Joint Statement in Support of the Black Community

Latino Leadership Organizations:
Joint Statement in Support of the Black Community


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail


The Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley (LCSV) and Latino Leadership Alliance (LLA) grieve the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless other victims and lives taken and families destroyed at the hands of lawless and illegitimate law enforcement officials. LCSV and LLA stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters affirming that Black Lives Matter, and we stand in solidarity with all persons and allies in the non-profit and social justice communities that are peacefully — but forcefully — denouncing the historic and systemic oppression of people of color under the color of law.

The Latino community has long been the target of misconduct and inhumane tactics by law enforcement, as demonstrated by the disproportionate rate of incarceration and racial profiling, as well as the intentional separation of children from their families and the detention of children in cages. Today, we stand with you, demanding that these cruel and senseless acts stop. Now more than ever, it is imperative that policies and programs address the inequities that have traumatized our communities.

We call on San José Police Chief Eddie Garcia and law enforcement leaders in all 9 Bay Area Counties to stand in solidarity with the protestors exercising their right of expression and in their purpose of peace. We call on Chief Garcia and all local police chiefs to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for law enforcement officers in their ranks who engage in abuse tactics or who use their positions to incite violence or instill fear in our communities. The wages of oppression and unchecked authority is civil unrest. We must, as a community, rise above this and stand together, clothed in the garment of our single destiny of a community healed by a sustained commitment to justice, equal opportunity, and mutual respect and understanding.

Civic engagement is at the root of our collective missions. We support the protests being organized in the name of racial and social justice. However, we cannot forget that we continue to grapple with COVID-19 – a pandemic where contagion and death rates have disproportionately impacted the Latino and Black communities. As such, we urge everyone participating in protests to continue to follow public health safety measures, practice social distancing at all times, and support one another with extra masks and hand sanitizers to share with others who may not have access to these items.

As Latino-serving organizations our success is bound to all the movements of racial healing, advocacy, and social justice. We call on all Latino leaders in every sector to continue to confront — and push back on — the racial injustices, inequities, and systemic racism that exists in America today. We can and must do better. Sí Se Puede.

In Solidarity,

Gabby Chavez-Lopez, President
Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley

Lennies M. Gutiérrez, Chair
Latino Leadership Alliance

PDF: Joint Letter of Support Statement – Black Lives Matter (143 Kb)



Latino Leadership Alliance

Esther Peralez-Dieckmann speaks at the California State Advisory Committee

Thank you to Esther Peralez-Dieckmann (Exec Director at Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence and LLA Cohort 3) for providing important and impactful testimony today to the California State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights.

The Committee is studying and investigating the impact of immigration enforcement on California children.

Today’s hearing was the first of several to be held across the state to study this important issue and we had the privilege of hearing from 4 different panels of experts from all over the state.

Congratulations to Carla Collins!

Congratulations to Carla Collins, LLA Cohort IV who will be leading the newly established Office of Gender-Based Violence Prevention for the County of Santa Clara!


Remembering Joaquin Avila

The Latino Leadership Alliance (LLA) mourns the passing of civil rights champion Joaquin Avila (June 23, 1948 – March 9, 2018).

Mr. Avila devoted his career to voting rights advocacy and litigation, believing that government functions best if it is reflective and representative of the range of its constituents.

“Once you achieve that”, Avila said, “you’ll have a better community for everyone, not just Latinos, and everyone will have a vested interest in making sure the government resources are distributed equitably and fairly.”

Mr. Avila was a nationally-recognized voting rights and civil rights advocate and champion. He served as president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1982 to 1985. During his career, he was involved in litigating more than 70 voting rights cases throughout California and Texas. In the 1990s he successfully argued a groundbreaking voting rights case on behalf of Latino plaintiffs in Monterey County, California, for which he appeared and won twice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also the principal author of the 2001 California Voting Rights Act, which is the only state voting rights act in the nation.

Avila was an accomplished and recognized advocate. He was one of the first Latinos admitted to Yale University and he was a graduate of Harvard Law School. In 1996, Avila received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius fellowship for his work in voting rights advocacy. He also received the president’s award from the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Ohtli Award from the Mexican government. He was also declared by the California State Assembly to be a “voting rights gladiator”, and he was a recipient of MALDEF’s Valerie Kantor Award for Extraordinary Achievement. Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, is the numerous communities throughout our nation empowered by his voting rights advocacy, and the countless persons inspired by his tireless fight for true representative government. During his lifetime Mr. Avila embodied the LLA motto of “leadership in motion.