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Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Blasts Planners of Upcoming Events for Selectively Excluding Community Advocacy Leaders

Washington, DC — The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) strongly condemned today what it perceives as exclusionary practices by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry regarding an upcoming event titled "Harnessing the Power of Immigrant Talent." The event, scheduled for June, has raised concerns within LULAC regarding the representation and empowerment of the Latino community.

"The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry is slapping us in the face by again excluding respected Latino advocates who have worked for decades on behalf of social justice for our community," says Elsa Ramon Aranda, Nebraska LULAC State Director. "This is a repeat of September 2023 when the chamber refused to address the real issues of equity and equality for our workers. Why is it that when Latino labor in Nebraska is being discussed, as they did then, Latino leaders were not even in the room? LULAC subsequently demanded a meeting to get specifics on a living wage standard, overtime payment for more than 40 hours of labor weekly, and access to health care and disability insurance if our essential workers get hurt on the job. Mr. Bryan Slone, President, never replied to our letter, so a meeting without an agreed discussion agenda was pointless. Now comes a planned event in June, except the people who should be at the table have not been invited, so we must be on the menu," says Aranda.

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced it is presenting "an inaugural event...Harnessing the Power of Immigrant Talent."

"LULAC protests in the strongest terms, use of the term harnessing, when what Latinos want is the freedom to uplift themselves," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. "The 62 million Latinos in the United States are seeking a hand up, not a handout, which means our community must be included in the decision-making, not simply processed as faceless, voiceless laborers. Clearly, the Nebraska Chamber wants to decide who is and who is not invited so that non-Latinos can continue to decide our futures. This attitude is the historical agrarian mentality some people still cling to. Shame on those organizations that help them perpetuate that cycle to preserve their funding and favors. LULAC leads, we do not follow," adds Garcia.

According to the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Nebraska Immigration Workforce Summit is being staged ‘with Immigrant Legal Center + Refugee Empowerment Center.’

"Nebraska LULAC is working to form its own coalition of grassroots state organizations at the direction of the U.S. Department of Justice to present an accurate Latino collective voice and strategy," says Aranda. "At our table, there is always room for more stakeholders so long as there is mutual respect and a genuine interest in our community's well-being. We will not allow Latinos to be ‘harnessed’ like pack animals, carrying the brute workloads others turn away. Those days are gone," says Aranda.




The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 535 Councils and 145,000 members across the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/