News Releases

24 March 2023

Hispanic Access’ Third Annual Latino Advocacy Week Kicks Off March 24

Category: News Releases

Hispanic Access Foundation’s third annual Latino Advocacy Week begins on March 24 and runs through March 30, 2023. Latino Advocacy Week was launched in 2021 with the goal of helping Latinos become advocates for issues they are passionate about. During this week, various community groups, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, community leaders, and elected officials will champion legislation, capacity building, and advocacy efforts to uplift and support Latinos across the nation.

“Latinos are a growing segment of the U.S. population, and an increasingly active one,” said Maite Arce, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “However, there are significant barriers that hinder Latinos’ participation in America’s democratic processes–language, knowledge, accessibility. Latino Advocacy Week helps break down those barriers, and builds familiarity among Latinos to advocate for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Latinos’ voting power is only increasing. As of 2020, 32 million people registered to vote and identified as “Hispanic”. During the 2020 election, Latino voter turnout in the battleground states was three times greater than in 2016, and Hispanic turnout broke records in Georgia’s runoff election in January 2021. However, Latinos only make up 1% of elected officials, while comprising 18% of the U.S. population.

“Latinos represent the largest untapped segment of the population when it comes to civic engagement and political potential,” said Lucia Rodriguez, Hispanic Access Foundation’s Government Affairs Manager. “Imagine what Latinos could help accomplish for the well-being of their communities if they had 18x the number of elected officials representing us.”

“Our democracy depends on the willingness ot engage and to make our voices heard and for Latino communities who are too often denied a seat at the decision-making table, our advocacy is even more important,” said Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). “This Latino Advocacy Week, speak up, write a letter to your representative, find a cause that you care about, for a community that you care about and start to make a change.”

Latino Advocacy Week’s signature events will be hybrid with various in-person events having a virtual component. Activities will include advocacy trainings, issue specific briefings, panel discussions, meetings with elected officials, etc. Below is the current list of this year’s line up of signature events during Latino Advocacy Week (with more information to come):

Friday, March 24, 2023 - Latino Leadership Kickoff
Environmental Health, Faith, and Climate Virtual Welcome & Networking Hour
4:00-5:30 PM EST

Hispanic Access Foundation will be kicking off their Latino Advocacy Week with Maite Arce, CEO of Hispanic Access telling the story of the creation of Hispanic Access Foundation, her successes and challenges and the organization’s advocacy work. The event will include film screenings, virtual networking session and open dialogue between Por La Creación, Ocean Advisory Council, Latino Climate Council, MANO Alumni to explore health, climate and conservation and inspire each other by discussing what they’ve been working on in the ocean, faith and climate field. This event is open for all attendees to meet Hispanic Access leadership network members and partners!
Register Here!

Saturday, March 25-26, 2023 - Advocacy @ Home
Tomol & Advocacy Camp
Location: California
Hispanic Access is taking Hispanic youth and their families to a Carne Asada picnic at Avila beach and offering kayaking sessions for the kids. The event is in support of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. The central coast has a huge population of Hispanics, and many of those kids have never been to the beach. Hispanic Access will also support youth engagement in advocacy actions for the Chumash Sanctuary. Led by Juan Rosas at Hispanic Access.

Monday, March 27, 2023 - Virtual Briefing Day
Water Justice in Colorado, Community-Centered Challenges and Solutions
8:00 AM PST/ 9:00 AM MT/10:00AM CT/ 11:00 AM EST
Host: Protegete
Description: Latino leaders in Colorado are leading the fight for water justice. Join Representative Elizabeth Velasco from Colorado House District 57 and Protegete Director Beatriz Soto for a conversation about the future of the Colorado River, healthy forests and their connection to clean water, and the ambitious 2023 state legislation goal to start solving the water crisis across mobile home parks. Here is a link to the Clean Water for All Coalition where 3 Latino groups are leading the way for water justice

Remarks by:

​​Beatriz Soto, Director of Protégete
Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, Colorado House District 57
Virtual Registration: Register here!

