding America and its network of food banks. Tyson Foods has been an active participant in the fight against hunger since 2000, donating more than 100 million pounds of protein. Yesterday, Tyson Foods donated an entire truckload of chicken to the San Antonio Food Bank.

“We know we can’t solve hunger alone,” said Nora Venegas, director, federal government relations for Tyson Foods. “It’s the organizations and heroes in communities all over the country who are doing the real work. We’re proud to support those who are fighting hunger across the country like the San Antonio Food Bank.”

“We are grateful to Tyson Foods for this generous donation which will help our efforts in providing nutritious meals to the 58,000 food insecure people we serve in our community each week,” said Eric Cooper, CEO, San Antonio Food Bank.

To respond to the need for employment opportunities, LULAC's Federal Training Institute will offer workshops during the convention that are designed to help minorities tap into the many government jobs across the country.

“Hispanics are the fastest growing population in Texas,” said LULAC National Chief Executive Officer, Brent Wilkes. “Texas’s economy is dependent on the Latino workforce and thus, we must help ensure that they have the resources they need in order for Texas to succeed. LULAC is committed to help remedy the inequities face by Texas’s Latino population as well as all immigrants and minorities."

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Geoffrey Nolan
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