Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Unid@s Board of Directors Lays Groundwork for the Birth of a New National Latina/o LGBT Organization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Sandra Telep 202.487.9171
Gael Guevara 917.459.8779
Pedro Julio Serrano 787.602.5954

Unid@s Board of Directors Lays Groundwork for the Birth of a New National Latina/o LGBT Organization

April 25, 2007 – The Board of Directors of Unid@s, the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Human Rights Organization held its first meeting in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. At this meeting, made possible by a grant from the Gill Foundation, the board set goals and direction for the coming year.

This meeting comes on the heels of a decision for Unid@s to consolidate with the National Latino/a Coalition for Justice, a national Latina/o organization that focused on marriage equality. As a result of the decision for the groups to consolidate into one, Unid@s emerges as the only organization representing Latina/o LGBT people on a national level – filling a void that has been painfully obvious since LLEGO closed its doors three years ago.

The new executive committee of this board, which was voted in on Saturday, will consist of Gael Gundin Guevara as Trans Chair, Sandra Telep as Female Chair, Pedro Julio Serrano as Male Chair, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano as Secretary, Cristina Martinez as Treasurer, and Jorge Cestou as Chair of the Resource Development Committee. "The energy at this meeting was phenomenal, inspiring and hopeful. Our time in D.C. was highly productive and we each left optimistic about the future and with a clear blueprint for our next steps," said Pedro Julio Serrano, Male Chair of Unid@s.

The board also set up their committee structure and defined the purview of each committee and its responsibilities and goals. Each committee is chaired by a board member and has met to clarify their objectives and immediate goals. The next step Unid@s would like to take is to invite their membership to join a committee so that any interested member can be a part of building this organization and have a voice in the direction it will take.

"We really want to empower the committees to bring recommendations to the board. Opening the committees to our membership reaffirms our commitment to our grassroots base and allows us get perspectives from our entire constituency, not just those on the board," said Sandra Telep, Female Chair of Unid@s.

As we continue to share our work with our larger community, we are excited to have a national presence during the upcoming PRIDE events thanks to a partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. With their support, we will distribute thousands of postcards, allowing our community to receive ongoing updates from the Unid@s board, as well as important and relevant information to the Latina/o LGBT community.

Finally, Gael Guevara, Trans Chair of Unid@s, said "we have laid the groundwork for the bright and promising future of Unid@s, the National Latina/o LGBT Human Rights Organization. Indeed the spirit of community and Latin@ culture will be at the forefront of this effort as we fight for justice for all LGBT Latin@s and all people."

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