Host Local Events to Engage Members of Congress
10:00 AM PST/ 11:00 AM MT/12:00PM CT/ 1:00 PM EST
Host: Congressional Management Foundation (CMF)
Description: CMF research shows that Members of Congress consider visits to local facilities to be one of the most valuable ways to understand constituent views and opinions – more than any other source of information. This webinar will show participants how to entice Members of Congress to attend local events or meet with key stakeholders. It will also walk participants through the steps to invite legislators to participate in a powerful in-person experience that promises to inform Members about the impact their organization has in Members' districts or states while educating them about their issues.

Presentation by:
Brad Fitch, President & CEO of Congressional Management Foundation
Virtual Registration: Register here!

My Voice is Important/Mi Voz Cuenta
8:00 AM PST/ 9:00 AM MT/10:00PM CT/ 11:00 AM EST
Host: Hispanic Leadership Network
Description: Clergy are identified as a trusted and respected resources in the communities they serve. They know their communities’ needs and go the extra mile to care for their wellbeing. For this reason, it is important for clergy to understand the importance of their voice because it has the potential to hold decision-makers accountable and make them aware of what is happening in their communities. In this webinar, “My Voice Is Important” you will hear stories from Faith Leaders who have used their voice to make a difference. Come be inspired by their personal experiences and learn the importance of making your voice heard!

Marco Grimaldo
Martin Martinez
Yorelis Teran
Margarita Flores

Moderated by:
Angelique Acevedo
Virtual Registration: Register here!

Periodismo del Barrio 101
12:30 PM PST/ 1:30 PM MT/2:30PM CT/ 3:30 PM EST
Host: Olas y Acción Leadership Network
Description: Want to be a watchdog but don't know how to get started? In this session public radio reporter Daniel Rivero will walk you through the process of reporting, tracking the lawmaking process, looking at money, getting access to public records, building sources and more.

Presentation by:
Daniel Rivero, Investigative Reporter & Producer - WLRN Public Radio
Virtual Registration: Register here!

Climate Change and Mental Health
1:45 PM PST/ 2:45 PM MT/3:45 PM CT/ 4:45 PM EST
Host: Moms Clean Air Force
Description: Climate change and other environmental crises are increasingly affecting our mental health. Many of us experience a sense of dread or anxiety with each new frightening climate headline or extreme weather event. Communities of color and low-wealth communities are often affected first and worst by climate disasters and bear a disproportionate burden of climate distress. Research tells us that Latino communities are among the most worried about climate change. In this webinar, you will learn about how climate change impacts our mental and emotional well-being, with a focus on the unique impacts for Latino communities. You’ll also learn about strategies for navigating the mental and emotional terrain of living in a changing climate, how to support the young people in your lives with climate distress, and more.

Remarks by:
Carolina Peña-Alarcón, EcoMadres Program Manager - Moms Clean Air Force
Liz Hurtado, EcoMadres Field Manager - Moms Clean Air Force
Elizabeth Bechard, Senior Policy Analyst - Moms Clean Air Force
Virtual Registration: Register here!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 - Hybrid Briefing Day
Communities of Color Lead: Latino Conservation & Climate Policy
9:15 AM-10:15 AM EST
Hispanic Access Foundation’s leadership network members will debut the 2023 Conservation Policy Toolkit, sharing how land, water, and ocean conservation, together with the climate crisis, impact Latino health, jobs, cultural heritage, disaster preparedness, and recreation, while sharing their personal stories on the impact in their communities. The findings of the toolkit show a clear need for action from decision-makers protecting the health of our climate, biodiversity, and sources of clean air and water, for the sake of Latino health, jobs, and homes. In this dynamic event, meet our leadership network members and hear on why the environment matters to them, and their solutions for a better future that protects nature and climate, while creating equity for Latino communities.
In-Person Registration: Register here!
Virtual Registration: Register here!
Location: Washington DC

A Pipeline to Diversity in our Workforce: Latinos in Federal Agencies
10:30-11:30 AM EST
Join us for a panel discussion on the importance of building and sustaining a diverse workforce in our government agencies in a briefing by the MANO Project. Currently, only 5.6% of the general workforce in the National Park Service identify as Latino, although Latinos account for 18.5% of the U.S. population. The MANO Project strives to connect and build young leaders of color as they develop the skill sets they need to enter the workforce.
In-Person Registration:Register here!
Virtual Registration: Register here!
Location: Washington DC

