Lifting Up Latino Leadership and Language Access

Latinos will soon be a majority in many cities across the U.S., yet the numbers of Latino leaders continue to lag across sectors as compared with other groups. This inequitable distribution of power acts to limit the voice and presence of Latinos in decision making.

The group of authors in this section focus on the importance of investment in Latino leadership, and the obstacles that limited language access presents in moving toward racial equity for immigrant families. New policies to advance language access, bilingual staff provision, and plans for spaces to celebrate Latino history and culture emerge as actions to facilitate more equitable cities.

Featured Essays and Media

Discussion Questions

Read through the following questions and answer them based off what you learned from the readings:

1. Can you identify 2-3 ways that your community is working toward the preservation, development and promotion of Latino culture? What about Afro-Latino's? What is one way that this can be improved in your community?

2. In her essay, Tanya González states that communities should have a plan for immigrant integration as a guide for immigrants to share their cultures, and integrate and contribute to society. What considerations do you think might facilitate this two-way process of integration in your community?

3. Think of an organization you are part of or work for, what are 1-2 ways for that organization to institutionalize linguistically and culturally accessible services?

Discussion Questions

  • Do a search to find out if your city has a Hispanic Liaison Office, Office of Multicultural affairs or other position/department assigned to support Latino’s or Spanish speaking immigrants? What kind of support or programming do they provide?

  • Go to your local government website, how hard or easy would it be to navigate for services or information if you were a Spanish speaker? Can you find any materials in Spanish? Services or policies to support Latino’s or immigrants?

  • Identify at least one and up to three organizations in your community that are supporting Latino’s i.e. leadership development, community engagement, outreach, training and/or other services? What do they do? What needs are they meeting? How might you partner and/or support them in the future?

  • Find out if there are any Latino events or culture festivals that happen in your community? Find one to attend and put it on your calendar.


Sacred Heart Center

Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center

Blueprint for Immigrant New York

California Immigrant Integration Highlights

Additional Resources

Latinos find job choices are both limited and limiting
Nancy Rivera, The Los Angeles Times (August 7, 1983)

Afro-Latino: A deeply rooted identity among U.S. Hispanics
Gustavo López and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Pew Research Center (March 1, 2016)

Citizenship and Immigration: Multiculturalism, Assimilation, and Challenges to the Nation-State

Irene Bloemraad, Anna Korteweg, and Gökçe Yurdakul (April 3, 2008)

Foreign-born population has increased rapidly in Virginia
Laura Kebede, Richmond Times-Dispatch (March 5, 2014)

Language Access Assessment and Planning Tool for Federally Conducted and Federally Assisted Programs
JFederal Coordination and Compliance Section Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice (May 2011)

Featured Work

Join our newsletter to stay up to date on new releases and events.
By subscribing you agree to provide consent to receive updates from our Richmond Racial Equity Essay.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
© 2021-2023 Richmond Racial Equity Essays. All right reserved.