Navigating the Legal Landscape: Protecting DREAMers in the DACA Debate
11:45 AM-12:45 PM EST
Join us for a panel discussion that brings together immigration experts to discuss the current state of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the courts and impact of the DACA decision on local communities. Throughout the discussion, panelists will highlight the importance of protecting these DEAMERs and the contributions they make to our communities and our country. Attendees will also learn about current advocacy efforts for DACA and how they can get involved.
In-Person Registration:Register here!
Virtual Registration: Register here!
Location: Washington DC

Creating Effective Stories to Share with Lawmakers: How to Create Stories to Move the Hearts, Minds, and VOTES of Lawmakers
2:00-3:00 PM EST
People have trouble remembering facts, but they never forget a good story. Effective advocacy appeals to the heart, the head, and political health of the legislator. This presentation teaches advocates how to organize and present their stories exercising the tactics actors use. It outlines the key elements of public policy advocacy storytelling, and walks participants through an exercise to develop their own personal stories to move the hearts, minds, and VOTES of lawmakers. This training is open to anyone interested in civic engagement that would like to learn about engaging with their Congressmember. You do not need to participate in a LAW fly-in meeting to join this training.
In-Person Registration: Register here!
Virtual Registration: Register here!
Location: Washington DC

Various organizations, elected officials and networks leaders are enthusiastic about joining this year’s Latino Advocacy Week.

“EcoMadres is a community of parents and caregivers working toward equitable solutions that protect the health of Latino families from air pollution, climate change and toxic chemicals,” Carolina Peña-Alarcón, EcoMadres Program Manager, Moms Clean Air Force. “We are proud to partner with the Hispanic Access Foundation during Latino Advocacy Week to empower Latinos to advocate for health protections for their families and their communities. We know our people and we are problem solvers, and we must uplift Latino voices in order to achieve a safe, stable, and equitable future for all.”

“I’m so grateful for Hispanic Access Foundation in hosting Latino Advocacy Week and for encouraging more latinos in Colorado and all across the country to get involved in the decision-making that affects your daily lives,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).

“Latino Advocacy Week empowers Latinos to use their voices to advocate for ourselves, our family and our community,” said Pete Aguilar (D-CA 33rd District). “Being politically engaged is one of the best ways we can push community leaders and elected officials to support Latino communities across this country.”

“I’m so grateful for the important work Hispanic Access Foundation is doing with Latino Advocacy Week to raise awareness on issues that impact our daily lives,” said Congressman Tony Gonzalez (R-TX 23rd District). "Together we will make sure to uplift Latino voices and make sure everyone’s needs are accounted for.”

“I’ve been fortunate to participate in LAW for a couple of years, and I’ve witnessed its impact as more and more of our community sees a place for themselves, their families and their voice in politics and in the climate movement, Latinos from across the country understand that we cannot continue letting policy happen to us” said Beatriz Soto, Protegete Director at Conservation Colorado. “Whether it’s the fight for clean air, water, affordable housing, or health justice, we have to be here leading, advocating, challenging, and electing decision makers to establish policy that works for us.”

“Latinos are growing faster than most any other segment of the U.S. population. It is imperative that we advocate for ourselves, our families, and our futures,” said Marco A. Grimaldo, Strategist for National Church Partners And Latino Communities for Bread for the World. “For many Cristianos, advocacy is how we preach the Gospel of Jesus. We respond to God’s great love by caring for one another and speaking up for those that otherwise go unheard.”

“Do we have no cause? Our families future is depending on us. It is time to act now and to advocate for nature, open spaces, healthy families, and equitable access for all,” said Martin Martinez, Lead Pastor for Cornerstone Assemblies of God and network leader.

Join us in celebrating online by following #LatinoAdvocacyWeek on all social media platforms and visit for more information.

Latino Advocacy Week
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342